Dickson Despommier's vertical farming keynote takes our growing population into account. The land we need to produce the food we eat is equivalent to the size of South America. If the human population continues to grow, which it most likely will, we could have up to three billion more mouths to feed in as little as forty years. Unfortunately, we don't have enough available farming land to sustain this immense population growth.
Despommier suggests that the solution lies in vertical farming, which is already beginning to take place around the world. For example, in Singapore there exists a vertical farm that resembles a greenhouse from the outside and stands at four storeys tall. Inside, the farm utilizes traditional, soil-based farming techniques. A conveyer belt migrates potted plants around the building, ensuring that each plant receives the same amount of sunlight each day. Another example is the 'Plantagon,' a vertical farm that's in its final planning stages, to be built in Sweden.
Vertical farming has experienced remarkable growth and innovation since its inception. Acting as an alternative to traditional agricultural practices, vertical farming has the potential to be a sustainable solution for the population crisis.