Hydroponics is the fastest growing sector of agriculture, and it could very well dominate food production in the future. As the worlds’ population increases and arable land declines due to poor land management, people will turn to new technologies like hydroponics and vertical farming to create additional channels of crop production. Currently, arable land comprises only around 3 percent of the Earth’s surface, and the world population is around 6 billion people, resulting in around 2,000 square meters of arable land per capita. By 2050, scientists estimate that the Earth’s population will increase to 9.2 billion, while land available for crop and food production will decline. To feed the increasing population, hydroponics will begin replacing traditional agriculture.
Already there has been a great deal of talk throughout the scientific community for the increased use of hydroponics in third world areas, where water supplies are limited. Hydroponics has the ability to feed millions in areas of Africa and Asia, where both water and crops are scarce.
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Source: How stuff works; How hydroponics work