Future of Food
We are currently facing a significant challenge. With the increase in population comes a shift in consumer behavior. How can you ensure food production in the face of the climate crisis? The true secret is long-term production.
It should be done with fewer inputs such as fertilizer, insecticides, and water. It has to be long-term. Otherwise, aren’t we going to destroy our planet? One of the most important concerns facing the planet is food security. However, the narrative of how this little country became an unexpected food superpower may provide some clues as to how we should go.
Consider this: if everyone on the planet ate the average American diet, all habitable land would have to be used for agriculture, and we’d still be 38 percent short. That’s it for now. What will we do when there are an additional two billion people? Well, the key is efficiency, which is more thrilling than it seems. In other words, how can we produce a lot more on the area we already have while using a lot less natural resources?
One country appears to have cracked the code when it comes to sustainable agriculture. The Netherlands has risen to become the world’s second largest food exporter, thanks to a national resolve to produce twice as much food with half the resources. The government, science groups, and industry all worked together extremely closely. And it all started with a shared interest. So they say, “OK, we want to go towards sustainable production,” but everyone is on the same page.
Everyone in the system was on the same page and encouraged innovation in order to achieve that common goal, which has resulted in unprecedented efficiency. If there’s one place where their approach shines most, it’s in their outstanding greenhouse operations. There’s a great example regarding tomatoes that gives us an excellent idea of how we want to produce our food in a sustainable manner. So, if you grow tomatoes in an open field in Spain, you will end up with four kilograms per square meter at the conclusion of the growing season.
If you perform this right now in a high-tech greenhouse in the Netherlands, you’ll get 80 kg per square meter, or 20 times more.
But the best part of the tale is that we can grow 80 kg of tomatoes using four times less water than we could in an open field. One of the major issues we confront is water. I’ve just finished a cup of coffee. Do you have any idea how much water was used to make that cup of coffee? An educated guess.
So, sophisticated technology allows for the sustainable production of a large amount of food per square meter. The Dutch produce the most tomatoes in the world while utilizing a fraction of the water used by other countries. It’s not only tomatoes, though.
They are the global top in the production of chilies, green peppers, and cucumbers, as measured by yield per square mile.
Potatoes, onions, and carrots are ranked fifth. The list continues. But the bottom line is that they’ve gotten so much done with so little. That’s fantastic if we can create 80 times more with four times less water.
That’s fantastic news. Most people are aware that greenhouses allow growers to fine-tune every detail, but the Netherlands is taking it a step further. They’ve refined the greenhouse as the best environment for testing and implementing various growth strategies. From simple things like determining which LED light colors increase pest resistance and improve nutritional value to bizarre stuff like moth-killing drones. So we don’t have any products that can genuinely manage the moths right now.
Finally, they will produce caterpillars, which have the potential to cause significant damage to a variety of crops. The moth can be detected by a drone.
Also, because of the way it’s flying and with its wings, propellers will just smash the moth. There is an unrelenting effort to develop better and more efficient growing procedures.
They’ve even started removing the human element entirely. Some of the most cutting-edge technology uses artificial intelligence to understand plant behavior and alter conditions without the need for human intervention. In this compartment, for example, we’re testing a climate computer. So we have various sensors, and we use them to measure plant activity. The computer is actually controlling the entire climate by itself, based on plant activity.
Finally, the answer to resolving our global food crisis isn’t simply depending on super-efficient food producers to shoulder the burden for everyone else; it’s about learning from and implementing that technology. That endeavor is on display at the World Horti Center in an ongoing experiment.
They’ve effectively constructed a greenhouse within a greenhouse. They can duplicate any environment on the planet within the largest structure to work out what changes need to be made to achieve the same yields as the Netherlands in any other country on the planet. Columbia and we are working together on a project.
And we can, in fact, replicate, or emulate, the environment, or current climate conditions in Columbia, and plant their crop there to observe how it responds to the conditions there. We can completely change the seasons. We can turn Christmas into a sunny day. On a sunny day, we can close the curtains and make the room absolutely dark. I believe that the Netherlands’ long-term destiny should not be as a producer for the rest of the globe.
We should develop for the rest of the globe. We are the country that will export our expertise in building manufacturing facilities around the world.
Bringing all of these networks together is where innovation begins. You need to connect with other individuals in the world we live in these days. You won’t be able to do it on your own.
We must increase our output. We must do so with fewer resources. And we must improve our performance.