Food production is an important part of our existence as humans, but the traditional definition of farming conjures up images of rolling wheat fields and large fields of fruit trees. As the population of the world grows and cities occupy more space, less and less of the world is available as land for farming. This is why urban farming is becoming increasingly more important.
This isn’t just community farming or household vegetable patches. Urban farming has a degree of commerce included. It is figuring out ways to grow produce or farm effectively and profitably with significantly reduced space.
Urban farming doesn’t need to be large scale and is used in many cases to support local food banks or soup kitchens, farmers’ markets, or restaurants. For restaurant supply, it is a great way to ensure fresh, local, and in-season produce.
Urban farming is especially important in poorer urban areas, particularly in developing countries. Urban farms create both food and employment opportunities. They also provide ways to assist with waste disposal and air quality control. Both of these tend to be large problems in urban centers. The centers also increase local food security because there is no need for a large distribution network<
Urban farming also supports healthy nutrition. It has been shown that lower-income households, especially in urban centers, have less access to fresh produce. Not only is it more expensive, but it is perishable so there is unreliable access to it. Because urban farming can include protein in the form of animal products, it seriously improves access in urban areas as well as improving the quality of the products available since they aren’t traveling from rural areas.
As the population of the world increases and we lose rural land, it will be increasingly important for us to use the land we do have efficiently, especially in urban centers that are underrepresented or low-income.<
Urban farming is a way to provide economic stimulus as well as high quality food in these areas and will be very important to food production moving forward.