The current methods of agriculture utilised by the majority of countries are either conventional farming or organic farming.These two methods are severely outdated and highly flawed for the following reasons.
•They require arable land to produce food of which there is a limited amount and require forests to be cleared.Organic farming requires more land to produce the same yields as conventional farming.This is a problem in the tropics where rainforests need to be cleared and over exhaustion of soil can lead it to being worn down and eventually becoming worthless.Over one third of the world’s topsoil is now gone since the industrial revolution which can take decades if not centuries to regenerate.Experts believe only 60 years of arable land is left at the rate we are going.
•Crops are usually grown in rural areas away from towns and cities which requires energy in transportation
•Since it is grown in soil it can be difficult to determine the nutrient composition and pH of the soil for scientific studies and when done so it is very labour intensive
•They require the use of pesticides and herbicides to increase yields and prevent losses.These can seep into the water table thus contaminating drinking water and also waterways and rivers.In case of organic farming either none of these chemicals are used thus increasing losses or old chemicals from as far back as the 1950s are used which are dangerous to human and animal health and have been linked to cancer and can affect beneficial pollinator insects such as bees and butterflies.Attempts to counter this is the i.e.of genetic engineering which includes having a crop produce specific pesticides as a defensive mechanism ie. Bt Cotton have resulted in pests gaining a resistence to them with even round up ready crops becoming ineffective as superweeds are evolving
•The methods require large amounts of fertilizers which again can seep into waterways causing pollution notably fish kills via algae blooms.Also the fertilizer requires large amount of fossil fuels in their production and transportation and a lot of the phosphorous and nitrogen are lost in use:these elements have to be mined which is a finite resource and also requires further energy to this.Organic and conventional methods of farming also require large amounts of fertilizers and water most of which is wasted:up to 70% is lost in its use.Organic farming usually uses manure which can lead to methane emissions.Fresh water is also a finite resource and requires energy in its transportation and takes years to replenish
•It is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world with 170,000 fatal accidents each year roughly 50% of all fatal work place deaths making it on par with construction and mining. These can occur due to exposure to the physical hazards of weather, terrain,fires and machinery; toxicological hazards of pesticides,fertilizers and fuels; and health inhalation of dust
•Machinery used to plant and harvest crops are dangerous and energy intensive and requires a lot of resources in their construction even if automated
•It is climate dependent.All crops can only be grown in certain areas during certain times of the year i.e.bananas can only be grown near the equator.This means a limited amount can be grown each year and has to be transported across the world using up large amounts of energy in harvesting, processing and transportation.Furthermore they are susceptible to climatic and weather disturbances i.e.a bad spring or summer or natural disasters such as droughts and floods can lead to high yield losses thus leading to food crises and possibly even famines (either directly due to weather or indirectly to outbreak of pests and fungi/virus).This is a particular problem in areas such as Africa and Asia where droughts are commonplace and can occur spontaneously.Furthermore the threat of climate change brought about global warming can exacerbate this problem
•The process is subject to day and night cycles which slows growth.
•Attempts have been made to genetically engineer crops in order to combat climate change,pests, herbicides i.e. Roundup.The fact that genetically altered crops with the exception of Golden Rice(the only beneficial GMO)are patented issues of ownership of seeds arise as farmers cannot save seed for the next season and thus must be constantly be dependent on corporations.A small number of major agricultural companies own all both GMO and non GMO crops worldwide
•There is the issue that of lack of diversity both in terms of genetic diversity but also the lack of diversity in amount that is grown for commercial reasons.Only a few varieties of each crop is grown meaning if a new pest or pathogen evolves it could be wiped out and lost forever with the fact that only 220 crops are part of the global diet out of a possible 22,000 edible crops
•It can lead to food poisoning which can originate from all steps of production:for example manure used in organic farming can increase the chance of Escherichia coli infecting the plant which can be fatal in the young, elderly and those with compromised immune systems i.e.those living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus.Contamination can occur in transportation or through resistance to herbicides this can lead to transportation of new strains of powerful microbes across the world as well as leading to recalls of food which produces waste.Furthermore manufactured food products that are contaminated either purposefully or through negligence with not just pathogens but also harsh chemicals that can pose a risk to human health in order to cut costs and increase profits.
•Invasive and potentially dangerous animals that can invade new territories this leading to ecological damage i.e.the Brazilian Wandering Spider has been known to be transported across the globe from Brazil to mainland Europe, Asia and North America.This species of spider produces a fatal venom.Other animals such as snakes and small animals can invade new territories this way upsetting ecosystems
•It produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane both potent greenhouse gases in production,use of fertilisers and also transportation of both crops and livestock.
As we can see there are serious drawbacks to the use of conventional and organic farming both of which are unsustainable and will not be able to feed a growing population.The solution to this is hydroponics and aeroponics a form of soil less medium.This soil less medium can consist of having the roots suspended in the air and sprayed with water/nutrient solution in the case of aeroponics, in the case of hydroponics the roots are constantly suspended in a water/nutrient solution or a in pots held together by a solid medium such as perlite, rockwool, coconut coir, sawdust, sand, polystyrene beads,vermiculite and peat among others.These mediums may be used individually or in mixtures.
•It can be grown indoors in a variety of ways.It can be grown at home in basements/spare rooms or rooftop/ garden greenhouses in towns and cities.Vertical gardens can also increase the yields of crops grown indoors per acre for example in skyscrapers and abandoned buildings i.e. a skyscraper wherein each floor is an acre of space stacked on top of each other greatly increases the amount of crops grown as well as variety of crops grown in any given space.This allows for land currently used for organic and conventional methods to reforested thus aiding in combating global warming and also regenerate topsoil.Home and community farms can also allow land used for agriculture to be reforested with these using both permaculture and crop rotation to improve soil structure and quality.Hybrid forest farms can allow existing and new agricultural land to be reforested indefinitely and still
•Crops can be grown in towns and cities thus cutting down on energy required for transportation using home,vertical and community farms.Crops are much fresher as they are grown locally.It can also allow for crops to be grown at the site of factories for production of food and drinks such as beer and wine where they can harvested and prepared by machinery.
•Since it is grown in either a nutrient solution or enclosed solid medium the detection of nutrient composition and pH can be controlled monitored for scientific studies 24/7 using automated sensors and smart devices.Other factors that can be controlled and monitored are temperature,pH,beneficial micro-organisms,and wind and carbon dioxide concentrations for the same purposes.Nanosensors in home,community and forest farms can allow for the content of them to be ascertained and thus prevent fertilisers being overused.Having Bambusoideae,Crotalaria juncea,Trifolium repens can be planted in between crops to have nitrogen from the atmosphere be fixed into the soil with this ability added to crops as well via CRISPR.
•Since the crops are grown indoors in a controlled environment there is no need for pesticides and herbicides as long sterile measures are taken into account.This reduces the amount of energy required for their production such as fossil fuels and their transportation.They also cannot contaminate local water table.Pest repellance can be engineered into these crops and those in home and community farms to negate the need for pesticides with pests even engineered to feed on invasive species of plants and also weeds negating the need for both herbicides and pesticides.
•Water and fertilizers still need to be used but in much smaller amounts and are not wasted and cannot contaminate the water table preventing algae blooms and fish kills.In fact 70-95% less nutrients and water are required as the roots are given direct access to the nutrients and water which is circulated in a looped system where they are recycled.This should of note of areas prone to droughts due to its incredible efficient use of this resource.Manure cannot be used thus reducing methane emissions and bacterial contamination with organic fertiliser using algae used in these and also home and community farms.Home and community farms will utilise genetic engineering to allow them to require less water,fertilisers and survive all types of climates even droughts and rainy seasons etc.Fertilisers used here will be algae based ones that utilise looped systems as the crops once eaten the phosphorous and nitrogen will be released as feces into sewage treatment plants wherein algae will be created feeding on them to be again used as both animal feed and fertiliser.
•Accidents especially fatal ones can be eliminated altogether making the process much safer.The process can be fully automated from start to finish and machinery is compact and less resource heavy than conventional means requiring next to no human labor.Also it requires significantly less energy.Home,community and forest farms will be automated to prevent the tragedy of the commons with their compact nature negating the need for machinery to be used with them harvested by community members.
•As crops can be grown indoors and locally meaning exotic crops can be grown anywhere in the world for example bananas and grapes in the middle of a desert or in the Antarctic wilderness.This cuts down on transportation and production costs thus less energy is used.Furthermore it is not affected by weather conditions i.e. drought or flood and climatic changes and areas prone of flooding.This should ensure food security in areas susceptible to drought such as Africa and Asia as well as the Middle East.Crops can also be grown anytime of the year out of season providing abundant food all year long and since crops grow much faster multiple yields can be gained each year.It also allows access for consumers to more crops outside of their staple foods and thus a more varied diet and access to more essential nutrients.This should be of note in the case of beta carotene deficiency in Asia allowing people their to grow exotic crops such as spinach and sweet potatoes.Temperature can be adjusted to suit specific crop needs.Furthermore minerals or nutrients or microorganisms can be added to replicate unique soil conditions in a region that may affect flavor such as the case of grapes used for wines.Other environmental conditions such as altitudal conditions,wind,temperature humidity that occur all year long can be programmed in to further influence the flavour or nutrient content.These programmed conditions can replicate the same process in the wild of a specific region that occur throughout the year with changes occurring over the year happening automatically and saved to vertical farms AI alongside others on the both the wire and internet which can be traded with other growers in vertical and home hydroponic/aeroponic farms.Genetic engineering will allow for exotic crops to be grown in home,community and forest farms in all soils and climates alongside making hybrids with them and other plants to allow them to be grown anywhere in the world.Hybridisation between different crops can increase productivity in home and community farms both indoors and outdoors and in aquaponics systems and also hydroponic media.
•The use of natural sunlight during the day and LED lighting during the night can allow photosynthesis to continue interrupted 24/7 leading to faster growing times.This can also supplement days when natural daylight is not at its peak due to weather patterns i.e. clouds
•There is no need to genetically engineer crops to resists pest and viruses at all since crops are grown in a controlled situation though this has to be done with crops grown in community farms and home farms using genes that release smells or other non-toxic traits that repel insects rather than kill them as it could affect beneficial.The process produces higher yields on average 6-8 times higher than conventional means due to the fundamental principles of hydro/aeroponics:The plants roots are grown in a soil less medium and have direct access to nutrients and water.As a result very little energy is expended on root growth and so more is put into the storage of nutrients i.e.actual crop yields.In the case of aeroponics this also allows the crop to grow much faster because the roots are exposed to oxygen which improves this process.The reverse is seen in conventional farming where energy is wasted on root development to gain access nutrients in the soil as well as anchoring to the soil.Furthermore since it is done indoors it can allow for beneficial GMOs such as golden rice to be grown indoors preventing it from contaminating the wild or other stocks of said crops.It also prevents exotic non-native crops to be grown without escaping into the wild and becoming invasive species.Genetic engineering however can increase growth rates by increasing mitosis rates,use more carbon dioxide,less water and fertiliser and use different wavelengths of light with this increasing yields in vertical farms and also in outdoor home and community.
•3D DNA printing onsite of vertical,community and home farms can utilising the Phanes method can also allow seeds to be printed out with more genetic diversity with all crops engineered to be resistant against all viral,bacterial and fungal pathogens of both the crops and humans.With regards to Musa and indeed all crops seed pods can be engineered into them to further increase diversities.This can also allow all 22,000 edible crops to be printed out for consumers thus giving more variety in their diet.
•Aeroponics eliminates the chance of any bacterial contamination that are spoilage or pathogenic bacteria completely.Hydroponics can in some instances such as small leafy vegetables can be the breeding ground of bacteria this can avoided with UV treatment of water and detected with sensors.Crops can be irradiated and can be wrapped automatically and delivered autonomously.Couple this with education on how to prevent cross contamination of food during home preparation and food borne illness can be eliminated entirely.Consumers can be immunised against all pathogens with the same done to crops given fully functioning immune systems via CRISPR.
•Invasive species cannot spread into new territories as only seeds are traded globally which can be in containers too small for animals to hide.
•Rare or endangered trees or flowers from tropical rain forests can be grown locally in a sustainable manner.
•Aeroponics and hydroponics can be used for conservation efforts wherein rare or endangered species of plants and flowers can be reared in controlled environments increasing their numbers much quicker than conventional means and then eventually be returned to their native habitats.