Currently, 55% of the world's population lives in cities and, according to the United Nations, that percentage is expected to increase to 68% in 2050. How to feed all these people is one of the great concerns of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO) which, in recent years, has begun to focus attention on a booming activity: urban agriculture.
Many large cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Singapore and Paris, among others, are already betting on urban agriculture. For FAO, the fact that urban gardens have begun to occupy an increasingly important space in cities is good news, as they benefit the environment and drive the circular economy.
But there are even more advantages, they not only increase vegetation cover, but also reduce the “urban heat island effect”, a phenomenon whereby cities are usually several degrees warmer than rural areas due to the heat that is trapped in The surfaces. In addition, they can also help reduce the risk of flooding during the heaviest rains and reduce net CO2 emissions that occur in cities.
But how does technology help all this?
For the most part, farmers' daily decisions are related to irrigation and the proper use of pesticides and fertilizers.
Inadequate fertilization causes negative effects on plants that eventually translate into economic losses and a negative environmental impact by increasing the ecological footprint. It is very important to have information about crops, water, soil and the surrounding environment.
For this, we need, for example, a data model to send and store information in the agro climatological variables cloud using devices with internet connectivity and access to a data cloud.
Or the implementation of an automated irrigation system for a small urban garden in order to obtain a suitable humidity level for the development of plants. The methodology for the design and implementation of the prototype would require a soil moisture sample. The data would be sent over WiFi to a database. This data can be monitored through a web page that works as a control interface using the concept of IoT, the system can issue an alert message to the user about the humidity status in the orchard.
These technologies would facilitate the maintenance of urban gardens, which determines a strategy to provide organic food and create green areas that help in the exchange of oxygen with the environment along with all the advantages that we have discussed previously.