With our open prairies and fields growing amber waves of grain, it is probably no surprise that the U.S. is the world’s number one food exporter. How about number two? It’s The Netherlands. The Netherlands is much more densely populated than the U.S. and is 270 times smaller in terms of land mass – and it’s only 1,000 miles from the Arctic Circle. How is it possible they are the world’s number two agriculture exporter?
The answer: technology. The country has become a leader in indoor agriculture, grow lighting, soil nutrition and irrigation, among other things. Here’s a few pictures from National Geographic:
Amazingly, over half of The Netherland’s land mass is used for agriculture and the tiny country is the world’s number one producer of tomatoes.
The ability to produce much more food, more efficiently is very important as by 2050 the global population is projected to be around 10 billion people. That means that “the planet must produce more food in the next four decades than all farmers in history have harvested over the past 8,000 years” according to Ernst van den Ende of Wageningen University & Research.
I believe that the technology for growing food is arid climates, like Isreal, will also be important in the future. We could grow more food in vertical buildings as well.