Urban farming could play a role in reducing food deserts

08/29/2012 06:48:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

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.



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Roxanne Christensen    
Philadelphia, PA  |  August, 30, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Significant income can be generated by growing in yards and neighborhood lots if a business-oriented farming system like SPIN-Farming is followed. SPIN farms, though garden-sized, are operated as commercial enterprises. They produce consistently, in significant volume for their scale, and at commercial grade, and can generate $50k+ gross from 20,000 square feet. So their income makes farming viable as a small business in cities and towns and provide a cornerstone for locally-based farm economies that will provide business opportunity and increased food security. A calculator showing how much income can be generated from urban plots can be found here - http://www.spinfarming.com/common/pdfs/SPIN%20passalong%20calculator.pdf

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