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.
For further information on the Urban Farming Group please contact Dr Jim Monaghan.