What are the opportunities, challenges, and critical areas for improvement in indoor agriculture methods?
Indoor agriculture techniques have advanced considerably in recent years, and in collaboration with industry partners, FAI researches the potential that this farming approach has for contributing to sustainability objectives. Research done by FAI in this area includes a study on the climate mitigation potential that hydroponically-grown fodder has if implemented widely within British Columbian and Albertan farm systems, examining this potential under different planning and policy scenarios. FAI will continue collaborating with industry partners on indoor agriculture research, and planned projects include examining ways of optimizing indoor growing processes (including the data collection and artificial intelligence components) and increasing the diversity of indoor-grown products (particularly to include products that are culturally and economically important in the Lower Mainland). In addition, FAI aims to draw upon thinking from industry ecology, and it will explore current practices and new opportunities for positioning indoor farming within larger agriculture-aquaculture systems, where outputs (e.g., waste products) from one system are used as inputs (e.g., fertilizers, fuel) for other systems.
Newell, R., Newman, L., Dickson, M., Vanderkooi, B., Fernback, T., & White, C. (2021) Hydroponic fodder and greenhouse gas emissions: A potential avenue for climate mitigation strategy and policy development. FACETS, 6(1), 334-357. https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2020-0066