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HomeTechnologyFloating Farms Ecosystems is the Alternate way for Growing Food in Future

Floating Farms Ecosystems is the Alternate way for Growing Food in Future

As the number of people living on this planet keeps growing, we will eventually find ourselves in needs of sufficient food supply. The thing is, the land area on this planet is limited, moreover the area that can be used as farmlands.

Only one third of this planet is land area, and smaller amount of it is capable of being used as farmlands. The area would shrink further if we consider the sustainability of our farmlands since we cannot sacrifice our forests just to plant our food sources. Whereas the two-third of this planet is covered in water. But most of the water surface is saltwater or we usually call it as the ocean. Looking on this condition, Despite important advances in sustainable approaches, humanity is still mostly on unsustainable development trajectories.

The absence of adaptive management and complex challenges might be due that hamper the balance between development and conservation goals. Climate change, desertification, drought effects, dwindling arable lands and freshwater shortage in vast regions in the world are a strong incentive. As to develop innovative and sustainable farming systems to ensure food supply and cope with environmental hazards.


floating farms

Scientific Literature of Floating Farms

There is plenty of evidence in the scientific literature of strong interest in developing sustainable and cleaner production systems. One strategy toward this goal is to invest in ‘grand experiments’ where knowledge from different domains could be combined to pilot sustainable development and to test hypotheses that could improve food production while maintaining safe operating space.

Among the potential, ‘grand experiments’ needs to be explored in this direction could be the establishment of ships as possible sustainable floating farm systems to deal with many current and future food and agriculture challenges.

 As ship industry and green house facilities are well-advanced technologies. It might be worthwhile to combine knowledge in both fields to build ships for farming purposes in the sea. The establishment of shipping is a potential farming platform that would provide new and important opportunities for food production and environmental sustainability enhancements.

To reach such aims, we simply need to adopt technologies that are already in use in shiping industry. We need to construct greenhouse facilities and manage “floating greenhouses” in the form of floating ships (farming ships or farming boats).


Advantages of Building Floating Farms

Potential farming structures could offer many environmental and sustainable advantages, including for example but not limited to:

  1. Reduce the burden on the freshwater by using seawater desalination techniques or by collecting and storing rainwater.
  2. To introduce new cultivable surfaces where arable lands and freshwater are scarce, particularly in arid and dry regions.
  3. To provide complete and self-sufficient farming systems in terms of automated planting, harvesting, processing and export; a big farming boat.
  4. To take advantages from seawater as an inexhaustible source of freshwater, combing photovoltaic desalination technology to a floating farm ship could also be considered particularly for dry and sunny regions.

Multi-Level Vertical System

Floating greenhouses could be designed as multi-level vertical systems. It might be conceivable that a farming ship could be planted with a crop species while it is anchored in a region with intense insolation. And, then, just before the crop matures or becomes harvestable or ready for consumption, the farming ship could move to export the onboard growing crop timely.

 On the return trip, a new crop could be planted on board and so on. The movability aspect indeed is an important feature in farming ships as it should allow farming boats to move to new safer and more adapted locations when a specific location is no more suitable for whatever reasons (environmental or pollution risks, political conflicts, etc.).

If floating farms are built with photovoltaic panels or with marine energy source (wind and tide generated energy) to desalinate seawater, farming ships could reduce the reliance on polluting fossil fuels and decrease the emission of CO2 significantly if adopted at large scales.

Potential inconveniences, however, of such systems may include high costs, farming suitability limited to herbaceous or small sized crop or vegetable species, and high energy requirements for movement. Nonetheless, farming ships could be designed to be anchored in suitable locations (i.e., sunny and safe positions) and movable only at urgent needs.

Given many environmental and agricultural benefits, the advantages of farming ships would overweight its inconveniences at least from a long-term perspective. However there are floating farms in Rotterdam, chine, Bangladesh, Singapore and in many areas of Europe and benefiting people and minimizing the pollution caused due to other activities


At first it sounds fantastical, expensive, and impractical. But I’ve come to appreciate this project as a brilliant engineering solution to a growing world crisis: producing food for almost billion people on a shrinking land base”



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