The planet has very limited space. With such space, the use of land also varies. Some spaces are more conducive to agriculture than others which are more conducive to other activities. The latest innovation in agriculture aims to answer this space problem.
For the longest time, innovators have aimed to maximize the use of space to break the current limitations of food production. Growing food crops is no longer limited to agricultural lands. A new system of using recycled shipping containers have emerged. These new systems are more popularly known as the agricultural system of container farming. Container farming has specific goals, such as;
- To maximize the use of agricultural space for more suitable crops while maintaining production of crops that can grow on the complex system;
- To eradicate the practice of crop burning after every season;
- To address the extreme weather conditions faced by standard farming activities which limit the harvesting, planting, and general crop production;
- To prevent the infestation of pests that harm crop production; and
- To address limited growing seasons by stimulating the most favorable weather condition per crop.
Through the system of container farming, it is easier to address the problems and issues raised. Farmers will be able to produce more crops and regional limitations are easier to address.
Advantages of Container Farming
Container farming has already proven many state and country advantages. First, by aiding countries to control the elements of crop production, growing food crops locally is easier. Food suppliers, as well as government aid providers, may cut the long travel distances and importation requirements. Food crops reach certain markets easier.
This advantage allows for the following end-user benefits such as:
- the product reaches markets in a fresh state which ensures fresher farm to table use;
- reduced transportation costs that ensure savings for food suppliers as well as less use of crude oil and transportation-related costs;
- less waste of food products with their shelf life maximized; and
- fewer empty shelves at markets.
One of the top countries that advocate the use of this farming method is Canada. A retailer in Canada recently informed the public that they have allocated more than 150 million dollars to aid their farmers in the next seven years.
The budget allocated includes training the farmers on the latest and modern trends in crop production including container farming.
The Companies That Embraced Container Farming
Currently, two main companies have embraced the process of container farming. They are Tiger Corner Farms and Freight Farmers.
The two companies are currently using the system of aeroponics and hydroponics. These two methods use a system where they grow plants without the use of soil.
For those who need to know more about these concepts, the aeroponic method uses the air method or the mist in the air as an aggregate medium. The system of hydroponics uses water to grow crops. Both of the systems use water that is rich in nutrients to replace soil.
Other than these two methods, Freight Farms is also looking for ways to grow plants in space. They are working with NASA to grow crops in space. While it will take a longer period to get there, at least there are studies for it.
The other company, Tiger Corner Farms, currently uses five shipping container farms. Currently based in South Carolina, there are four that are used for farming while the fifth one is a working station. The working station is pivotal in ensuring the results of the studies as well as the production phase of the agricultural centers.
Tiger Corner Farms also partnered with two companies that use alternative methods of crop production to maximize soil space for other crops. The Boxcar Central and the Vertical Roots are two companies that aim to revolutionize the farming industry through the use of the latest hardware and software.
Vertical Roots can increase the production of Tiger Farms in both the quantity and time requirements.
Growing With Technology
The best part of the new growth in agriculture is the level of literal aid that it can give farmers and crop producers. With the use of container farming, space is maximized and all of the other limitations of farming that we currently experience could be a thing of the past.
Professional farmers, as well as those trying to break into the system, would have something amazing to look forward to in the future. Farming crops have never been this easy and advanced.
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com