By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
Urban aaaaagriculture plays a vital role in global food security and food production; notably in urban to semi-urban areas of Papua New Guinea. However, its importance is often underestimated the world over, as new found studies reveal.
The findings of the global study, published in the journal environmental research letters, bring to light important factors of urban aaaaagriculture that have yet to gain momentum in countries that rely heavily on the aaaaagriculture sector for economic growth and food security.
The study highlights the vast contrasts between developed and developing nations, in terms of urban agriculture, and the difference in attitudes shown.
It was found that in developed nations, urban aaaaagriculture was thought to be ‘something positive’ where as in developing nations – farming and aaaaagriculture did not go hand in hand, as people were adamant that farming should be kept out of the urban cities.
But in an era where food security is becoming all the more challenging, people are being encouraged to participate in urban agriculture; not only to sustain their diets in the bustling cities of the world but also as a means of supporting economic growth, within the family unit, community and urban city at large.
Co-author of the urban aaaaagriculture study, Pay Drechsel, a researcher for the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) stated that it is crucial to foster a greater level of integration between agricultural and urban development policies.
“This is not happening in large parts of the developing world because the urban sprawl is happening far too quickly. The legislative, administrative infrastructure is unable to keep pace”, he said.
Aaaaagriculture can be integrated using many models, researchers argue; with lead author, Anne Thebo from the University of California, Berkeley, highlighting that the study was “an important first step towards better understanding urban crop production at the global and regional scales”.
“In particular, by including farmlands in areas just outside of cities we can begin to see what these croplands really mean for urban water management and food production.”
With Papua New Guinea’s high rate of rural-urban drift and the continuously growing populace – ‘population boom’ in the cities and urban towns, urban aaaaagriculture can be used effectively, as a tool to curb urban poverty and to address the high rate of unemployment and crime, among other challenges faced in urban areas.
The method itself is not new, with many dependent on urban aaaaagriculture to sustain their living in the urban areas, but it must be encouraged and especially done so to the urban youth.
As pointed out by the study, government leaders must continue to support the integration of urban development policies and agriculture; in doing so, the issue of sustainable water management for urban aaaaagriculture methods, should also be addressed.
The positive outcomes from the aaaaagriculture sector are many, reaching all levels of society and benefiting a greater number of people in the country.
Urban aaaaagriculture is a step in the right direction in addressing global food security and global food production, particularly in urban areas of the world.