The technique called Aeroponics basically employs articulate structures that can support plants with their roots suspended in air with food being fed to them in the form of atomized nutrient, in a controlled environment which makes up for the need of any kind of soil. With a combination of artificial lighting and air regulation, this technique can be applied in any part of the world.
The technology sounds futuristic but it actually dates back to 1990s when the first experiments on it were carried out by NASA. (Successful ones)
Over the years, several research projects have proved its efficiency over traditional farming methods. It offers quicker, cleaner and more productive in terms of land use. Some companies claim the output to be as much as 75x the traditional methods. You can set up an Aeroponic system at your home with basic equipment; it’s that easy. We will talk about its applications on a larger scale with the pros and cons.
Basics of Aeroponics
The key requirements for Aeroponics to work well are water, crop growing chambers, water circulation mechanism, artificial lighting (indoors), nutrient medium and specific conditions favoring particular crops. It also requires electricity and computation hardware for the best (large-scale) results.
For homes, offices, and restaurants, many aeroponic setups are already available in the market. These can grow leafy vegetables, tomatoes and many kinds of herbs.
Application Ideas for Aeroponics
African countries like Libya, Egypt, and Algeria have less than 10% of arable land which is too low in comparison to their population demands. Thousands of people die each year to due to hunger because of non-availability of local food.
As stated by World Food Programme, “Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of hunger with respect to the percentage of the population. One person in four there is undernourished.”
There is, however, availability of solar power (for electricity) to run simple aeroponic projects. The water can be recycled over and over hence not a large amount of it would be required, which will be convenient as it is already scarce in parts of Africa. Nutrients required for the plants can be imported from other parts of the country while sunlight and air are all the more abundant.
Community-run aeroponic setups can be installed in these regions that can be operated with cooperative efforts and with locally available resources.
Parts of Canada, on the other hand, face a shortage of agricultural land in the winter season. Many areas like Halifax still suffer skyrocketing grocery prices as remarked in this news article.
Canada, which also has a technological edge over other areas can root for indoor aeroponic systems which are much easy to set-up here due to that very fact. If plants are grown indoors with a suitably monitored environment, the frozen parts of Canada won’t require imports from other parts of the world, decreasing the tremendous food prices and sustaining the local population with some relaxation.
Smaller, home-friendly set-ups can also be considered during the harsh leg of the climate. In the times when it’s too cold outside, people can grow their veggies in situ with the basic know-how of the technique. Efficient, right?