World IP Day "Innovation makes life better"
Interview to Agustín Casalins, founder of Verde al Cubo, and client of Clarke, Modet & Co Argentina
"How can you achieve a positive impact on a billion people?" With that question in mind and an agro-ecological initiative in hand, Agustín Casalins traveled around Silicon Valley. He had been chosen to join Singularity University, the campus designed by NASA to favor innovative ideas that address the major challenges of humankind. Among these challenges, food was surely going to be one of the greatest problems our planet would have to face.
For many years, Agustín has been engaged in the production of hydroponic crops. This is how he became acquainted with the benefits of this production technique vis-à-vis traditional agriculture: greater efficiency, automation of a great part of the processes, the implementation of gravity-fed water irrigation, the no longer necessary use of agriculture machinery, fuels, agrochemicals, herbicides and pesticides, and, above all, the premium quality of the produce, introducing a cleaner, healthier and more nutritive option. He knew hydroponics would be our only option to produce abundance of food in a world to be the home to 10,000 people within a few decades.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a cultivation method whereby plants are placed on trays, on inorganic substrates, receiving nutrients through the supply of irrigation water. This yields an extremely healthy produce, containing all the minerals necessary for the proper functioning of our metabolism.
We can say this is a distinctive point, given that after two hundred years of traditional horticulture, the soil has been severely depleted. And, despite the addition of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, they lack selenium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, cobalt, all of which are the minerals we have always obtained from vegetables growing in fertile soils. Our body has been the most accurate representation of that nutrition for thousand for years, and the moment we stopped feeding with those minerals, all the metabolic reactions in our body resulting from feeding with those plants were halted. Soil demineralization results in poor immune systems likely to suffer infections such as colds, or conditions such stress.
Besides, this method is much more efficient than the others. While Corrientes, for instance, produces between 70,000 and 80,000 kg of tomato per hectare, with an indiscriminate use of pesticides, hydroponics...