Urban Farming: A new approach to achieve food and environmental security

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It is no secret that food insecurity is proving to be a bigger struggle worldwide. The world’s population is also expected to increase by 2 billion in the next three decades, according to a new UN report.

Despite significant growth in food production over the past few decades, it has been estimated that we’ve to produce 70-80% more food to meet the burgeoning demand in the coming years.

However, the remedial measure to this complex issue is not simply about raising productivity. With additional challenges from climate change and dietary shifts, experts opine that the concept of ‘urban agriculture’ could be helpful in meeting the challenge of feeding the world.

What is Urban Agriculture?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, urban agriculture can be defined as:

“An industry that produces, processes and markets food and fuel, largely in response to the daily demand of consumers within a town, city, or metropolis, on land and water dispersed throughout the urban and peri-urban area, applying intensive production methods, using and reusing natural resources and urban wastes to yield a diversity of crops and livestock.”

Key Benefits

• Provides a pleasant space for citizens provided urban farming is planned in an organized way and integrated with the urban design

• Improves air quality by removing pollutants which are in the air such as chemicals and allergens like pollen.

• Generates employment opportunities for local people

• Helpful in biodiversity restoration

• Its energy-efficient nature can reduce the city’s carbon footprint by reducing the amount of transport that occurs to deliver goods to the final consumers

• Positive impact on community health, that explicitly impacts individuals’ social and emotional well-being.

• Expands the economic base of the urban region through production, processing, packaging, and marketing of consumable products.

Although urban agriculture is not a panacea for food insecurity, it has the potential to provide millions with some secure access to food.