Cities need better support and they need to give back more than their garbage. Precision ag has to do with finely tuned soils, nutrition and irrigation. This is a good fit around cities. Cities are typically on and around prime agricultural zones. They have the capacity to chip in to promote and develop a high quality clean ag in those zones where their local farmers can provide for their needs indefinitely. If they change the model from A.) goods in; Garbage, sewage, and tech out, to B.) Goods in, vested tech and refined and recycled clean nutrient sources out, precision ag in and around cities can be a symbiotic totally supporting relationship that is sustainable for cities, agriculture and the planet.
Precision agriculture, what it can do:
By the production figures on my organic farm in Oregon–an average temperate climate–150 people/hectare (50 people/acre) can receive plentiful protein and calories. Not quite as productive as a well planned food forest or smallholding, but still pretty good . A city can grow most of its own vegetables and quite a bit of fruit from within with a little strategic tweaking.
Therefor, to cash in on the profit potential of Precision agriculture without pushing us more in the wrong direction, we should establish nutrient capture and quality control labs, in every city to support fertigation with clean waste nutrients. Protect every bit of prime farmland in the 100 mile radius of large cities (smaller for smaller cities.) Protect aquifers from unsustainable/irresponsible draws… etc.
Most importantly, enjoin precision ag with the best technologies of organic agriculture and fill in all the borders and margins with rich biology either in the form of diverse native forest, or well designed permaculture food forest.
Precision ag needs water. Plan for the sustainable clean water supplies now by following the successful hydrologic development strategies of permaculture. Developing stable hydrology takes time