A visitor observes vegetable grown in the AeroFarms in New Jersey, the United States, Dec. 17, 2015. (Xinhua/Wang Lei)
GUADALAJARA, Mexico, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Mexico City resident Leonardo Moreno grows his own vegetables, but not in a rooftop garden warmed by sunlight, as one might imagine, nor in small pots arranged on a kitchen windowsill.
Moreno uses LED lights to grow spinach, lettuce and other leafy greens in small fish tanks inside his apartment.
"The idea is not to shut ourselves off (to possibilities) and find alternatives to (traditional) food production," Moreno told Xinhua.
A member of Biohackers Mexico, which brings together people interested in biotechnology, Moreno presented his experiment in small-scale indoor urban farming at Campus Party, a five-day technology fair taking place until Sunday in Guadalajara, the capital of western Jalisco state.
Creating your own mini hydroponic garden "is just one more option that I'm presenting (to show) solutions are possible to future problems," he said.
"The creation of smart crops at home represents an alternative for people (in cities). It's a more practical system that offers savings and at the same time allows us to eat healthier and fresher foods," Moreno told participants at the fair.
Some 60 percent of commercial hydroponic gardens in Mexico fail for a variety of reasons, said Moreno, including insufficient knowledge about how the system works, poorly trained personnel, or market reasons.
"We need to strengthen the culture of producing crops in hydroponic greenhouses and in training technicians, because a well-advised greenhouse only has a 2 percent chance of failing," said Moreno.
An employee gives a briefing before a tour of Panasonic's first indoor vegetable farm at their factory in Singapore July 31, 2014. (Xinhua/REUTERS/Edgar Su)
In Mexico, he acknowledged, the sector lacks both the technology and investment to grow, as it has in Panama and China.
"Panama exports (hydroponic produce) and has great potential to do so, not to mention China, which has bet on this type of farming, has invested a lot of money in the technology and is even a leading manufacturer of the LED lights this type of farming needs," said Moreno.
Mexico could do the same, he says.
"I believe the future solution to the problem of climate change -- and also to guarantee future food security -- will be these types of crops," said Moreno.
There is an growing interest in indoor urban farming in Mexico, according to a group of young students in Jalisco working on their own small-scale hydroponic gardening project, who were looking for investors at Campus Party.
"We are studying the techniques ... you have to know about the parameters of light, the quantity of photons emitted, the quantity of oxygen. It's important for us to carry out our project," they said.