Non-conventional production systems
After the third agricultural revolution in the 20th century, the mass production of agricultural goods has promoted conventional farming. Nonconventional farming refers to methodologies which use different approaches, from hydroponics to vertical agriculture and urban farming, agroecology, permaculture, and organic production, among others.
SPECIFIC R&I BREAKTHROUGH TOPICS
Hydroponics: Is the art of growing plants without soil, instead using a water solution with the exact amount of nutrients needed. This technology allows the growth of plants without depending on soil and weather conditions.
Vertical agriculture: Also called vertical farming because it uses shelving on which plants are nurtured in a controlled environment.
Intelligent cropping: Includes techniques that use smart management of agricultural concepts like smart crop rotation, reduced tillage, predator pest control or nutrient optimisation.
Agroecology: By definition, agroecology applies ecological principles of environmental sustainability to agriculture. It incorporates a scientific approach as well as a social movement into crop management.
Permaculture: With an emphasis on the ecological aspects of agriculture, it incorporates a social movement and a code of practice. Many associate it with agroecology, although there are slight differences on design and implementation.
Organic awareness: Organic production is characterised by the use of fertilisers with organic origin. It usually merges with techniques of crop rotation and biological pest control. Very often agroecology and organic production are inter-related. However, legislation in Europe is very clear in its definition and considerations of organic production, requiring application all along the value chain, including processing.
Urban farming: Urban agriculture is considered within or near-by large urban populations. It includes many different perceptions where hydroponics and vertical farming are also included. But generally speaking, it is perceived as an urban community movement that promotes the value of cropping in urban areas.
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