Urban Farming, No Laughing Matter
Following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s (PhD) advise to eat greens as a main dish, there seemed to be public opposition to not only the remarks but to the whole idea. Social media gigs continuously presented the idea as one that came from an administration that failed to sustain food supply to its population despite continued advocacy on public media towards urban farming.
Partly, the public’s displeasure is understandable as the economy is hit hard by skyrocketing food prices. Year-on-year inflation was 34.7Pct in March with items like food oil hard to find. The burden is heavy and all options should be on the table and as such, urban farming is not a laughing matter.
Urban agriculture is a great way to get fresh, local produce while also helping the environment. By using every piece of vacant land for farming, cities can reduce their reliance on food grown elsewhere and decrease the amount of pollution caused by transportation. Additionally, urban farms provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn about agriculture and healthy eating.
Urban farming improves the local economy, provides fresh produce for the community, and promotes sustainability. By growing food in cities and towns, reliance on imported food can be reduced significantly, thus reducing forex outlays and damage to the environment. It can also create green jobs and breathe new life to abandoned spaces.
Cities across the globe are taking up this agrarian trend for good reason. Urban farming has a plethora of benefits for cities and their inhabitants; its impact on food reliance is profound. By 2050, it is estimated that 70Pct of the world’s population will reside in cities, meaning more people than ever before will need access to fresh, healthy produce. Urban farming can help make this a reality by bringing agriculture into densely populated areas and helping reduce food insecurity.
The matter is now becoming a movement that is growing in popularity as people become more interested in where their food comes from and how it is grown. This can be especially helpful during times when there are shortages of certain foods at the store or when prices are high. There is significant evidence supporting how urban farming improves nutrition levels while helping create a sense of community among neighbors who might not otherwise know each other well.
Finally, urban farming teaches people about agriculture and how food grows. For city-dwellers who have little exposure to rural life, learning about agricultural practices can be eye-opening. It can also inspire them to get involved in local food initiatives and help make their communities more sustainable.
Practiced throughout history and popularized during the second half of the 20th century, China, India, Brazil, and Nigeria have the highest levels of urban farming.
There is growing interest in urban farming as a means to improve food security and promote local food production. While the potential benefits of urban farming are many, there are also some obstacles that need to be addressed. One key challenge is that cities may not have enough vacant land to accommodate sufficient-scale agriculture. Another is the lack of knowledge and experience among city residents in growing crops or raising livestock. City officials need to develop policies and zoning regulations that support urban farming, while at the same time ensuring that it does not clash with other land uses or create nuisances for residents. In addition, educational programs should be developed to teach city residents about sustainable agriculture practices.
EBR 10th Year • Apr 2022 • No. 106