City farming

Growing local
PostedNovember 21, 2012, in  Step 8: sustainable society
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There are more than 7 billion people on earth. Every second 5 people are born and 2 pass away. Therefore, the world population continuous to grow and all these people must be fed. At the same time, an urbanization process is taking place: in 2012 approximately 47% of all people live in urbanized areas and that percentage will only grow. Cities are not known as places where food is grown, however that may possibly change: city farming is emerging!

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Ryan Griffis (Wikimedia Commons)
 

No fertilizer and little water

'Cities cover only 2% of the Earth's surface, but consume 75% of its resources. Cities are black holes, they're swallowing our planet. But, more and more, they're turning green’, says Jac Smit, the author of Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs and Sustainable Cities. A good example of this development is the initiative that Eric Maunda took in West-Oakland. Eric lives in a typical concrete jungle with little green and a lot of asphalt. However, he does not see an obstacle there because he uses aquaponics, a sustainable eco system for the production of food. A combination of raising fish and plants in a circulating system: the fishes' waste is used as nutrients for the plants. No fertilizer is used and the water does not have to be cleaned all the time: up to 90 %(!) less water is used with respect to traditional agriculture.

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Bryghtknyght (Wikimedia Common)
 

Endless possibilities

Green initiatives are also being developed in Asia, where the population is growing fast. In Hong Kong there are different farms which have found a place on top of sky high apartment buildings. They grow lettuce, spinach, apples, carrots and everything else that comes to mind: the possibilities are endless! Even in Africa people have started urban farming, in places such as Nairobi, Kampala, and Dakar. The advantages are huge and it concerns more than only food: ‘These projects are not only helping to provide fresh sources of food for city dwellers, but they also provide a source of income, a tool to empower women, and a means of protecting the environment, among other benefits’, says May Njenga, researcher at the University of Nairobi.

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Dezsery (Wikimedia Commons)
 

We all need food

No matter who we are or where we come from: we all need food. However, it is a fact that the raw materials are getting scarce and food prices continue to rise. Therefore, we need new methods to provide food for ourselves. City farming can greatly contribute to this endeavour.

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PostedNovember 21, 2012, in Step 8: sustainable society
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TagsFood, water
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