The world’s population is growing exponentially, and in order to keep up with demand, we need a new food production system that can meet our needs. Hydroponics is one way to do just that. Hydroponics uses 95% less water than traditional farming techniques, which not only saves on resources but also helps conserve energy consumption. Plants that are cultivated in hydroponics systems require less fertilizer and pesticides, which also means a better environment.
The debate of whether hydroponics is a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way to grow food has been going on for years. In this piece, we will take a close look at the benefits of using hydroponics to produce food in order to determine if it can be an effective solution to our global hunger problem.
The principle behind hydroponics
Hydroponics is the process of cultivating plants without soil. It’s a technique that involves growing plants in water that’s mixed with nutrients. The type and amount of nutrients are added to the water according to what each plant needs at any given time in its development life cycle.
The benefits associated with hydroponics are simple:
- It uses less space than traditional farming.
- There is no loss from wind or rain runoff.
- There isn’t erosion caused by plowing fields for cultivation
- By using climate controlled environments, farmers can operate in places where weather and soil conditions are unfavorable to farming.
- Well-managed hydroponic systems enable crops to grow twice as fast.
As you can see already, these factors make hydroponic production potentially more sustainable than other methods because it takes up less land and resources while still producing enough food for our ever-growing population.
Some people believe this system will never work because they say it can’t produce enough food to sustain the population. The reality is that hydroponics has been used in greenhouses and outdoor farms around the world for decades, successfully producing a wide array of crops with high yields.
In fact, there are many different types of hydroponic systems being studied as we speak that have shown promise in increasing crop production while also using less water than traditional farming techniques do. One example is floating rafts systems where plants are carefully arranged on polystyrene or foam boards, as their roots hang down into nutrient-rich and oxygenated water. It uses a lot less water than irrigation systems for soil-grown crops.
The view of experts on hydroponics
Many experts are in favor of the sustainable production process that hydroponics offers. They believe it can be more efficient and productive than traditional farming methods and better for our environment.
One of the biggest proponents is NASA. The organization has been studying hydroponics systems to determine whether they are a viable option for astronauts in space who need to grow their own food on long-duration missions. This farming system can be successful because there’s no soil involved, which means less chance of contamination and weed growth.
NASA isn’t alone – many other scientists from around the world agree that this process could play an even bigger role than we think in our future as humans. With all these benefits combined with its sustainability, experts believe that hydroponics may just be what saves us when resources run out down here on Earth.
Researchers from the University Of Arizona have been studying vertical farming (hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics) and have determined that in the future, we might be able to feed a growing world population using hydroponic systems.
U.A professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, Joel Cuello, believes that the time has come for the world to embrace vertical farming. According to him, “In the open field, because it’s open to the atmosphere, the temperature, relative humidity, and light radiation fluctuate over the course of a day. The productivity is not optimized or maximized, and it’s also not consistent. Whereas in a vertical farm, productivity is optimized or maximized, and it’s consistent. It helps tremendously in being able to help produce food to meet the demand.”
Hydroponic systems for food production
There are a few different ways that hydroponics can be used to grow food. The main idea is to find a system that allows for water and nutrient delivery while also taking into account the space available in various regions of the world where soil conditions are less than perfect.
This means there needs to be something created specifically for each region’s climate because this will impact how quickly crops mature as well as their nutritional content. For example, in northern regions where the winters are long and cold, it is essential to use a hydroponic system that can operate year-round.
Greenhouse systems with artificial lighting might be the best solution for these locations because they need less water than traditional farms or outdoor greenhouses do. In contrast, when you live somewhere like Southern California, which has an abundance of sunshine all year round, then using floating rafts systems may work better.
What this means for food production on a global scale is that there needs to be more research done into finding out what type of system will work best in any given region before we invest too much money into something without knowing if it’s going to solve our hunger problem successfully. It also makes sense to focus more on rooftop farming projects that are proven to be successful in densely populated areas as well.
We need a new approach with hydroponics because the traditional way isn’t sustainable anymore. Taking advantage of these systems could significantly improve our chances of feeding everyone across the world while preserving natural resources like water and soil.
The implications of this new approach are huge. If successful, it could be the key to solving some of the most pressing global issues that we face today—including overpopulation and food security. Given these benefits, I think a hydroponics system should absolutely be on your radar if you’re looking for ways to improve your yield with less work or resources than traditional farming methods require. We can help by providing information about how best to implement one in any space from an urban farm lot up through larger commercial operations like sports stadiums. Visit NutraPonics today and we can help you take the first step.