Abstract: Soilless cultivation systems were primarily developed in response to the excessive spread of soil pathogens; however, they also allow an optimal control of plant grow, high productivity and product quality as well as very high efficiency of water and fertilizer use. At the same time, consumers remain critical towards soilless-cultivated vegetables, mainly due to the perception of these techniques as unnatural, resulting from artificial growth and consequently characterized by low quality. This mini review analyzes the evolutionary process of soilless cultivation within a vision of agriculture that supports environmental sustainability as the central theme of the discussion. Current knowledge suggests that, although apparently opposite, organic and high-tech soilless cultivation have several common or converging points in view of a sustainable use of resources on the planet. As a consequence, new policies should be oriented toward a reduction of environmental “pressure” by introducing a process certification of low environmental impact, which, together with an adequate product certification, related not only to the environmental aspect but also to product quality, can reduce the opposition of the two cultivation systems.

Keywords: high-tech cultivation; inputs efficiency; land sparing/sharing model; product certification; renewable growing media; urban horticulture

Riferimento Bibliografico: GONNELLA M., RENNA M., 2021 The Evolution of Soilless Systems towards Ecological Sustainability in the Perspective of a Circular Economy. Is It Really the Opposite of Organic Agriculture? Agronomy 2021, 11, 950.

Link all’articolo e al pdf: https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050950