Urban agric-ulture is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in, or around (peri-urban), a village, town or city. Urban agriculture in addition can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agro-forestry and horticulture. These activities also occur in peri-urban areas as well.
Urban farming is generally practised for income-earning or food-producing activities, though in some communities the main impetus is recreation and relaxation. Urban agriculture contributes to food security and food safety in two ways: First, it increases the amount of food available to people living in cities; and, second, it allows fresh vegetables and fruits and meat products to be made available to urban consumers. A common and efficient form of urban agriculture is the biointensive method.
Because urban agriculture promotes energy-saving local food production, urban and peri-urban agriculture are generally seen as sustainable practices. Social benefits that have emerged from urban agricultural practices are: better health and nutrition, increased income, employment, food security within the household, and community social life. Urban farms can be seen as a means of improving the livelihood of people living in and around cities.
Urban agricultural facts
• 50 per cent of the world’s population lives in cities.
• 800 million people are involved in urban agriculture world-wide and contribute to feeding urban residents.
• Low income urban dwellers spend between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of their income on food each year.
By 2015, about 26 cities in the world are expected to have a population of 10 million or more. To feed a city of this size – at least 6,000 tonnes of food must be imported each day.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, has defined urban agriculture as: An industry that produces, processes and markets food and fuel, largely in response to the daily demand of consumers within a town, city, or metropolis, on land and water dispersed throughout the urban and peri-urban areas, applying intensive production methods, using and reusing natural resources and urban wastes to yield a diversity of crops and livestock.
Transforming a part of your home in the city into a mini-farm is something simple that you could do on your own. Imagine having all the seasonal vegetables and fruits in your backyard ready for picking and eating. So here are some tips which, hopefully, could help you on how to start your own farm at home.
The first thing that you have to do is to find a space to build your homestead. It could be your backyard, frontyard, garage, empty lot, window boxes or even your rooftop. You don’t necessarily need a very large space for your mini farm. You could actually grow different types of plants in a small space. So the size of the space is not a major issue. As long as you have space then that is okay. If you are planting in your frontyard or your backyard, then you could just dig up the ground.
You could also use pots or tubs though if you do not want to dig your lawn.
The next thing that you have to do is to acquire seeds. If you are a beginner, it would be advisable to start with simple plants: meaning plants that don’t require a lot of maintenance. Tomatoes, okra, leafy vegetables are great to start with. Once you have planted your seeds, all you have to do is to water and tend them everyday until they grow. Try to read books on farming and gardening also to know more about the fruits and vegetables in season and as well as how to maintain them.
Urban agriculture is not only a hobby or an activity for leisure. Urban agriculture also makes the city a healthier place to live by improving the quality of the environment. Urban farms also are a proven effective educational tool to teach kids about healthy eating and meaningful physical activity. It also reconnects us to mother nature and it also serves as an inspiration that on our own, we could do our share to help the environment
Source: newsroom - meattradenewsdaily.co.uk
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