Despite the disruptions in the food supply chain brought by the worldwide health emergency, tunnel and vertical farming methods have been helping a farmer in Pakistan named Rehman to feed his family.
This is a low-type of greenhouse that consists of steel tubes enclosed with plastic and lined with irrigation hoses. This does not just lengthen cropping season and help the community to cultivate healthy produce, but this also intensifies yields. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) helped farmers including Rehman to install this tunnel structure in their houses. As per Rehman, his tomato plants produced five to ten times their harvest in an open field. This provides them food even though the market and transportations are closed due to COVID-19.
As more and more people discover interest in gardening, vertical and micro gardens are also put into the spotlight. Vertical farming is a practice of growing crops upright, allowing practitioners to set their gardens in an indoor or outdoor setting using containers and hydroponics systems. Many gardeners worldwide have been creative with this technique; some use old plastic water bottles, coconuts shells, used furniture, and other materials in order to produce food in urban areas.
Micro gardens, on the other hand, are used as an approach to provide food and nutrition for poor families who are prone to malnutrition. One type of this is ‘precision indoor farming’, which enables businesses to have computer-controlled lighting and temperature devices as well as an integrated hydroponics system making it possible for them to create indoor gardens with reduced labor.
In contrast with open-field farming, this type of farming is said to possibly reduce water use, limit pesticide application, and produce crops all year-round. This also means farmers can generate extra income and that they are protected from any unexpected barriers to food access.
There’s no definite solution to uncontrollable circumstances, but these two farming methods can be a response to the problems of food insecurity, especially during extreme conditions.