Jumat, 14 Juli 2017

Biochar, Urban Farming and Drip Irrigation

Urban Farming in Chicago, US
Efforts for food self-sufficiency must be done in various ways including overcoming the limitations of agricultural land that occur due to use for settlement / housing. In line with this FAO also launched a zero hunger or free hunger for the world population in 2030. The package was formulated in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consisting of 17 targets including the zero hunger. The narrowness of urban land is not an obstacle to participate in the fulfillment of these food needs. Agriculture in cities has also begun to flare up today, both in developed economic countries such as the United States and Europe as well as in a number of major cities in Indonesia. Urban farming attracts a lot of urban residents because in addition to adequate food, as well as relaxation and tourism. Currently approximately 50% of urban residents who work to get food sufficient so it will also be greatly helped by doing urban agricultural activity. High levels of congestion, air pollution, and various other common social factors in urban areas become stressful and make urban farming activities a place to relieve stress or relaxation. Especially in the next few years the population of Indonesia in particular, predicted the percentage of people who live in the city far more than those living in the village.
Efficiency becomes the keyword for agriculture on such limited land, both media efficiency, water efficiency, maintenance efficiency, fertilizer efficiency and so on which is now termed into precision farming. The world needs food additions of up to 70% to 2050 while the land continues to decrease, as does the quality of the water and the air. So precision farming and IoT (Internet of Things) can be a great solution for that. For example the idea of ​​precision agriculture and IoT on palm oil plantations can be read here. Various efforts are used to achieve the best level of precision one of them with the use of internet or IoT. Biochar or charcoal from biomass can be used for efficiency of planting medium, fertilizer and water. The biochar pores will retain water and fertilizer and become the site of the decomposing bacteria so that it is more available to the plant and ultimately increases the yield productivity. The next water efficiency is by drip irrigation. The water requirement on the plant is basically needed continuously although the amount is small. Drip irrigation is able to do so in the roots of the plant. The mechanism is similar to fertilization, ie slow release fertilizer and with biochar the release mechanism can be achieved, so as with the use of drip irrigation in irrigation, effective and high efficiency can be achieved as well. Mulch can also help improve the efficiency of water use by reducing evaporation and cooling the soil surface temperature.
Then how rural people if urban already able to meet the needs of food, especially vegetables? Keep in mind that vegetables that are in urban areas today come from a place far away even hundreds of kilometers away. Of course in addition to expensive transportation costs are also vegetables are not really fresh, because from harvesting, transportation, until the market up to the buyer usually takes more than 2 days. When the vegetables can be produced in urban areas that are very close to the buyer then the expensive costs can be avoided and vegetables are also fresh because it has just been picked. The rural community will be the producer of seeds from the vegetables. Seeds of vegetables in the form of grains will be easy and cheap transportation. Seeds for the seedlings are expensive to provide an attractive income for the producers of these
The vast lands in the countryside can also be planted with various kinds of fruit trees and various farms such as sheep grazing. Fruits will be a source of vitamins, sheep and livestock as a source of protein, and vegetables as a source of fiber and minerals, so that everything is complementary. Besides the vast lands in the countryside even in hilly or mountainous areas can also be used for energy plantations. Biomass fuel, especially wood pellet can be for substitution of various fossil fuels, especially petroleum and coal. Plants such as calliandra and gliricidae are great for the energy plantations, and even be integrated with sheep farms like the 5F project scenario for the world! The current condition of Indonesia that has become a petroleum importer should also encourage the use of energy from biomass especially wood pellets by promoting energy plantations. Energy development using energy plantations or trees are also in accordance with the Qur'an, for more details can be read here. Then man is commanded to prosper the earth (QS 11:61), to be told how to live the dead earth (QS 36:33), to be told how to fertilize it (QS 22: 5), how to maximize its crop yield (QS 16:10 -11), and even modeled on the success of good earth management (QS 34:15).
Do energy plantations need to be added with biochar? The answer is not necessary because the energy plantations uses leguminoceae (QS 36: 33) which can even turn the dead soil with its root ability by binding nitrogen from the atmosphere. Over time the land will become fertile, and can be used for various other farms. Biochar is suitable for increasing the productivity of various agricultural crops, especially outside the leguminoceae crop. More specifically for a variety of urban and palm oil agriculture, high soil fertility is needed.

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