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What happens when we turn growing our own on its head?

It may sound a little strange but growing your own without soil is not just possible, it is highly feasible. Crop production can actually increase anywhere between 3 to 10 times in the same amount of space, plus crops grown this way can be produced twice as fast with no nasty chemical, weed or pest control products.

Welcome to the world of hydroponics – a world where soil is replaced by nutrient-rich water. A world that enables farmers to grow indoors in a completely controlled environment where the plants get the exact nutrients they need – just imagine the possibilities.

But how can this be?

Incredibly, plants grown traditionally in soil use a lot of energy to support root growth as the roots work to reach the water and nutrients they need to produce healthy plants. In hydroponics, the roots of plants do not need to work as hard and as a result, they spend more time producing far tastier and far more nutritious crops at a far quicker rate.

In some instances hydroponics can use 80% less water than traditional farming methods, making it an exceedingly attractive and highly viable proposition in countries who are at the forefront of climate change where instances of extreme weather and poor soil conditions result in lower than average yields. All helping to improve food security and the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

In reality, hydroponics has very real potential to help us achieve one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – SDG2. A goal that looks to achieve Zero Hunger, improve nutrition and achieve food security for everyone.

All over the world people are wanting ‘change’ and are looking to find solutions that can help solve many of the world’s social, economic and environmental problems.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs are a series of goals and targets that present us with an opportunity to work together to solve many of the world’s greatest challenges.

In September 2015 following three years of talks, world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York to agree on and adopt the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

A set of 17 goals and 169 targets that look to resolve these global problems and transform our world.

The United Nations sustainable development goals are not just a series of goals and targets, they are a blueprint designed to help us secure a sustainable future and they are not just for some of us, they are for all of us and like us, the goals and targets they represent are all interconnected.

Together these goals present us with an opportunity to resolve the world’s biggest challenges that will see us working to find solutions to end poverty, improve world health, secure peace, foster a renewed sense of responsibility and care, combat climate change, restore our lands, oceans and forests and reduce inequalities so that we secure lasting change where all life has equal value.

The goals or SDGs require a new way of thinking and need governments and politicians to put aside their individual agendas and egos so that they work together for the collective good.

Corporations, the wheels of industry, the media and marketing moguls will also have a role to play as we look to bring the goals to life.

Multi-national corporations who have for too long sought to deliver goods and services without considering the impact that their actions would have upon the world will need to not just implement better working practices, but put integrity and transparency into everything they do. They will need to take responsibility for their actions no matter where they operate in the world so that they protect the rights and lives of everyone involved in their supply chains.

In other words, the global goals need companies to not just ‘be good’ but ‘do good’ and this will see them integrate social purpose into not just their corporate strategy but into everything they do. This will ensure that they don’t just satisfy the needs of the shareholder but that they also safeguard our world.

Christine Farrell

Author Christine Farrell

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