Generally, with natural food farming, people can grow healthy food without much dependence on toxic chemicals or chemical fertilizers. However, they could use the natural organic and biological farming systems. This aids in the production of healthy, eco-friendly products. In this respect, we need to understand the farming and the development of the organically grown products. The current objective with this essay is to understand the different systems and the expectations from the products That are going to be produced. therefore, we need to understand the urban food system and vertical farming methods.

Picture 1

Food System Elements

Principally, the urban food system requires that there be a complex set of different factors, which are used for linkage and processes related to food production. This may include processing, marketing, waste management, and support services, as well as the consumption and other related input provisions.  Also, the geographical region is of utmost importance, including having one main or various smaller urban regions and the surrounding peri-urban and rural areas. This may be aided by the idea city-region food systems this will involve knowing the policies and regulations, and land use to understand what influences that particular urban center. More important things are that the products from within or outside the region and is the processing a large or small scale in nature. Who are the distributors and how is waste manage taken care off? Are the consumers content, that is are they content, do they have accessibility to the nutritious and safe food? Understanding all this may create an opportunity for one to join the market or find another region.

Urban food system  impact

More importantly, urban food system impact on ecosystems and socio-economic conditions is becoming increasingly important. That is, to ensure that there is a secure access to affordable, nutritious and safe food for all the citizens, which will include having an economically sustainable and vibrant local food economy . Moreover, the urban food system is more resilient and less dependent on the far away from food sources. As a result, the ecological footprint of the urban sectors is minimized. In addition, the advantage of implementing the urban food systems is the utilization of the organic wastes, heat, the carbon IV oxide, and other by-products are used for the production of the local food. This, in turn, creates better living standards in urban areas. Nevertheless, all this is achieved by implementing vertical farming methods within the region.

Comparison of two types urban agricultural systems: open-air agriculture & fully indoor closed plant production

Above and beyond, there are two types of urban agricultural systems involved in the development of sustainable food systems, including open-airagriculture, and fully indoor closed plant production. In an open-air system (as picture 2), there is a variety of fresh vegetable with some other perishable products. Also, it utilizes the unused land through the combination of the waste products, water catchment areas, as well as aids in landscape management. Open air systems in the urban are aids with the eco-services, whereby there is reduction in the urban heat, capturing of the carbon IV oxide and dust, water infiltrations, use of the urban organic wastes, in addition to soil remediation(Sarker, Singh, Dougherty, Fang, Badgery, Hoyle, Dalal & Cowie, 2018:77). Socially, they promote community building, improving the access of the urban poor to food and income through employment. These aremainly achieved through the family farms, SME’s, and social enterprises.

 

                       picture 2

                 open-air system

picture 3

closed indoor farming

 

On the other hand, there is the closed indoor farming (as picture 3) that involves the completely enclosed environment, whereby there are advanced technologies; led lights, climate control, circular resource flow systems, and the automation engineering systems. This leads to mass production of a few products that are uniform and of standard quality. More so, the use oflower resources per anyunit of output, including land, water, pesticides, and fertilizers. However, they utilize a lot of energy to sustain them and at the same time,they emit high dosages of carbon IV oxide. Another disadvantage is that they require high costs to start and are mainly used by large enterprises in the aim of increasing food dominance in the urban areas. In essence, this system guarantees that there is an exclusion of the small farmers, SME’s and poor urban consumers since most of the owners are corporate organization. Consequently, these two systems (open air and closed environment systems) creates a largely separated sphere among them, which portrays negative images. Both approaches are neededto build sustainability and resilient in the production of urban food systems. That is, for instance, in urban food systems land sparing innovation complements the land sharing innovations. Then, more interaction is required from both spheres, whereby the city should be involved in the designing of the comprehensive agro-food policies within the city regions by including multi-stakeholder involvement from both sides.

Challenges

As much as there are several advantages in employing these systems there are numerous challenges associated with these systems. Firstly, there is the further reduction of energy, which is meant to reduce production costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Currently,most systems are using sunlightuntil further innovations are made to aid in the storage of power underground for later use, an adaptationof climate management to the plant processes, and the use of outdoor air for the reduction of humidity and cooling purposes as opposed to air conditioners. Secondly, there is the integration of the urban wastes in the production processes. This involves the realization of the synergies by interconnecting plant production with other types of urban farming like fish, poultry, mushroom and algae. There is the problem of recovering the nutrients from organic wastes to replace the chemical fertilizers. Also, capturing the excess heat from industries, carbon IV oxide, andcooling water has become a problem due to the geographical areas of the companies and the farm. Thirdly, is to prevent the social exclusion from both sides, whereby the government is yet to come up with ways that may be used to cater and support the small and medium scale farmers in vertical farming, by facilitating cooperation from both parties through contract farming, joint marketing, and technical support. Lastly, is the adaptation of the urban land use and regulations, whereby the companies that have mutual social interests and responsibilities should work with the vertical farmers, as well as clear the norms of targeting of GHG emissions (greenhouse gas), the use of renewable energy sources .

 

 picture 4

In conclusion, by following the given criteria may promote, vertical farming and the development of a sustainable urban food system. As a result, this will result in the production of healthy food in the market and create a clean environment in urban areas. Besides, the disadvantages involved with vertical farming should be eradicated as much as possible and to create a better symbiotic relationship between farmers and corporations.