With a vast majority of the population migrating to urban areas, cities are forced to expand. This puts a strain on rural land space and food production; urban underground farming is being seen as the solution.
Dec 30, 2018
Abandoned coal mines across Wales are being scouted as new sites for underground farms in the U.K. The country’s coal industry went down in the 1980s, leaving mine shafts and tunnels unoccupied. These coal mines are now being revived via urban underground farming.
The project is seen as a cost-effective way of supplying largescale crops for the growing global population. Advocates say these farms can yield up to ten times more food than regular farms.
Coal mine farms can grow plants in nutrient-rich water or suspend them in midair and mist them with water and nutrients. LEDs or fiber-optic technology can tunnel sunlight deep into the ground — both inexpensive methods — while the carbon-capture technology can take advantage of natural carbon dioxide.
If coal mines are to become underground farms, there will be technical, legal and financial hurdles to overcome before beginning construction. This project can generate income and minimize remediation costs. In fact, many hill farmers in Wales are living paycheck to paycheck, so the income from underground farming can benefit them greatly.