There is increasing global interest in growing fresh produce in urban areas to minimise pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and energy cost from transport.
Urban agriculture can also be beneficial from a societal point of view regarding the rejuvenation of urban areas, as a focus for social rehabilitation and a more secure source of food and nutrition in so called food desert areas.
The advent of widely-available LED lighting is radically reducing the energy cost of indoor growing and, together with advanced hydroponic technologies and climate control, is beginning to make vertical farming commercially viable.
Relevant research at Harper Adams, funded by industry and government, is optimising LEDs for different crops and manipulating quality of fresh produce by altering the hydroponic rootzone environment.
Additionally our interests at Harper Adams focus upon the legal, social and economic constraints and opportunities, with the view to helping policy makers design resilient cities which generate sufficient, safe, nutritional food.
Harper Adams University has developed an innovative masters level research programme to train graduates who will be able to critically appraise a range of agricultural practices applicable in urban environments. The programme includes training in advanced research methods, specialist teaching to complement the student’s research interests and a research project on an aspect of urban agriculture agreed between the student and an expert supervisor in the Urban Farming Group. Please contact Dr Jonathan Cooper if you are interested in finding out more about this programme.
For further information on the Urban Farming Group please contact Dr Jim Monaghan.
Research notes provide explanatory summaries of our current and completed research projects, aimed at non-specialists, students and practitioners in farming and associated industries.
Harper Adams University is a partner in Food and Farming Futures, the independent, collaborative news and information source for farming and food. You can also find research notes for any of our research projects on the Food and Farming Futures website.