Agro-food and Biomass
Plenty of resources on the planet are utilized to sustain the development of the food industry,
including 50% of habitable lands and 70% of clean water used in agriculture that produces food. Due to a huge consumption of resources, the agro-food production system is facing an unprecedented crisis. In 2009, scientists proposed the theory of planet boundaries, listing 9 vital systems that regulate the stability and resilience of the planet. Once the limits are exceeded, it will bring forth risks that impact human society at present and beyond. In the updated version in 2015, 4 out of the 9 planet boundaries have been exceeded, and 2 of which are land and nitrogen and phosphorus cycle the agrofood system rely on.
If we turn our eye back to Taiwan, the food supply is not self-sufficient in Taiwan due to limited land resources. Hence, we should work harder to build a renewable food production system. From farm lands to factories and from market to table, systemic adjustments are required to change the industrial culture and consumer culture, creating new opportunities for agro-food cycle.
Food wastes should be reduced first of all. According to the statistics of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the food wastes in Taiwan in 2018 is approximately 600,000 tons, those mixed in garbage as well as the wastes in the processes of production, processing, and transportation not included. To solve such issue, it requires collaboration between enterprises and communities, so as to properly utilize surplus food and imperfect produce.
As for the part that cannot be utilized, they will be turned into feed, fertilizer, and energy to return to the system as nutrients that usher in the opportunity to the next cycle. Next, by-products in production process are turned into innovative materials that are eco-friendly and high in value, creating higher values for the agro-food system. Last but not the least, say
goodbye to the conventional agriculture that exploit fertility for productivity. Stop using fertilizers and pesticides without restraint. Instead, let us construct a land and environment in cycle, a circular system that supports production, life, and ecology.