TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

vertical farming for feeding the world of the 21st century

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster? the solution is a very nice idea worth spreading.... I would like to have a TED Talk on this...


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 18 2011: This seems like a great idea but I have to ask a sincere if naive question. Wouldn't getting sufficient sunlight be a big problem due to shadow from the plants above? Would vertical gardening be done on the side of buildings?
    • Apr 19 2011: I Installed a Vertical Growing system at Paignton Zoo ( UK ) for growing salads for the animals that works fine with no lighting, But if done as a commercial venture then we would have a light tunnel for the plants to pass through. In commercial horticulture there are growers who grow crops vertically and by this I mean salad crops such as Lettuce, Pac-Choi and herbs ,. What is often called Vertical growing is crops such as Tomatoes, Cucumbers Peppers ect. Vertical growing on the side of buildings is called living walls, if you grow lettuce herbs ect on these then yes they will grow but for them to be supplied to major outlets in the UK the specifacation would not be upto standard. This would be because the plants would grow out and then uptowards the light and then have a bend on them, Stupid I know but the UK are the worst in the world for doing as we are told even if others do it better. As mentioned I do Vertical growing systems and in the UK there is no help but in the other parts of the world there is grants and help for this .
      • thumb
        Apr 19 2011: Thank you Grahame for your response to me. Is this concept primarily for the big grower or are people advocating it for feeding large populations in places like China or India where there is substantial urbanization and the costs for transporting greens into the cities is prohibitive?
        • Apr 19 2011: I have developed a system that is based on a commercial growing facility but can be scaled from a container size upto as large as you want , Height wise we can go to 6 meters higher if needed but I would not reccommend it., But trying to get funding is hard and it upsets me when I see millions wasted on pie in the sky systems that will not work commercially.
    • Apr 22 2011: send an e-mail to grahame@verticalgrowing.co.uk
      and I will send photos of plants 7 days from sowing if anyone interested

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.