Soilless: Farming without farmland
Is there an alternative to farmland? Is it possible to produce healthy and sustainable food without using land? The recent development of hydroponic techniques, undersea gardens or simply the reuse of coffee grounds as a substitute for fertile soil seem to indicate that the answer is yes it is possible to farm without farmland.
Green alternatives are emerging amid the progress of precision agriculture, where advanced control systems enable the meticulous management of crops’ phytosanitary conditions. New techniques are improving the qualitative characteristics of production and reducing environmental impact to a minimum and simultaneously mitigating the effects of climate change and the dramatic reduction of agricultural land. In Italy, in fact, 28% of farmland is no longer cultivable (due to the massive use of pesticides, droughts and extreme weather events), a percentage that is increasing each day and causing annual losses of around 7 billion euros.
On behalf of the future generations it is important to take action early, immediately adopting innovative models that can easily be replicated and implemented even on disused land.