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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: 3, Interesting) by richtopia on Thursday February 14 2019, @12:41AM

    by richtopia (3160) on Thursday February 14 2019, @12:41AM (#800803) Homepage Journal

    I'm a gardener and follow an urban farmer on YouTube for inspiration. From what I've seen, many installations are actually suburban; taking advantage of back yards or vacant plots.

    I doubt these systems can replace all of the calories consumed by a city. However, they can be beneficial in other ways:
    1. Reduce transport costs by producing near consumption
    2. Reduce duration between harvest and consumption. This helps with nutritional content and spoilage
    3. Enable debt-free farming. Competing with factory farms is very difficult for new entrants to the industry. Urban farms typically are on borrowed/leased land with hand tools or small machinery reducing the capital investment

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