Way out of the box
Clever tech solutions for easing hunger
Even in today’s tech-savvy world, some of the latest technical innovations for hunger reduction can prompt a double-take.
Take these, for example:
We’ve talked about growing farms upward with skyscraper farming, but how about growing out into the sea? Graduate students at Singularity University in Silicon Valley, USA, envision floating farms as a way to feed people in ever-expanding urban areas. These offshore farms can feed cities by producing 100 percent organic produce in a system that uses nutrients from fish to feed plants, and allows the plants to act as a bio-filter for water. Check out the Science Barge, a similar concept that supports sustainable food production in New York City.
“FlashFood” is a smartphone app and website designed to reduce food waste. One-third of food globally is wasted, most of it in developed countries. FlashFood aims to lower that figure by connecting caterers, restaurants and grocers to food collection agencies. When a vendor has leftover food, the app sends out an alert. Agencies then contact people in need of food to let them know when and where this food will be available.
An intelligent illumination system controls artificial light in a way that replicates natural crop cycles. This technology can reduce energy consumption in greenhouses by 20 percent and increase crop yields by 25 percent. Better for the environment, and boosts food supplies, too.
Digital Green in India uses video tutorials to teach farmers how to increase productivity. These low-cost, ten-minute videos are made by farmers for farmers and are available online for free. The tutorials are also available on DVD for villages without Internet access. Digital Green provides the TV and DVD player. Digital Green has produced 2,200 videos and has reached over 100,000 farmers across India. Check out some of their sample videos on YouTube.