Mark Horler, founder and chairman of the association, UK Urban Agritech (UKUAT), points out, there is now a tremendous surge of interest in many metropolitan areas in vertical farming.
The association Horler has founded welcomes members using a broad range of technologies to produce food. “The way we define the scope of our organization is that members are using technology in any of its forms to grow an edible or otherwise consumable end product in an urban environment,” he says.
This encompasses a huge range of technologies and projects, from small vertical farms and rooftop greenhouses, to alternative protein production and large-scale plant factories using techniques such as hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics.
“We are already seeing our numbers growing very encouragingly. We started as an informal network but since we launched formally we have more than doubled our membership. So the signs are that we will be growing strongly over the next few years as interest in urban farming grows,” he comments.
Horler argues that urban farming really can make a very significant contribution to combatting world hunger. “We are already seeing a big push in many countries towards nutritional security and ensuring supply chain resilience.
“What COVID highlighted was these big ‘just-in-time’ global supply chains that have been so popular can actually have very little resilience to them in the face of adversity.”
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