According to projections by the United Nations, in 2050, 65% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Today, 800 million city-dwellers* participate in urban agriculture, accounting for 15% to 20% of food production worldwide.
In France, 60.000 ha** of farmland are urbanized each year: 19 m˛ of farmland are lost every second while the population continues to grow by more than 350,000 people per year.
Households are experiencing significant increases in the price of staple foods.
Urban agriculture transforms deserted spaces in our cities into viable farming areas and vegetable gardens in the heart of major consumption areas, develops farm-to-fork production and distribution systems for fruits and vegetables and fosters economic and social development for local populations.
Urban agriculture, farm-to-fork systems, and social responsibility at UrbAgri®
People have different ideas about how to define urban agriculture.
Urban agriculture can be seen as a form of farming carried out in dense urban areas or as a type of gardening for growing food in varying quantities. It may include various types of horticulture, such as market gardening, beekeeping, animal husbandry, and viticulture.
Urban agriculture can take place in individual or community gardens, on building roofs, in brownfield sites and public spaces, as well as on balconies, terraces and in indoor spaces.
For UrbAgri®, urban agriculture is also a tool for economic and social development that can be implemented in our cities in order to promote job creation through the production of quality fruits and vegetables, their distribution, marketing, and the creation of businesses linked to this new sector. The development of urban agriculture must be done with the utmost respect for the environment, reinforcing urban biodiversity and developing short supply chains.
UrbAgri® wishes to participate in the development of both the urban agriculture sector and in creating jobs within the sector.
In broad terms, urban agriculture is one of the solutions proposed and recommended by the United Nations and the FAO in order to address food security issues and meet the challenges of urbanization and suburbanization, particularly in developing countries.
In developed countries, it is seen as a means of encouraging social ties and producing a supplementary food supply for households. The environmental benefits and, in many cases, local economic benefits of the activity are often mentioned as well.
* FAO data
** INSEE and FAJ (French Young Farmers Federation) data