Earthan Group - Paul Van der Werf

Integrated Farming Systems

2014-03-08 005

The Global Challenge

The coming years we will see population growth, cropping land and farming resources shortages, environmental disasters and rising food prices put increasing pressure on our capacity to produce affordable, accessible, high quality food.  This year we will consume more food than we produce for the 6th time in 11 years which will see the all sectors of the food industry at a turning point where we seek alternate solutions to achieve a greater capacity to produce more for less, reduce environment impacts and still remain financially viable.

Protein Shortage

20% of our protein intake is made up of animal proteins deriving from fish, meat and dairy and these protein supply chains are under enormous pressure, especially from a limited fresh water supply.  By the middle of the century (2050), the staggering population growth will see consumers having to reduce their animal protein intake by 75%.  Existing protein foods chains such as meat, dairy and fish will need to invest in improved productivity in production, technology and yield to meet these demands.

World Protein Consumption


Water Shortage

70% of the worlds fresh water is used to irrigate crops , with just 20% of the worlds crop lands irrigated and that irrigated agriculture only supporting 40% of all food production, environmental threats such as drought will have a serious impact on food security world wide (SIWI).  Competition for water for food and increasing water for energy, which is predicted to increase by 60% over the next 30 years will see more integrated farming systems developed to increase productivity of both of these essential resources.

Land and Crop Yields

40% of the worlds land surface is used for agriculture with only 12% used for growing crops.  The remaining is used for grazing and forestry.  While the FAO predicts the world has enough land to meet increasing agriculture demands, not all of the arable land is evenly distributed around the world.  Counties, like China who hold 20% of the worlds population, is losing farming land  at an alarming rate and is now a net importer of food which puts pressure on other countries resources.  Investing in new farming technologies to intensify crops and reduce environmental impacts such as soil erosion, water pollution and deforestation has the potential to deliver vital food security to local markets.

Our Mission

We aim to utilize proven engineering principles, science and the latest technology and equipment to deliver farming systems agro-ecologically designed to produce premium aquaculture and horticulture products in the most environmentally and economically sustainable way to tackle The Global Challenge.

We will achieve this by:

  • Collaboration with industry experienced people across the aquaculture and horticulture industries
  • Developing closed loop integrated systems with minimal to zero environmental emissions
  • Utilizing all waste streams in designs to increase sustainability and production yields
  • Integrating multi biotic components to mimic natural ecosystems in design
  • Continuing to maintain and promote industry best management and husbandry practices

We are a group of practical industry experienced professionals with backgrounds in agriculture, aquaculture, hydroponics, engineering, horticulture, environmental science and conservation.  We offer farm consultancy, design and construction services to aquaculture and horticulture industries, government, research and education facilities, local and internationally.

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