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An increasingly viable solution for climate change is Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), implemented across the U.S., in states likes Pennsylvania
The water, energy, and food security nexus is a real and present problem.
Here are some highlights from the website of The Agrarian Group:
As a species, we face the most complex and deadly problems we have ever encountered. Erratic weather events caused by climate change destroy crop yields each year. Pesticides have ruined our soil and water scarcity has become a national security issue. 70% of food cost is linked to fossil fuels, and prices are only expected to rise. The average food item travels 1500 miles to reach it's destination. However, despite everything we do, 40% of all food in the United States is thrown away post-harvest.
The Agrarian Group was started as an answer to a question - How will we feed the projected 9.1 Billion people that will reside on earth in 2050? To achieve this, we need to increase our already stressed agricultural production by 70%. How do we grow better?
Agtech solutions can help solve the challenges we face.
Here is an example of Agtech Solutions in Pennsylvania:
When I wrote my big TC1 on Bowery Farming late last year, there was a lot of talk of the company’s third commercial farming site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Today the facility finally comes online after a big press unveiling. The New Jersey–based vertical farming startup says the facility, built on a former brownfield lot, is its most technologically advanced to date.
The commercial farm is Bowery’s third, including the initial location in Kearny, New Jersey, that I visited, as well as one in Nottingham, Maryland. Baby steps, but the company says it plans to double those three by next year. The company won’t offer official word on the farm, though real estate reports from the last few years put it at around 156,000 square feet. It’s a large site from the sound of it, though others have outlined details for even larger facilities.
There are some ongoing questions around the environmental impact of vertical farming, of course. There’s plenty of upside, including a far smaller footprint and decreased water use, though the efficacy of relying on LEDs instead of natural lighting is often cited by detractors. Bowery says its new farm will be powered by 100% renewable energy coupled with water capture and filtration designed to cycle runoff back into the system.
“If we’ve learned anything from the past two years it is that we are in a period of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty across our climate and geopolitical circumstances, which unfortunately is going to persist. We are also seeing firsthand that our global food system is inextricably tied to these dynamics,” founder and CEO Irving Fain said in a release. “At Bowery, wherever food is needed, we can grow it. We are addressing the challenges in our system by growing food smarter for more people in more places — and that work, securing food for our future, continues today with the opening of our Bethlehem Farm.”