Science: High Tech and Urban Farming

The Story:

Urban agriculture, the large scale creation of food without the ‘wide open spaces’ generally associated with farming, is no longer a matter for futuristic speculation. It is a fact. Roughly 20% of the world’s food is now produced in cities, according to TechWire Asia. By or within 2023, the global monetary value of urban farming is expected to exceed $236 billion.


The city-state of Singapore has put especial effort into turning itself into a center of the technologies that support urban farms. This is what the Singaporean government calls “30 by 30,” a drive to produce 30% of its nutritional needs domestically by 2030.

The agtech behind urban farming is also a natural development of the long-standing growth of the “internet of things.” All through and around the cramped spaces devoted to farming in cities, various smart “things” pick up on and transmit data on temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels.

Strange New Worlds:

Urban or “vertical” farming can minimize the farm-to-fork distances and so can produce less expensive meals for the population in no close vicinity to the traditional sort of farm East Asian urban centers, and some operations in the US, lead the world in the relevant techs. There is interest in Europe as well, but thus far that continent lags behind.

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