A Deep Concern About World Poverty

A Deep Concern About World Poverty

A Deep Concern About World Poverty: A Study of Hydroponic Farming—A Sustainable Way to Reduce Poverty

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

New Project Frontier--Urban Farms

In addition to the formal business proposals and website which form the crux of our project goals within this semester, Cora and I are exploring hydroponic technology as it is currently being implemented. The simplest scale is obviously the system set up in my bedroom. I am now germinating 3 cherry tomato seedlings, two of which I will soon transplant into a single earthbox system. This experiment is less practical in terms of the project, and more for the purpose of familiarizing myself with the system in the hopes of catching the easily overlooked practical oversights which can be made by exclusively researching and writing.
Beyond this personal study lies the possibility of training ourselves technically in order to soon partner with a representative from Just Food, and non-profit organization dedicated to supply those in need in the New York City and greater, rural New York regions with produce from gardens and urban agriculture cites. Essentially, their mission statement is quite similar to our ultimate large-scale goals but has the benefit of a local focus which we could explore now. Specifically, we can model our proposals to the private sector for absorbing our recommended technology after their relationships with local food distributers.
Finally, a trusted faculty member's advice has most recently shifted the relative importance of the finiancial aspects of our proposal. As hydroponic farming is not a new technology and actually very well integrated into some regions, our activist approach is specifically governmental, and should focus on the specific monetary needs of adopting a new method of farming compared to the monetary needs of supporting the current, conventional style of agriculture. Our hypothesis is that the initial higher capital will quickly be paid for (and then some) by the "teach a man to fish..." rule--aiding existing farms or even just providing developing countries with food is only giving them fish, and wasting funding that could go towards improving the future quality of life.
This is not to say we will neglect our opportunities to encourage hydroponic farming in the private sector or work with non-profits like Just Food--this is simply insight into the exciting simultaneous sub-projects that comprise our thesis.
To close this week--I feel this speaks to our country's role in the global market:
"Even if the land is full of all good things, still you must plant...even if you are old, you must plant. Just as you found trees planted by others You must plant them for your children."
(Midrash Tanchuma, Kedoshim 8)

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