Saturday, January 16, 2021


keen to venture in livestock business. The dearth of livestock farming and cheap meat imports in the past six years have affected Malaysia’s self-sufficiency in livestock (SSL), as said by the Veterinary Services Department Director-General (DVS) Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin recently in a newspaper. Quaza said buffalo meat from India was much cheaper than locally-slaughtered beef, while mutton from Australia was cheaper to buy than the cost of breeding the goats and sheep in Malaysia. As a signatory member to the World Trade Organisation, Malaysia cannot restrict or stop the importation of these meats as long as they fulfil the requirements and pass inspection. Australian goats are usually feral while the sheep are reared for its wool. Exporters need only to send them here for slaughtering. The cost of production is practically zero. He said the government was at a crossroads where SSL was concerned. On the one hand, it wanted to make available affordably-priced meats to consumers, and on the other hand, it wanted farmers to earn a reasonable income. The price consumers want to pay is lower than the acceptable margin. That’s why many people are not keen to venture into the livestock business. This blog "Anim Agriculture Technology'' discussed about he claim by DVS DG about not many Malaysian keen to venture in livestoch business in Malaysia.

Beef is a price-controlled item ian Malaysia and was tagged at between RM30 and RM35 per kilogram but he said the ideal price should be within the RM35 to RM38 range for farmers to make a decent profit. Livestock farming, especially cattle in Malaysia is cost-intensive as these ruminants need to be fed and cared for up to two or three years (2 - 3 years) until they reached the ideal weight to be slaughtered. It is a different story altogether where goats are concerned as they can be sold for slaughter as early as 8 months old. Chicken and duck eggs are the only commodities that saw an increase in production. He said the government was promoting a two-pronged approach to the cattle industry where bulls (male cows) are taken for meat production while heifers (female cows) were used for the dairy industry to produce milk. Fresh milk production was set at 36 million litres yearly, with the aim of adding another 20 million litres in the next five years. The increase in cow milk production would enable the country to be self-sufficient. He said goat’s milk was an attractive segment as there was a niche market for it as it had medicinal value. Citing an example, he said, a company in Kluang, Johor, was exporting goat’s milk to Singapore at RM5 for a 200ml bottle. He said the government would need to continue assisting and supporting entrepreneurs in the sector. Malaysia need to assist local players, providing them with assistance in funding by offering loans at a lower interest rate and also in terms of technology where we can encourage them to plant their own grass as an alternative source for feeds, reduce concentrates and many more. It may take a few years to generate returns. Patience is the key. It is vital to sustain their interest and efforts. This is an ongoing effort with challenges, but it will be worth it. With the population is at 32 million and this will reach 50 million by 2040 and the demand for food will rise in future in Malaysia. Thanks...

M Anim,
Chuping, Perlis,
(January 2021).

Monday, January 11, 2021


have developed a method to transform the fibre found in normally discarded pineapple leaves to make a strong material that can be used to build the frames for unmanned aircraft, or drones. t
he project, headed by Professor Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan at Malaysia's Putra University, has been trying to find sustainable uses for pineapple waste generated by farmers in Hulu Langat, an area about 65km from Kuala Lumpur. We are transforming the leaf of the pineapple into a fibre that can be used for aerospace application, basically inventing a drone as he told Reuters at a workshop. Prof Mohamed Thariq said drones made out of the bio-composite material had a higher strength-to-weight ratio than those made from synthetic fibres, and were also cheaper, lighter and easier to dispose of. If the drone was damaged, the frame could be buried in the ground and would degrade within two weeks, he said. The prototype drones have been able to fly to a height of about 1,000m and stay in the air for about 20 minutes, he added.

Ultimately, the research team hopes to create a larger drone to accommodate bigger payloads, including imagery sensors, for agricultural purposes and aerial inspections. Our role here is to help the industry, the farmers, to increase their yield and make their jobs much easier," said Mr William Robert Alvisse of the Malaysian Unmanned Drones Activist Society, a non-governmental group helping to design the drone, as well as advise on the project. Before the project launched in 2017, pineapple stems were discarded after the once-in-a-year harvest period, but farmers hope the drones project will encourage more innovation to find uses for the waste and boost incomes. "With the health issue, the economy problem due to Covid-19, the society is desperate and there is no alternative to increase income," said pineapple farmer Irwan Ismail. Thanks. 

M Anem, 

Putrajaya, Malaysia. 

(Januaty 2021).

Thursday, January 7, 2021


STATUS OF BEEF INDUSTRY OF MALAYSIA  has been discussed for long. Agriculture has been identified in this world as an important component in achieving the Millennium Development Goals of the World Bank by 2015 (United Nations, 2009). The high dependence of the majority of the rural citizens for their livelihoods on agriculture is very clearly observed in many countries, including Malaysia. Many of the agriculture-for development agendas are being planned and implemented which have the goals of making a difference in the economy and well being of the people living in the rural areas (The World Bank, 2008). The various economic development corridors planned for the northern and east coast regions of Peninsular Malaysia and the Sarawak and Sabah economic growth areas are examples of such a development approach. Malaysia has attained self-sufficiency levels (SSL) in poultry meat, eggs and pork since the middle of the 1990s. The achievement of both poultry and pig industries in meeting more than the domestic demand for poultry and pig products is driven principally by the efficient assembly of the two major inputs of grow-out animals and feed, both of which are available locally and competitively priced. Unfortunately the ruminant industries lack these important inputs of breeding stock and feed in sufficient quantity and at reasonable cost for an efficient production of beef, mutton and milk. Blog "Anim Agriculture Technology'' discussed about the status of beef industry of Malaysia based on a study by authority.

Beef production is one of Malaysia’s important agricultural industries. This is evident from the increasing trend in the total economic value of the beef industry as reflected partially in the beef consumption value. Beef consumption has been on an increasing trend especially in the post independence era when the nation experiences steady economic prosperity through the expansion of the manufacturing and oil palm plantation sectors. Greater proportion of the beef consuming communities today are including beef in their domestic budget compared to the pre independence period. Although beef demand is not directly responsive to increase in consumer income, the response for beef for some income groups is likely to be significant and positive (Hudson and Vertin, 1985). From a meta analysis it was shown than increasing family income would shift a greater budget share towards beef (Gallet, 2010). The beef consumption in this country is made up of meat from cattle and buffalo. However domestic production of beef from cattle and buffalo has not kept pace with the ever increasing demand for fresh beef and processed beef products. Many strategies have been proposed to boost beef production but thus far these developmental initiatives have yielded small contribution to the domestic beef supply. There has been an increase in the gross economic value of the beef industry from RM697 million in 2008 to RM2.51 billion in 2013 comprising of the value of domestic output and imported animals and meat. There is a tremendous scope of further expanding the beef cattle industry in view of the low self-sufficiency level of beef which has hovered from 24% in 1990 to 25.67% in 2013. At current demand for beef, one percent increase in self-sufficiency level would require an additional slaughtering of about 14,000 head of cattle per year. By 2020 the government has targeted to raise the self sufficiency level of beef to 32.7% in which translates in the slaughter of more than 450,000 head of cattle each year. This review attempts to examine the shortcomings faced by the beef industry in Malaysia and identify potential areas where the commodity is most likely to improve.

Over 2013 - 2022 the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have projected growth prospects for OECD area to be relatively slow at 1.9% per annum. For the other non-OECD countries the economic prospects in the medium term are expected to improve to average above 2.2 % p.a. Malaysia is forecast to grow above 5% p.a. in term of Gross Domestic Product (EPU, 2013), lower than those of potential main drivers of future world economy: China (7.6%) and India (6.7%). The world population is expected to grow at a slower rate of just 1% in the next decade and this is envisaged to happen in all regions. Developing countries however are expected to continue the fastest population growth with Asia as a whole growing at over 2% p.a. Malaysia continues to see its population growing from 28 million in 2014 to above 40 million in 2020. Such population prospects and dynamics besides being major determinants to future national economic environment also affect both the supply and demand of agricultural commodities. While many developed economies continue to experience weak demand for agricultural commodities and high unemployment, inflation is expected to remain low at an average 2.1% p.a. However inflation is expected to be of major concern in many emerging economies, especially in high growth countries with inflation rate between 5-6% are expected for China, India and Brazil. Competitiveness of export commodities and affordability of importing countries for agricultural produce are strongly influenced by exchange rate. 

Certain dynamic economies will drive down the value of their currencies, making some to be more competitive in global trade. Domestic consumption of beef Beef is an important source of animal protein in Malaysia and consumed by more than 60% of the population. It has enjoyed a steady demand over the years with total consumption climbing by 45% from 138,980 tonnes in 2005 to 201,556 tonnes in 2013 whereas mutton and chicken surged higher to 69% and 77%, respectively, over the same period. Per capita consumption of beef also saw a rise from 5.32 kg in 2005 to 6.74 kg in 2013  an increase of 2.97% p. a. over the 9-year period (Table 1). In comparison per capita consumption of chicken meat rouse higher at 6.06% p.a. over the same period with per capita consumption of chicken meat of 46.49 kg per capita in 2013 which was about 6.9 times more than beef. However there are many importers of frozen beef who are filling in the more than 70% shortfall in the domestic supply by bringing in beef of differing price and quality from India, Australia and New Zealand. In 2013 86% of the beef imported into Malaysia was sourced from India as buffalo meat owing to the relatively cheaper price and availability of buffalo meat compared to chilled and frozen beef from Australia and New Zealand. Fifteen percent of the domestic beef consumption was supplied from live cattle purchased from Australia and Thailand. Food manufacturers, either involved in the restaurant business or food processing, would often purchase beef based on customer requirement and price. Similarly homemakers who form the majority of the retail consumer block decide to purchase beef based largely on price and quality.

Within the livestock sector in Malaysia the beef sub-sector lags in percentage contribution to domestic supply of red meat. Many attempts in beef production in the past, from extensive ranching to intensive feedlotting, have yielded variable results in sustaining the beef industry. The targeted self sufficiency level of beef of 33% by 2020 entails the annual slaughter of 0.7 million cattle. Existing beef smallholdings are characterized by their small herd size (less than 10 head), low production inputs, lacking in husbandry innovations and poor marketing network, and adoption of KK cattle as the breed of choice. With 5.2 million hectares of oil palm of various ages Malaysia has the input endowment to maintain a sizeable population of a million breeding cows created from the existing cattle population of 0.75 million head as well as through importation of selected breeding stock assembled in an integrated beef and palm oil production system. Besides the once valuable buffalo is an important genetic resource often neglected and can be harnessed to compliment the domestic beef supply. Smallholder dairy enterprises could be promoted to generate dual produce strategy of milk and feeder cattle for fattening. Oil palm byproducts such as palm kernel cake and oil palm fronds have the potential to fully feed cattle and buffalo in semi-intensive cow-calf production and intensive feed lotting of feeder cattle and buffalo. Strengthening the value chain from breeding stock use to marketing of animals and retail products is a much needed approach to promote and expand the beef industry in this country. Thanks...


M Anim,
Kangar, Perlis,
January 2021.

Sunday, January 3, 2021


  are the smart way of future farming in Malaysia. The growth of agricultural activities in Malaysia has always been supported by the country’s present environment and favourable climate. Major agro-products that drive the economy are palm oil, rubber and cocoa. Besides these commodities, there are others like padi, tropical fruits and vegetables. Nowadays the demand for agro-products increases with global population growth in which is projected to reach 9.8 billion people by 2050. And for this reason the technological advancements in agriculture are necessary to increase productivity, quality and food security. Most importantly the sustainable practices must be adopted so that the environment continues to be preserved while fulfilling human needs. The progress of modern agro-based industry in Malaysia is related to the implementation of the National Agricultural Policy (1998-2010). The policy was formulated shortly after the 1997 financial crisis. Since its implementation in 2006, it has been strengthened by the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), which positively led to the increased value of most of agricultural commodities in 2008. Hence, the agricultural sector is once again becoming one of the options to confront world economic crises. Blog "Anim Agriculture Technology'' describe about the ecological concept farming as a smart way in future farming activities.

Flashback d
uring Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s premiership in which he advocated the inter-compatibility concept between Islam, the economy and technological development. He led the revival of the country’s agricultural sector, especially during the economic crisis in 2007 and 2008. This measure was intended to propel the country’s economy as he noticed that Malaysia had been ingrained with agricultural practices. He also expressed concern for development of agriculture in rural areas, which are predominantly populated by Muslims, so that they would not be left behind. Later the next Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has reshaped Malaysia’s economic focus in through its National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) by constructing new strategies through the Program of Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), and incorporating them into the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP). In effect, 11MP’s agricultural activities will be focusing on modern farming techniques, building agropreneurs and creating market access. This latest strategy promises to deliver the following output and improving productivity and income of farmers and fishermen, building capacity of agricultural cooperatives and associations along the supply chain, promoting training and youth agropreneur development, strengthening institutional support and extension services, improving market access and logistics support, and scaling up access to agricultural financing. In addition, there is financial support from Agrobank, a government-owned full-fledge Islamic bank under the Finance Ministry that offers syariah-compliant financing for agricultural projects and relevant sectors.

The recent progress in Malaysia’s agricultural agenda is the increasing use of emerging innovative technology, namely the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data also for to initiate smart agricultural practice. 
This measure aligns with the current global trend of automation technology in the latest industrial revolution, the so-called “Industry 4.0”. As one of the country’s focus, smart agriculture practice could be the springboard to increase the quantity, quality, sustainability and cost-effective production. By leveraging the IoT, farmers can remotely manage and control their irrigation equipment. It can also help to monitor soil moisture, crop growth and the level of livestock feed without the need of their presence. This technology revolutionises farming activities and it may be the key to developing sustainable agriculture. Smart agriculture is expected to address a number of issues that modern agricultural industries are facing today, including biodiversity degradation and environmental pollution. From the writer’s point of view, we should now look for more ecological farming practices with the assistance of smart agriculture technology that encourages sustainability. Ecological farming introduces symbiotic farming species. It regenerates the following “ecosystem services” as the prevention of soil erosion, water infiltration and retention, carbon sequestration in the form of humus, and increases biodiversity rate. It enables the production of healthy food without compromising the environment, public health, communities and animal welfare.  In this regard, we should learn from the wisdom of Prophet Yusuf’s (pbuh) agricultural management system. He established an office for agricultural products that stocked food supplies in abundance and distributed them to the public during food scarcity.

The strategy, as Professor Abdul Hamid Mar Iman called “The Seven-Year-Cultivation Rule of Thumb”, described the agricultural cycle programme of crop rotation, food rationing and stockpiling surplus production, which are believed to be the early contributing sources of ecological farming. 
The above story highlighted that ecological farming entails a systemic approach that recognises the environmental natural disposition (fitrah) of life sustenance. It signifies the system’s view of life and nature, and should be seen as a syariah-compliant technique. Therefore, the writer recommends that technological advancement has to be synergised with an ecological farming system, in order to establish a “smart and sustainable agriculture” that would eventually serve the wellbeing of both humankind and the environment. Dr. Shahino Mah Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia, with interest in Science and Islamic Ethics. The fuuture of agriculture in Malaysia are significant move for better technology able to produce quality food. Thanks...

M Anim,
(January 2021).

Friday, January 1, 2021


THE MALAYSIAN AGRICULTURE SUCCESS  much to be desired and according to a new World Bank report titled the 'Agricultural Transformation and Inclusive Growth' as the Malaysian Experience are deems the story of Malaysian agriculture a success in which it implying little room for lot of improvement. However in this narrative is not likely to be taken too seriously by better-informed observers who view various aspects of Malaysian agriculture as leaving much to be desired. Lack of attention to the sector for decades is hardly seen as benign neglect. The sector’s contribution to national output has been growing rather modestly for many years, especially in the 1990s, reflecting slow productivity growth.  For farmers especially those growing rice that are still among the poorest Malaysians and while regional inequalities as well as the urban-rural gap remain troubling. With the current government’s professed interest in turning agriculture around, a more balanced, even critical, report could have provided useful guidance for reform. The report highlights agriculture’s role as a major source of Malaysia’s foreign exchange earnings, long promoted all over the world by the World Bank through its policy advice and conditionalities. In recent decades, agricultural export earnings have largely been from oil palm, accounting for three quarters of cultivated land, making crop diversification to mitigate the risks of monoculture a major challenge. Blog 'Anim Agriculture Technology' rewrite the article from as part of the references.

The Malaysian government’s institutional set-up for agriculture and food development falls under two ministries, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI - renamed in 2020 from Agro-based Industry) and the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) in which are responsible for agriculture. Both has not helped close the gap between tree cash crops and food crops or between large plantations and smallholdings.  Such arrangements have also not been effectively supportive of efforts to improve farmer incomes and for example, farmers need to deal with multiple agencies under different ministries to integrate farming such as by breeding livestock on tree crop farm land. Beyond administrative hassle and such ministerial arrangements imply different and potentially conflicting policies, priorities and objectives. Additionally the Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (which oversees land settlement, rehabilitation and smallholders under Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), Felcra Bhd and Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority) have their own priorities and agendas, while most states, especially Sabah and Sarawak, have their own agricultural ministers or executive committee members.  With growing concerns over sustainability, food security, nutrition, rural development and native customary rights, the agricultural sector would benefit from more comprehensive and coherent policies, implementation and enforcement.

In the issue of agricultural labour, although progressive agricultural transformation implies adoption of labour-saving technologies, the report avoids discussing the all-too-obvious elephants in the room in which agricultural wage labour and the impact of heavy reliance on undocumented foreign workers. The former human resources minister estimated the number of undocumented foreign labour in Malaysia at around 4.5 million, about double the number of documented workers. Although agriculture’s share of employment has been declining over the years, the sector is said to have employed the biggest share (27% in 2017) of documented foreign labour in Malaysia. Meanwhile, many more undocumented foreign workers are employed in agriculture.  The easy availability of cheap foreign workers who are willing to take 3D (demeaning, dirty and dangerous) jobs not only depresses agricultural wages, it also disincentivises investment in agricultural mechanisation, discourages youthful participation in agriculture and depresses working conditions for the entire labour force in Malaysia.  Nevertheless, ostensibly as a short-term measure to tackle the shortage of agricultural workers, in 2019, the government reduced the extension levy for foreign workers, which is likely to further slow labour productivity growth in the long run.

In the case of agricultural subsidies and their implementation need more careful review and critical examination to support progressive agricultural transformation. Instead, they have often been abused for clientelist political advantage and have inadvertently blocked agrarian progress. While the specific objectives of various agricultural subsidies vary, they should enable farmers to become more productive, earn much more and become progressively less reliant on government subsidies. The very considerable subsidies received by paddy farmers now is due to colonial era policies. On the one hand, the British sought rice self-sufficiency to maximise net foreign exchange earnings from Malaya. On the other hand, to create a yeoman peasantry, Malay reservation land often had cultivation conditions attached, typically to grow only rice. While almost half of the MOA’s total budget over the years an approximately RM1.8 billion in 2019  has gone to various rice subsidies, the industry has not seen major improvements. The subsidies received have disincentivised crop diversification while doing little to raise productivity. It has even encouraged farmers to misrepresent themselves to continue receiving subsidies. A recent Auditor-General’s report reveals that thousands of deceased paddy farmers, including many who had died more than a decade ago, received subsidies of RM57.92 million between 2016 and 2018. The report also pointed to problems of subsidy targeting, provision of poor-quality paddy seedlings and delays in fertiliser distribution.

Malaysia’s food security policy ought to be more broadly reconsidered  to go beyond rice self-sufficiency  to better address the nation’s very avoidable malnutrition problems, including micronutrient deficiencies and diet-related non-communicable diseases. For example, under-nutrition remains high in Malaysia, with stunting among children below five years rising from 17.2% in 2006 to 20.7% in 2016. A comprehensive national nutrition strategy is required while programme initiatives such as universal school feeding should not only address food security and nutrition but also improve children’s socialisation and physical and mental development. Similarly, food procurement policies can promote healthy food agriculture and raise farmers’ incomes.  While the World Bank report lauds the public sector’s involvement in agriculture, little is said about needed reforms, the need for greater or more transparency and accountability. Scandals involving FELDA, National Farmers Association and NFC (National Feedlot Corporation) to name a few, have not only cost billions of public funds but also undermined public confidence in government, politics and public policy. The writer Ashraf Shaharudin is a research associate at Khazanah Research Institute. As a comment from Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram known as  a former economics professor and United Nations assistant secretary-general for economic development, is the recipient of the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought and a member of the Economic Action Council. Thanks....
M Anim, 
(August 2020).

Thursday, December 31, 2020


This is my last article for 2020!. In Malaysia nowadays the development economists in general and the agricultural economists in more particular, have long focused on how agriculture can best contribute to overall economic growth and modernization, premised on their in-grained believe that robust agricultural growth and productivity increases are crucial to sustained economic development, at least up till the mid 1980s. Since then, and despite this widely acknowledged role of agriculture in economic development, many policy makers, policy analysts and academics in developing countries, international agencies and donor communities appear to have lost interest in the sector, often relegating its role ‘from engine of growth to sunset status’ or arguing for its continuing relevance and importance because of its ‘multifunctionality role’ (Abd Rahman, 1992). However, after almost two decades of relative neglect, interest in agriculture is returning in a big and passionate way, as manifested in Malaysia where it is heralded as the next (third) engine of growth and promoted as ‘New Agriculture’ in Malaysia’s latest 5-year development plan as the Ninth Malaysia Plan, 10th Malaysian Plan, 11the Malaysian Plan and the new 12th Malaysian Plan. Blog 'Anim Agriculture Technology' write about the agriculture as an engine of economic growth in Malaysia.

The purpose of this paper is two-fold. Firstly, I elect to explore the reasons why agriculture is firmly back on the policy agenda of Malaysia and other countries. In so doing, a major motivating factor for writing this paper and orientating it in this elected manner is my observation that despite the timeliness and relevance of this (re)emphasis on agriculture, given Malaysia’s current stage of development and relative endowments, on the one hand, and the challenges and opportunities accompanying globalisation and rapid technological change (in biotechnology, information and communication technology (ICT) and nanotechnology and their impending convergence) on the other, there still appears to be a lack of understanding or appreciation of the underlying rationale and implications of this (re)emphasis. 

Secondly, I note that amongst the major factors leading to this revival of interest in agriculture is the increasing relevance and impact of agriculture and food (agri-food) Supply Chain Management (SCM) and the inexorable rise of supermarkets at the global, regional and Malaysia levels. These, coupled with the advancements and applications of biotechnology, on the one hand, and that of ICT, on the other, and their impending convergence (bioinformatics and beyond) are expected to lead to a ‘big bang’ or major structural shift making it a worthy and exciting area of study. Events leading up to the ‘big bang’ and their ramifications will prove to be a boon to those who have anticipated or are prepared for it and a bane to those who are ill prepared along the entire agri-food supply chain. These are very strong and distinct trends that we ignore at our own peril. Thanks.
M Anim,
31 December 2020.

Monday, December 28, 2020


is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers. It often incorporates controlled-environment agriculture, which aims to optimize plant growth, and soilless farming techniques such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics. In vertical farming, crops are grown indoors, under artificial conditions of light and temperature. Crops are grown indoors, under artificial conditions of light and temperature. It aims at higher productivity in smaller spaces. It uses soil-less methods such as hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics. Increased and year-round crop production so that the Vertical farming allows us to produce more crops from the same square footage of growing area. With the less use of water in cultivation the vertical farming allows us to produce crops with 70% to 95% less water than required for normal cultivation. Nowadays with over 7,800 high-rise buildings, the big city such as Hong Kong soars above all others. More than 300 of its buildings surpass 490 feet ad with more people living over 15 floors above ground level than anywhere else in the world. Having a skyline in the clouds helps the densely populated metropolis to prosper where space is restricted. Agriculture has taken note of this construction technique, as vertical farming creates impressive yields. This blog "Anim Agriculture Technology" write about the important of vertical farming in the future.

In the future vertical farming is the process of food being produced in vertically stacked layers instead of on a single level such as in a field or greenhouse. However the layers are commonly integrated into urban structures like skyscrapers, shipping containers and repurposed warehouses. Using the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) technology currently the artificial control of temperature, light, humidity and gases makes it possible to produce a vast array of crops on an industrial scale without any outdoor exposure. By the concern of 'the Sky’s the Limit' by the year of 2050 estimated about around 80 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. With agricultural space in these areas scarce or completely non-existent, how do we deliver produce for them.  It is estimated that one acre of vertical farming offers the equivalent production of at least four to six acres using the conventional outdoor methods as practiced today. As the plant’s growth is not dependent on sunlight or affected by meteorological conditions actually the production can continue at the same rate all year round. In terms of resources with the technology the plants require as much as 70 per cent less water than traditional farms. Organic crops are a huge market with demand often outstripping supply. As vertically farmed crops are produced in a well-controlled area, there is far less need for chemical pesticides and better management. It is also believed that vertical farming could bring fresh produce closer to urban populations, reducing the risk of nutrients diminishing during transport.

With farming with hydroponics is a predominant growing method in vertical farming in future. The process involves such as the growing plants in nutrient solutions that are essentially free of soil, as roots are submerged into the solution and the plants are regularly monitored to maintain the correct levels of chemical composition. If we’re ever to fulfill futuristic plans of colonizing outer space and human are going to need to grow our own food. In future where on earth has the conditions to test out this method applicable. It may not share the same qualities as the Red Planet, but the Antarctica’s nonstop winters make it impossible to grow produce outdoors, and fruits and vegetables are shipped long distances from overseas just a few times a year. Towards a closer to the extraterrestrial farming, a semi-automated hydroponic facility grows plants without soil and using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.  To grow produce in a 20-foot-long shipping container the cultivating greens in an area where such produce is usually limited. This is just one example of how the vertical farming techniques can be used in areas affected by harsh weather conditions. Ability to hit high levels of food production, growth conditions in vertical farms must be continuously optimized. Sensors and data must be used to effectively track variables such as climate change, nutrient composition and light levels. Climate is characterized by a combination of air temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide (CO
2) levels. The effects of these factors are tremendous in which the difference between plant and air temperature can tell us whether the leaves’ stomata are open. If the stomata are closed than the plant cannot absorb CO2 and convert it into biomass. The ability to measure the light level and the spectrum as perceived by the plants and the pH of irrigation water for optimal growth. The use of smart sensors that can monitor these variables will ensure that vertical farms produce yields that greatly exceed those of conventional farms, which are impacted by uncontrollable conditions. In future with a skyline full of modern building, gleaming constructions the big city like New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore makes the most of its space to deliver prosperity. While vertical farming still has a long way to go before it is commercially viable however it is certain that food producers can learn from the techniques it applies to help deliver produce our rising populations. The vertical farming technology are for an adequate food supply in the future. Thanks...

M Anim,
(December 2020).