How Africa Can Develop Its Own Version of Vertical Farming
Africa is experiencing severe climate change effects, which adversely impact the agricultural industry. Farmers struggle to produce sufficient crop quantities and feed residents. Environmental changes are significantly impacting the continent’s hunger rate.
Farmers can improve crop yields and minimize hunger by adopting vertical farming practices. The agricultural technique stacks crops indoors to monitor climate conditions. Vertical farming may improve Africa’s agricultural sector’s economic and environmental conditions.
The Demand for Vertical Farming
The demand for vertical farming is expanding as climate change effects worsen. Earth’s rising temperature impacts evaporation rates and leaves regions in prolonged drought periods. Farmers can maintain their crop yields by reducing water intensity with vertical agricultural practices.
Vertical farming effectively increases yields while minimizing natural resource exploitation. Researchers predict the global vertical agriculture market’s value will reach $20 billion this decade. The demand for alternative agricultural practices increases as society develops more industrial and urban regions.
Africa is expanding its urban areas like Lagos, Kinshasa and Cairo. The expansions leave less natural space for agricultural production. Farmers can challenge urban development and climate change effects by developing vertical farms.
Vertical Farming Conditions in Africa
Africa experiences harsh climate change effects, which directly limit agricultural production. Nearly 20 million individuals in the Horn of Africa are experiencing food shortages from the current drought period. Heat stress and dry spells are impacting soil erosion.
Droughts create cracks in soil, which limit regions’ abilities to hold moisture. Photosynthesis requires sufficient amounts of water to promote vegetation growth. Soil erosion directly impacts hunger rates in Africa.
Vertical farming can minimize the water intensity of crops, which supports resource conservation. Using fewer resources increases the cost-efficiency of agricultural production. Individuals may also utilize sustainable energy sources and materials to shrink vertical crops’ carbon footprints.
The Vertical Farming Market
The economic and environmental benefits of vertical farming are increasing its global market. Researchers predict the vertical agricultural market will reach $1.86 billion by 2026. Africa can increase its economic success and job market by developing vertical farms.
South Africa has the highest global unemployment rate. Increasing indoor crop production requires more farmers, builders, maintenance professionals and other workers. Africa can curate its vertical farming sector to support unique environmental and economic challenges.
Rainwater Harvesting Systems
Water scarcity is a critical issue throughout Africa. Placing crops in controlled environments can reduce heat stress and irrigation requirements. Farmers may increase the cost-efficiency and sustainability of vertical garden irrigation by installing rainwater harvesting systems.
Rainwater harvesting systems minimize resource exploitation by collecting and repurposing stormwater. The systems gather runoff in collection barrels for future use. Farmers can pump rainwater through filtration systems and increase the purity of irrigation supplies.
Only about 0.5% of Earth’s fresh water is available to humans. Preserving the global supply is essential to agricultural production’s longevity. African farmers can also support climate challenges by maintaining sufficient indoor farming conditions.
Maintaining Indoor Conditions
Farmers may decrease irrigation demands by keeping vertical gardens cool. Installing grow house air conditioning (AC) systems can significantly increase crop yields. Individuals may easily install ductless AC units to maintain adequate indoor conditions.
Agricultural professionals can increase crop yields by maintaining efficient growth environments throughout the year. Individuals may improve the sustainability and affordability of indoor cooling systems by using renewable power supplies.
Farmers may place photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on their vertical farming grow houses to access cost-effective energy. Sub-Saharan Africa has a significantly high poverty rate. Creating low-cost power can increase crop yields and decrease energy costs.
PV solar panels convert sunlight into electricity by knocking internal electrons loose. The electrons generate a flow of power, which transfer wires turn into emission-free electricity. Shrinking the agricultural industry’s carbon footprint may prevent future climate effects in Africa.
The Benefits of Vertical Farming
Vertical farming offers various ecological and economic benefits to the African agricultural industry. Farmers can engage in agricultural biodiversity using vertical farming to create well-balanced diets. Developing different crops also increases the agricultural industry’s financial success.
It also enhances soil fertility and resource conservation. African farmers can access vertical farming benefits by increasing their agricultural education.
Educating African Farmers
Agricultural professionals can team up with government officials to develop thorough education programs. They may teach professionals to conserve natural resources and reduce economic loss by growing food indoors. Government officials may also financially support the transition toward vertical farming.