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Scientists develop new crop growing technique that doesn’t require soil

University graduates have secured funding for a new sustainable farming technique that could help to tackle the increasing climate crisis and the threats to global food security. 

Speaking at the launch of a Report on Climate Change and Land by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), various speakers highlighted how rising global temperatures are linked to increasing pressures on fertile soil, which as a result, poses a threat to food security for the planet.

In response to this issue, Charlie Guy, who graduated from the University of Bristol in 2016, launched LettUs Grow with fellow students Jack Farmer and Ben Crowther, they have discovered a new technique for sustainable farming which does not require fertile soil or consistent weather conditions.

The students were originally awarded £4,000 from the University’s New Enterprise Competition and have since continued to receive funding, most recently £2.35m from business incubator SETsquared Bristol.

The new farming system grows plants that are suspended in the air and uses a mist to deliver nutrients to the plants.

According to the founders, this method can provide a consistent year-round harvest, regardless of changes to the climate. The technology does not require fertile land or pesticides and it uses 95% less water than traditional agricultural methods while also delivering a 70% increase in growth rate.

Charlie Guy, managing director of LettUs Grow, said: ‘This investment gives us a platform to really accelerate in 2020 and scale-up the delivery of our game-changing technology to farmers across the country.

‘We’re seeing rising demand from around the world for new technologies to help farmers grow crops in ways that mitigate against the effects of climate change and ever-increasing extreme weather events.’

Earlier this month, a recent graduate from Cranfield University, has created a protein flour, called Solein, that could be used as animal feed to save them from eating imported soya grown in the rainforest.

Based on the water and land that would be saved by using Solein, it is estimated to be 100 times more climate-friendly than meat and 10 times better than plants.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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