This post is brought to you by Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa. Panasonic is an innovative electronics technology company that provides a wide variety of products, systems, and services, ranging from consumer electronics products to industrial devices, building products, and housing. Read about their Sustainable Solutions for Smart Cities.
Food Security is a sensitive and very important subject, especially for the continent. With many poor people and some relying on subsistence farming to provide for their family's food needs.
Many experts have weighed in on the subject of food security in Africa, one example is Dr. Bitange Ndemo who noted that Open Data is Key to Kenya's Food Security. Dr. Ndemo argues that with more data, farmers can analyse such things as why they have low crop yields, noting that
“One of the reasons for low yields has been the high rate of soil nutrient depletion”
What if you, as a farmer, didn't have to rely on unstable weather conditions? What if you could ensure the soil you farm on had the right amount of nutrients for the specific crop you are planting? What if you could re-generate the perfect farming conditions for your plants>
Showcasing Farming Technology
At GITEX Technology Week 2014 held in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the Middle East’s leading technology show, Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa (PMMAF) highlighted its smart business technology through a display of sustainable living solutions and also featured solutions that deploy cutting-edge technology and provide optimum use of resources without compromising on the quality.
One such cutting edge solution is Panasonic's unique farming technology. This is a sustainable and economical indoor farming technology that can produce a wide range of seasonal crops using soil-based cultivation in controlled environments.
There's also the option of a hydroponic type indoor vegetable factory which uses water only without soil, while the hydrophobic sand that can resist water will change the concept of water usage in the agriculture domain.
Soil Indoor Vegetable Farm
Hydroponic Indoor Farm
We previously spoke to Professor Michio Kaku on the issue of Agriculture and its future as well as technology's influence on agriculture. Prof. Kaku noted that the food wwe enjoy today is food that not even royalty of over a century ago could even dream of having. Furthermore he stated;
"Take food for example, food prices keep dropping over the last 150 years due to better shipping, better preservation and better competition among many other factors. Food is ridiculously cheap in many countries."
Unstable weather conditions, the global shortage of arable land and water, climate change and increasing demand for quality food also influence each country's food security.
As such, Panasonic's innovative farming technology can be seen as a solution to the above mentioned issues as well as food security as it can scale to large indoor farms.
Back To The Future
Panasonic is already using its farming technology in Singapore, which has limited arable land. Currently eight percent of vegetables consumed in the Asian country are grown in local farms.
Panasonic aims to use its technology to help Singapore with its food production and security by increasing its contribution to local agriculture production from its (Panasonic's) current 0.015 percent to 5 percent by 2016.
Not only in Singapore but in Japan too Panasonic supplies several restaurants and stores with their fresh produces.
It is also important to note that the indoor farming solution is pesticide free. With the current Singapore 248 meters squared indoor farm being housed inside factory building.
The benefits of indoor farming solutions as provided by Panasonic are numerous including reduction in costs related to shipping in crops and production of such crops once you rule out weather conditions, pesticides and other outdoor farming related costs.
Africa can also benefit from this whether on a large commercial farming scale to guarantee food security or from a subsistence farming point of view to ensure families can provide for themselves.