Mumbai is growing in population every day. This is putting immense pressure on basic life necessities such as food, water, clothing & shelter. A growing affluent population in Mumbai consumes food like it is an infinite resource. But every grain, every vegetable...fruit is dependent on soil, water air & sunlight for their growth. Surrounding agricultural lands have been supporting the city's food requirement, however, degrading soil quality and scare fresh water will only make this difficult in the coming years. Therefore Mumbai needs to be self-sufficient for its food. This can be made possible with the help of hydroponic vertical farms within the city.
Feeding a population of 20 million needs a lot of food. To produce this much food needs a lot of fresh water and extremely good quality soil. Unfortunately, both fresh water and quality soil have become rare today. That's why we need to innovate like the Dutch. The Netherlands is a country smaller than the Indian state of Maharashtra, yet they are the second largest exporters of agricultural produce to the world. Through this mentorship program, I want to initiate "Make Mumbai Food Sufficient by 2030" by collaborating with the Netherlands (via consulate) and bringing home their innovative sustainable agricultural technology. We can even leverage old abandoned constructions within the city to set up vertical farms and greenhouses. This project can open up employment opportunities for many Mumbaikars. Today the amount of food that Mumbai demands is huge, but neighbouring rainfed farmlands do not have the capacity to support it. Also importing food will only get expensive with passing years. SDGs 2, 6, 9, 11, 12 & 17 can be addressed through this project.
While composing a few episodes for my podcast "Circular Business Podcast" I came across some eye-opening facts around unsustainable practices around food and its waste. I learnt that more than 60% of food wastage happens before it even reaches the plate. A lot gets wasted in the supply chain thus making it an expensive logistics. That's when I dug deep on the Netherlands and their agritech and thought why can't Mumbai take inspiration from them and make the city food sufficient? And thus the idea was born.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
Since 2019, I've committed my life towards Climate Action. I started off with small workplace awareness sessions, to creating employee resource groups for climate action, to creating a niche podcast on Circular Economy to now working full time with a PRO to improve waste management and collection systems in India. I do not need motivation for taking climate action, because it is the need of the hour and must be done to improve the planet's condition one step at a time. Collaboration and teamwork is the key to accelerating this mission of creating a better and more sustainable planet