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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 13 2019, @08:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the Balconies-and-roofs dept.

Urban farming has grown by more than 30 percent in the United States in the past 30 years. Although it has been estimated that urban agriculture can meet 15 to 20 percent of global food demand, it remains to be seen what level of food self-sufficiency it can realistically ensure for cities.

One recent survey found that 51 countries do not have enough urban area to meet a recommended nutritional target of 300 grams per person per day of fresh vegetables. Moreover, it estimated, urban agriculture would require 30 percent of the total urban area of those countries to meet global demand for vegetables. Land tenure issues and urban sprawl could make it hard to free up this much land for food production.

Is urban farming a pipe dream, or can appropriating vacant lots for traditional farming or employing hydroponics make it work?

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @09:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13 2019, @09:14PM (#800735)

    Agricultural areas outside of the city are best for growing agricultural products. Hardly a surprise. Doing the same in a city is much more expensive. Some may grow a few stalks in a free space of their apartment and call it urban agriculture, but it's not sufficient even for the grower. If she wants to have a fuller garden, she needs to buy space, water, light - something that comes nearly free on a farm. She wants to set up hydroponics and tiered rows of plants? Sure, as long as you pay.

    There is also the problem of "Chinese iron furnaces in every backyard []." This program resulted in poor quality of the product and high cost due to decentralization. In our case each plant needs its small pouch of fertilizer. A farmer's self-driving tractor spreads fertilizer by a barrel, and each plant is handled in a millisecond, at a very low cost.

    Nobody needs urban farming until the deliveries of food to the city stop. But then everything stops, as the city does not have a coal mine and a coal powerplant, or a nuclear station, or an independent water supply, or a universal factory that makes everything from nothing. In other words, it would be your last chance to leave the city; urban farming will not be your primary thought.

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