According to the United Nations, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. Feeding that many urban dwellers are no easy task and it can also put a lot of pressure on the environment. This is where urban farming can help.
The practice can be crucial to feeding a growing populace, potentially producing as much as 180 million tons of food per year — or about 10 percent of the global output of pulses and vegetables. And the good news is that the current COVID-19 lockdowns are making this farming technique increasingly popular.
Since the start of the pandemic, lockdowns have been pushing more city dwellers to grow fruit and vegetables in their homes, providing a potentially lasting boost to urban farming.
Panic buying in some countries during the crisis has led to empty supermarket shelves and an uptick in the purchase of seeds, with people realizing that they don’t necessarily need to rely on food supply chains in order to get their vegetables.
The coronavirus outbreak is not the first time that concerns about food security have led to more kitchen gardens. During World War One, US President Woodrow Wilson asked Americans to plant “Victory Gardens” to prevent food shortages. The effort continued during World War Two, with vegetable gardens in backyards and schoolyards, on unused land, and even the front lawn of the White House.
That being said, let’s hope that when the COVID-19 crisis passes, such projects of self-sufficiency will keep popping up at the same rate, with farming rooftops and backyards providing city dwellers with the vitamins they need.