Innovative Trends and Startups that are Cultivating Sustainable Agriculture

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By Entrepreneurship Campus

Innovative Trends and Startups that are Cultivating Sustainable Agriculture

The current trend in the agriculture industry is finding more innovative ways to not only produce products, but also how it can be made more sustainable. There are many difficulties the agriculture industry is currently facing, including the inability to grow in urban areas or rough terrain, degraded soil, and deforestation. If agriculture can be made a more sustainable industry through innovative ideas, then this can ensure the ability to grow a plethora of food for generations to come.

Here are five sustainable trends and innovative startups that are making a huge difference in the agricultural sector.

Inner City Cultivation

With limited space in urban settings, having the ability to grow food while taking up as little space as possible is a must. Those living in an urban setting sometimes have small gardens outside of their window or on the roof of their apartment building, but these are usually ravaged by birds or other city dwellers like rats.

There is a more innovative solution that has fixed this problem of limited space for farming. Developed by the agricultural company n.thing, the „Planty Cube” is a vertical farming system that helps cities grow produce in limited space. The farms are built in what look like shipping containers that are stacked on top of each other like legos. Inside the Planty Cube, a computerized system is utilized to control temperature and humidity in the hydroponic farm where seeds are grown. The Planty Cube has been a huge success at innovation competitions, and it will be interesting to see them in an urban setting in the years to come.

Reforestation and Agroforestry

Deforestation has a huge impact on the agricultural industry, as it depletes ecosystems and removes the amount of nutrients in soil.

The startup organization Trees for the Future has committed themselves to not only reforestation, but a newly developed way to infuse nutrients into soil called agroforestry. Agroforestry is the practice of growing trees around crops to ensure the soil is nutrient-rich. But Trees for the Future takes this idea a step further by creating forest gardens on top of degraded soil to reinfuse nutrients back into the soil. Their initiative has helped in the restoration of countless forests and farmland. 

Farming on Rough Terrain

Communities built on winding hills or sheet rock have had the difficult task of farming on rough terrain for hundreds to thousands of years. The ability to farm on these difficult terrains is essential to a community’s survival.

Ecosystem Kickstarter has devoted their time to this problem, developing a micro-farming technique that utilizes little soil to grow crops. The startup has created a system of cardboard cutouts for produce to be grown in on rough terrain. This innovation not only keeps plants safe and stationary in areas where mudslides destroy thousands of crops a year, but also provides the plants with much needed nutrients and is biodegradable. Ecosystem Kickstarter has provided hundreds of communities living among rough terrain with the ability to produce food in a sustainable way.

Tree Preservation

As mentioned above, trees are essential in keeping soil nutrient-rich for plants to grow. With the increase in deforestation across the world, new initiatives have arisen to help protect the trees.

Highland Titles is one of these initiatives. Based in Scotland, the organization allows people to buy one square foot of Scottish estate. Those who buy a one square foot space not only become a lord or lady of the land, but also aid in the protection of commercial deforestation and development. Since people from all over the world can purchase a square foot of land, it would be impossible for a company to purchase the land for commercial purposes.

Bee Vectoring

Farmers across the world are constantly seeking new ways to manage their farms effectively, whether that be technological or natural advancements.

Natural advancements in agricultural are no doubt the more sustainable of the two, and Bee Vectoring has shown to be the most innovative. Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. has been providing bee vectoring technologies since 2011. Bee vectoring has become very popular among farmers, and it utilizes bees to deliver biological controls and bacteria to plants during pollination. This not only protects crops, but also improves pollination rates and enhances the quality and quantity of crops. The carbon footprint is also reduced, making this a very sustainable and natural innovation in agriculture.

Importance of Sustainability in the Agricultural Sector

These innovative trends and startups have made the practice of agriculture a drastically more sustainable process. Climate change is a huge problem in the world today, and we can drastically reduce the impacts on our environment if more innovative ways to produce food other than the ones above are created.

Do you have an innovative and sustainable startup idea? Be sure to submit it into the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition 2024! This runs from June 1st through August 31st! 

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