Food shortage is a very real problem that the world is facing today. Dwindling resources such as space and water, unpredictable weather conditions, and the labour-intensive nature of the industry have all contributed to this situation. The need of the hour is for each family/community to be able to grow their own food, in a controlled environment, using minimum resources, to yield year-round maximum output.
Enter containerised hydroponic farming (CHF).
With CHF, personalised farming in a controlled environment is no longer a pipe dream, but an immensely practicable solution. Let’s take a closer look at the concept of CHF. Recycled shipping container forms shell of your hydroponic unit. Being inherently high-strength, long-lasting and streamlined, it becomes an ideal ‘frame’ for the vertical farming unit. Inside a sealed, upcycled container, maintaining the perfect temperature and light conditions becomes a matter of flicking a switch. Keeping pests at bay is also easy.
Each CHF unit can be custom-designed for the crop grown in it: the lights fitted are designed to mimic those parts of the spectrum that activate photosynthesis in each plant. Similarly, each crop is provided with the temperature range and humidity levels that are optimal for maximising yield. Though water is the medium of growth in hydroponics, the actual water consumption is low as inside a closed and controlled container, there is minimal loss of water due to evaporation. This results in an environment rarely seen in nature where plants, instead of struggling to stay alive and grow, are able to thrive and produce.
Moreover, containerised farms can be set up anywhere – in deserts, in parking lots, next to the pantry of a restaurant…even in people’s back and front yards. This could mean a major change in the world economy since agricultural activity is no longer tied to the area of land at one’s disposal. It could mean less produce going to waste since plants can be grown more in response to actual need than in accordance with traditional harvest cycles.
CHF also addresses the pressing issue of rapidly dwindling farmlands, and not merely through the vertical nature of the crop grown inside. As containers are designed to be stack on top of each other, multiple level farming is possible in available space, which means that the yield can be twice or thrice of what is otherwise possible in a given area of land.
In addition to this, CHF units are easy to seal and ‘bury’, making underground farming a very viable prospect.Such underground farms free up precious urban land above them, which can be used for purposes such as parks, playgrounds or parking spaces.
As CHF units are easily transportable and consume minimum resources, they can be taken to conflict zones or areas that face chronic food shortage following a natural disaster. These units allow people in such affected areas to become largely self-reliant in terms of food, easing their path to recovery. The technology also makes offshore farming possible.
In short, containerised hydroponic farming holds sci-fi-like possibilities, and has the potential to revolutionise global food production in unimaginable ways. Little wonder then that these compact box farms are a closely watched technology that has many ‘converts’ from all over the globe.
For more information on CHF units in the UAE, contact us.