Sivi Moodley – CEO Macrocomm
“As the global population continues to grow in the face of increasing pressure placed on natural resources, we will have to continuously look at the evolution of traditional and non-traditional agricultural models, to ensure food security for all global citizens” says Sivi Moodley, CEO of Macrocomm Group.
The World Research Institute estimates that the world will have to close a gap of 56% between the amount of food available today, and that required by 2050 — while reducing agriculture’s impact on climate, ecosystems, and water at the same time.
In an initiative that is aligned towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Zero Hunger, Macrocomm has announced the expansion of their sustainable farming initiative, where they will be donating a hundred vertical gardens to children’s homes across the country. The beneficiaries will also be trained on how to sustainably farm using vertical gardens — with the goal of promoting adoption of these practices on a larger scale.
While measures such as moving to more plant-based type diets, adopting healthier and more nutritious eating behaviors, and reducing food wastage and loss contribute to alleviating the demand side of the equation, innovation on the supply side is a non-negotiable in ensuring that we reach sustainable food security objectives for the future.
“We are seeing a lot of innovation globally in the non-traditional farming methods to augment supply from traditional methods. Vertical farming, roof-top farming, hydroponics and urban farming are just some of these example” says Sivi. Vertical farming (which utilizes high levels of automation, sensors, data driven operations and smart environmental control methodologies that are largely being driven in countries that have limited land resources), is faced with burgeoning urban populations who are focused on reducing emissions as well as optimizing the use of natural resources in food production.
However, urban migration is not limited to the developed nations only: in developing nations such as South Africa, we are also faced with high levels of urbanization as well as increasing pressure on natural resources. Our ability to augment traditional agricultural methods with innovative urban farming models will have several benefits, including:
- Bringing the points of production closer to the points of consumption, thus reducing potential food spoilage and waste during transportation, as well as the emissions associated with transportation;
- Improved use of resources including land, water, and energy through the smart use of including solar, sensor and IoT and data driven urban farm operations that increase yield while; at the same time…
- Creating an urban farming economy in which jobs and supporting business can thrive, thus addressing some of the socio-economic challenges faced with high levels of urbanization;
- Supplying the increasing demand for food in an ever-increasing urban population base in a more sustainable manner.
“There are a number of smart urban farming projects underway in the country at present, and as a provider of smart Agri technologies, we at Macrocomm also remains committed at exploring ways in which sustainable food security can be achieved to meet our local challenges. Being part of the solution means that we also must actively participate and contribute to creating conducive platforms for ideation, experimentation, and innovation in this ecosystem. While urban farming may not be the total solution to sustainable food security, the incremental levels of supply generated at an aggregated national and global level does have future potential once scale is achieved” concludes Sivi.
Macrocomm is a premier innovation and technology agnostic led provider of data driven digital solutions. Our solutions are not just focused of connectivity and technology, but they aim to solve societal problems in a Smart Made Simple way. The Macrocomm group of companies play across all stages in the digital value chain including devices, connectivity, platforms, application and software development, systems integration and training and development. This enables us to innovate across the digital value chain to deliver bespoke as well as generic solutions in a manner that leverages both scope and scale. We service a range of verticals including municipalities, fleet, agriculture, facilities management, health, mining, retail and logistics. Our key partners include Vodacom, Sigfox, FAW, University of Stellenbosch, Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Orange.