Urban farming will never replace conventional farming entirely.
But a University of Alabama Extension specialist said he believes it could play a vital role in eliminating food deserts, providing jobs and improving the health of inner-city residents, according to a news release.
To cultivate urban farming, Ayanava Majumdar says three criteria must be met.
The initial phase involves restoring an agrarian livelihood that in most cases has been lost generations ago.
During the next few years, Majumdar will team with other public and private entities to provide much of this training.
"We're talking about a community movement of self-sustenance," Majumdar said in the release.
Although the movement has taken root in some other parts of the country, it has been slow to catch on in Alabama.
High production costs are the largest obstacle, since urban farming is labor intensive.
But that is changing as equipment manufacturers scale down rigs for urban applications.
Urban farming also has the advantage of adapting quickly to local needs.
The federal government and some state governments already provide seed money for start-up operations.