What is RUF?
Redd Urban Farms or rūf (pronounced “roof”), is a network of rooftop farms across Bangalore city. Rūf has been created so that the points of vegetables production are closer to the points of consumption. This reduces the pollution involved in the process of bringing the vegetables from the farm to the table.
Reason we do this #1
You may not be eating the most nutritious food
Intensive farming relies on transportation of the produce over long distances to cities. Not all varieties of vegetables can withstand the kind of abuse that occurs during transportation. Only varieties of vegetables that can withstand transportation are typically grown by farmers and this may mean that the produce we eat may not be the most nutritious.
Reason we do this #2
A third of produce is wasted during transportation
There is no other industry on earth that, if run without subsidies, would tolerate losses of these staggering proportions! But intensive commercial farming is only possible where the cost of land is small or negligible and typically these are far outside cities where people live. This means that produce grown in these large farms need to be transported to wholesalers, then to retailers and finally to consumers who need to transport it home and about 33% of the produce is wasted in this process!
Reason we do this #3
Intensive farming just isn't sustainable
The current practices of farming isn't sustainable simply because we can't keep tearing down such large tracts of forests, spending so much energy pumping water and pesticides and depend so much on fossil fuels to transport the produce. We really need to rethink our strategies for feeding ourselves before it's too late.
Reason we do this #4
Intensive farming is the single-largest user of fresh water
Intensive farming methods are heavily reliant on fresh water. The water once poured on top of the soil touches roots of plants once and seeps down and is lost. The cycle is repeated until the plant is ready to be harvested. The water is doing little else apart from being the medium for conveying nutrition and can be recycled easily, but that's not possible using intensive farming techniques.