Why oh Why?
Why urban farms in India, you might wonder. Well, looking at the recent past, today and where we are going, the ability to directly influence access to, amount and quality of your food will be paramount for governments. Access to fresh vegetables is paramount in India as the vast majority of residents are vegetarians (What we should grow is an open question). Additionally, these supplies must be constantly replenished even with the notoriously poor logistics system there. Strikes or actions by any outside forces could force put our city into a vulnerable position if we continue to depend on outside vegetable suppliers. While it is still unclear whether we will be able make ourselves independent of outside suppliers, minimizing our dependence from the very start is a productive way to start our city. Finally, another reason to produce in the city, is that the quality of outside vegetables varies dramatically and includes many foods produced with cancer causing pesticides.
Because of all the reasons highlighted above, we believe that urban farming should be a high priority for the city from the very start.
How Can We?
Our initial plan is to co-locate the first urban farms around our sewage plant(s). The water that is produced as output isn’t good enough to drink, but can be used in urban farming. While one sewage unit can produce over 11,000 gallons of b-grade water per day (assuming sufficient input meaning people are flushing the toliet) it is still unclear to me how many seedlings/plants that would provide for (Research required). I plan on building as cheap a building as possible for each urban farm ranging from 4 to 6 stories. Like all structures in our city, I intend on building something unique and attractive. We were thinking a circle shaped structure made out of thick clear plastic. It will capture and retain heat efficiently and will look visually interesting.
Installing the complicated plumbing that will be required is also a concern. Additionally, we hope to use cheap solar panels and excess power from the sewage plant to run operations. Sunlight required per seedling is also an open question (Research required). A contractor will be necessary to design this building so that cost must be baked into our budget.
While we are generally a proponent of automation, with labor being so cheap in India, we will attempt to utilize labor as much as possible for two reasons. One is that intensive use of labor is the most cost effective solution and two, the city will get back some of their wages in the form of taxes making intensive use of labor an even more sensible choice. If labor costs rise significantly and/or automation costs drop significantly this is an issue that can be revisited. Hiring and training of workers is a cost that must be included in budgets.
We plan on tying the urban farms to a local university so that research can be conducted to improve health and yields of vegetables.
Demand for vegetables in India is constant, however the question how much demand there is for healthy vegetables at a premium price is unclear. Consumers will need to be educated over time about the benefits.
Those are my initial thoughts and I welcome any comments you may have.
The Indian related product I am highlighting this post is a scarf which is made in India. It’s going to get cold soon, so time to start thinking jackets, gloves and of course, scarves.
The link is here: http://amzn.to/2cOHl6D
As always, remember the best way you can support us is to click the link and shop at Amazon (within 24 hours). We really appreciate your support!