Tag Archive | Agriculture

“Vertical farming explained: how cities could be food producers of the future”

Populations are growing and cities are booming – but could we soon see skyscrapers turned into centres for crop production? From Chicago warehouses to the south pole growth chamber in Antarctica, the concept of growing food indoors is catching on. Plant scientist Dr Erik Murchie, from the University of Nottingham, reveals how agriculture could be turned on its head.

Could this be the solution to the growing demand for food?

Cities could become almost completely self-sufficient; they have the opportunity to produce both food and energy.

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“Farm Ministers Say World Faces ‘Immense Challenges’ to Feed All”

farmers

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-19/farm-ministers-say-world-faces-immense-challenges-to-feed-all.html

Efforts to rid the world of hunger face “immense challenges” as farmers deal with resource scarcity, climate change and loss of soil fertility, agriculture ministers from 65 countries said……..

………. Economic and financial crisis and “excessive” price swings create uncertainty that endangers investment in agriculture …..

……. Food production will have to rise 60 percent between now and 2050 as the world population expands to 9 billion, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization estimates.

lightbulblogo

Last week investors in clean energy were sought, this week it’s investors in agriculture. In both cases it is clear that Governments will no longer ask their taxpayers to fund these investments.

“China Says Arable Land the Size of Belgium Too Polluted for Farming”

chinesepollution

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-31/china-says-arable-land-size-of-belgium-too-polluted-for-farming.html

More than 2 percent of China’s arable land, or an area the size of Belgium, is too polluted to grow crops, the government said, offering new evidence of the environmental cost associated with 30 years of breakneck growth.

“Cows might fly”

cowsmightfly

http://aeon.co/magazine/nature-and-cosmos/what-swiss-flying-cows-tell-us-about-the-environmental-future/

…the mindset that combines biodiversity and agriculture makes a great deal of sense for Switzerland.  As it might for the rest of the world in times to come. From some perspectives it comes down to what you do when there is no more room left…

lightbulblogo

In Switzerland the big picture political decision has been made to subsidize uneconomic mountain farming because it has a much higher societal and environmental value to the Swiss than the lower global price of milk products says it has. Small countries, or countries with little space available for human activity, have higher value judgements than market prices. As global population grows and puts pressure on the land available for development, the Swiss economic model may become more important.

“Carbon Foodprints”

carbonfoodprint

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/food-carbon-footprint-diet

More recent studies show that food system emissions could account for as much as quarter of all human emissions.  That is 12% from agricultural production, another 9% from farming induced deforestation, and a further 3% from things like refrigeration and freight.
 
lightbulblogo
The environmental price of beef is very high.