What is Urban Agriculture?
This can be defined as growing plants and raising animals within and around cities. The striking difference between rural and urban agriculture is that urban agriculture is incorporated into the urban economic and ecological system. This association involves the use of urban inhabitants as laborers, use of urban resources (such as organic waste used as compost), influence by urban plans and policies, direct links with urban consumers, etc. Urban agriculture is an essential part of the urban system, and is not something that will fade away over time; it increases as the city grows. This article seeks to highlight examples of urban agriculture done differently around the world that African farmers can seek to emulate.
- Sky greens, Singapore
Singapore is a small country that imports majority of its food from Indonesia, China, United States, and even Europe, thus the Sky Greens project came as a way of feeding a growing population. The vegetables that are locally grown make up about 7% of consumption proving that Sky Green’s vertical farming provides an efficient and environmentally sound solution. This project is the world’s first low-carbon hydraulic water-driven urban vertical farm that lessens the amount of energy and land required for traditional farming techniques. The low-carbon hydraulic system and greenhouse ensures the growth of lettuce and cabbages all year round consuming less water and energy.
- Sharing backyards, throughout Canada, New Zealand, and United States
The idea of sharing backyards provides a solution for individuals who don’t have land but wish to grow food locally by connecting them with people who have unused yard space. Through the program’s website, people with unused backyards/property can post their exact location, and those looking for space are able to search nearby locations at no cost. This idea already has yard-sharing programs set all through Canada, New Zealand, and United States, and Africans are encouraged to start their own local programs.
- Food Field, Detroit, Michigan
The main aim of the innovators of this idea is to create an alternative to the corporate food system. Food Field is an urban built farm on an exclusive site which offers a community supported agriculture services that offers more nutritious food and economic prospects for the residents. It produces whatever the local community asks for; also including people’s favorites like salad greens and mulberries. The program is expanding with a new system to incorporate fish, in addition to collecting eggs from their ducks and chickens.
This program has begun to transform vacant lots in Bryan, Texas, by showing how urban farming can not only produce healthy food but also educate and inspire its residents to eat healthy food and steer entrepreneurship and tourism. Its main goal is to get fresh farm produce on plates at local restaurants in order to promote a healthier community.
- Farm: shop and Farm: London, United Kingdom
This project is the self proclaimed first urban farming hub; it offers small scale farming, workspaces, and a café for neighboring residents. It is a unique example of urban agriculture. A once neglected store front can include small-scale aquaponic fish farming, a poly-tunnel, and a high-tech indoor allotment; additionally it also has a rooftop chicken coop and café. The main goal of this project is to grow food for city dwellers as well as prove to other people in London that one can be able to grow food without large tracts of land.