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An increasingly viable solution for climate change is Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), implemented across the U.S., in states likes New Mexico
The water, energy, and food security nexus is a real and present problem.
Here are some highlights from the website of The Agrarian Group:
As a species, we face the most complex and deadly problems we have ever encountered. Erratic weather events caused by climate change destroy crop yields each year. Pesticides have ruined our soil and water scarcity has become a national security issue. 70% of food cost is linked to fossil fuels, and prices are only expected to rise. The average food item travels 1500 miles to reach it's destination. However, despite everything we do, 40% of all food in the United States is thrown away post-harvest.
The Agrarian Group was started as an answer to a question - How will we feed the projected 9.1 Billion people that will reside on earth in 2050? To achieve this, we need to increase our already stressed agricultural production by 70%. How do we grow better?
Agtech solutions can help solve the challenges we face.
Here is an example of Agtech Solutions in New Mexico:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A unique form of farming is ‘taking rise’ in Albuquerque. Fresh produce is grown indoors in special towers with the help of light technology and water.
Vertical farming is entirely hydroponic, meaning there’s no soil. They’re growing leafy greens and herbs with just lights and water. Technology company Sananbio makes the equipment to get people fresh food — fast.
“We take over old buildings and create urban farms inside of them,” said Michael Yates, Vice President of Technology Sales for Sananbio. “It’s gaining a lot more popularity now with more people seeking hyper-local food and fresh food. Now we have methods, thanks to advances in horticulture lighting to be able to grow food within city centers in this way.”
Sananbio, based in Albuquerque, makes and distributes this technology around the globe. They can place the urban farms in schools, homes and even in old buildings.
“Really, what we want to do is try to empower growers with technology so they can be successful in providing hyper-local food,” said Yates. “We also are putting a really strong focus on empowering communities and bringing together growers and consumers, restaurants, schools, trying to provide better education to children about eating nutritious food.”
The vertical towers allow multiple crops to grow in a small space. Rather than one annual harvest each year, the controlled indoor environment allows farmers to produce fresh food year-round without worrying about changes in the climate outdoors. Yates says the technology also allows them to locally grow produce that may usually grow in only certain parts of the world like Asia or Africa.
“You get hyper-local, fresh produce so instead of food having to travel across the country, or be cut a week or two before it’s actually consumed by the consumer, we can provide leafy greens and culinary herbs to the market within 24 hours of harvest. It allows people to get access to extremely nutritious and flavorful food,” said Yates. “We can do a full harvest each month and provide 12-14 harvests of lettuce or culinary herbs each year.”