Research Seminar: Professor Chungui Lu (Nottingham Trent University) (NTU)

19 February 2018, 1.00 PM - 19 February 2018, 2.00 PM

Professor Chungui Lu hosted by Professor Keith Edwards

Life Sciences Building Seminar Rooms (G13/G14)

Sustainable Futures - How we'll grown food in the city

Abstract: Nearly 70% of the UK’s fruit and vegetable supply comes from the EU countries (FAO 2014). Brexit will bring significant strategic risk and cost. A major restructuring of UK agriculture will be needed to maintain food security. An increasing world population combined with climate change and pressure on the nature resources threaten global food security. Rapid urbanisation is a global phenomenon that is occurring in most countries where the urban population has been forecasted to double by 2030 from 2000 levels. How can we produce more food on less land with less water, less energy, less chemicals and less mileages? Hence there is a urgent need to identify and develop alternative and inexpensive methods for sustainable food production and supply.

Sustainable agriculture technology can enhance economic development through improving crop yields and quality, and offers the opportunity to grow a wider range of crops than possible in conventional systems. Vertical farming, if designed appropriately, will be a sustainable solution (Despommier, 2010). Vertical farming is an indoor agriculture method for growing fresh food year-round in a protected environment (typically a glasshouse) using advanced technologies to maximise resource utilisation. However, to optimise efficiency and sustainability and to ensure quality of the product, vertical farming requires the highest possible degree of precision in the methods used for plant resource capture and growth. The application of precision agriculture technologies has clear benefits to optimise production efficiency and to increase quality for sustainable agriculture & food security.

In this talk, Chungui will present some of his research in this new area. He will start with a brief of history of farming from field farm to protected cropping and future vertical farm. He will introduce the sustainable / efficient system which is employing various innovative technologies including LED light use for improving crop production and quality, automated control system, water/nutrients use efficiency control with hydroponic growing system. The talk will finish with recent case studies (e.g. growing London underground) on vertical farming and sustainable futures for food.

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