Using only plastic sheets and an irrigation-nutrient system, a Japanese researcher has found a way to change agriculture as we know it. Professor Yuichi Mori argues in his talk at TEDx Tokyo that a film made of hydrogel with nano-sized holes in it is the most important ingredient for growing crops.
The roots of plants will attach themselves to the transparent membrane plastic and the technique uses much less fertilizer and one tenth of the water to produce the same amount of crops as in conventional agriculture.
According to Mori any surface in the world will work, from contaminated ground from the Tsunami in Japan in 2011 to the desert. This last statement is being tested at the moment, as desert greenhouses in the Middle East are supplied with the technique.