Bangladesh, a 100% fertile land country, currently has food deficiency which is hard to believe; however, the agriculture sector has not fully reached its potential for reaching a surplus level of food.
Expand Vertically and not Horizontally
Bangladesh, when it was in the process of being East Pakistan, was supposed to compromise of Assam and East Bengal, to take full advantage of the land area for development, but it never went through with the British Raj.
For farming, Bangladesh has limited amount of land to expand her food growth if it was done by the conventional method. However, Bangladesh can go beyond many third world countries and stop importing food from other nations and start exporting. Bangladesh has many agricultural engineers, my own father being one of them, and they have knowledge and the capability to raise a surplus of food to not only feed everyone in the country, but also export and raise revenue.
If we can’t farm horizontally due to limited land then let’s farms vertically with farms that goes straight up as high as skyscrapers. The farms will be compromised of buildings with crops being grown inside. Each floor will have a certain crop, whether it’s for food or cash crops such as cotton.
1. Unlimited types of crops can be grown.
2. One acre of land can produce 10 acres of crops or how ever man number of floors in the vertical farm.
3. Temperature controlled floors will enable Bangladesh’s agricultural engineers to raise virtually any crop. For example, we can grow Egyptian cotton, a cash-crop, in Bangladesh since the environment of the crop can be controlled.
4. No monsoon threat to wash away crops since it’ll be protected inside the buildings.
5. Water can be recycled and be used over and over again through electrolysis, combustion, and condensation.
6. Benefit regular farmers in Bangladesh to grow crops which will guarantee profits and raise their standard of living; the farmers would be able to produce more foods out of their land.
7. No pesticides or insecticides will be needed, which may harm the environment or the crop, it may also harm the consumers of the foods.
8. It’ll be easier for agricultural engineers to research in reaching the maximum potential of the country’s agricultural sector.
9. There will be a surplus of foods to export to other nations and reduction on imports of foods which will help raise the country’s GDP significantly.
10. The money gained from the revenue of the crops will pay off any loans used to build these farms fast since there will be no weather disturbance to harm the crops and put weight on any payments.
1. Energy is needed to create artificial sunlight within the building and to water the crops and to control temperature but Bangladesh is lacking a lot of energy. Energy is very costly and the power goes out too often in Bangladesh.
2. There is too much instability in the government. The project will not be able to pay for itself with an unstable government to get approval or renewal of licenses every year to conduct this project.
The farms can also be used to raise livestock, and stop the illegal importing of cows from India. The Indian federal government complains of the illegal imports of food from India to Bangladesh and with it they harm Bangladesh’s image to the world.
In Bangladesh, land is expensive; however, the most rural areas can be used for this project. Rural areas are usually cheap since there are no townships or cities near them, which keeps their land value low. I checked on the statistics of land prices in Bangladesh and so far I found the Netrokona district to be the cheapest.
In America the cost of building a vertical farm is expected to be $200 million per project. However, supplies and labor to build such a project in a 3rd world country will be a lot cheaper than supplies and labor of an industrialized country; in Bangladesh it would be about 96% cheaper.
I did the calculations of prices of land in the Netrokona district and how much it would cost to NRBs. It’s about 5000 Bangladeshi taka (Bangladesh’s currency) for every 0.01 hectare of land in the Netrokona. To put it in simple terms I used dimensional analysis to figure out how much US dollars would cost for every acre. Let’s take a look at the calculations below.
|(1 acre)||(1 hectare)||(5000 BD Tk)||(1 USD)|
|1||(2.47 acres)||(0.01 hectare)||(69 BD Tk)|
We want to know how much it would cost for every acre of land in Netrokona. I started off with 1 acre because we want to know how much it costs in that unit. I know for a fact that 2.47 acres of land is 0.01 hectare so, I used that for conversion. We were given the price of land per hectare which was 5000 BD Tk per hectare and so we use that for conversion from hectare. But we’re not done yet; we want to know how much the land would be in US dollars so I looked up the currency rate on Yahoo financial and found that the current currency rate is 69 BD Tk to 1 US dollar. Now the 69:1 currency rate is as of today, it will definitely be lower or higher in the future so, this is just an example. I used the currency rate to convert and found the amount in dollars to be $2,933.75 total for every acre of land in the Netrokona district.
A venture in vertical farms can change Bangladesh for the better. Since many financially-secured Bangladeshis are living abroad, it is up to the NRBs (non-resident Bangladeshi, which includes myself), to bring these development projects in existence. This project should remain in the private sector since, it can only improve while being built in the private sector. The poor people in Bangladesh are suffering and dying due to lack of food, and as NRBs, being well educated, with money and power, we should go back and help those in need.