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How Much of Humanity Hinges on Urban Farming?

Touch the Soil News #251

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is an arm of the United Nations. It is the only organization in the world that looks at the global picture of food. Recently, the FAO created a new website to promote the development of urban and peri-urban food around the world’s major metropolitan centers.

At the heart of the vision of the FAO is a shocking new concept called “City Region Food Systems.” In essence, agriculture needs to become the domain of cities – each city should strive to establish and develop its own food security. This is a 180 degree about face from the present system where Federal Governments subsidize Industrial mono-culture farms.

City Region Food Systems - When cities determine the future of food

The concept “City Region Food Systems” is about developing sustainable food-chains in and around the perimeters of cities. This means municipal/private partnerships that work together to identify land, resources, people, food-growing education and investments so as to create a food-secure zone.

This is the first time in modern history that the responsibility of food security is shifting to the local regions where people live. This kind of social and municipal support for local/regional food production may also see cities entering the population dilemma – does a society have a responsibility to balance population with resources?

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who took the post in 2007, exclaimed that: “Our Struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities.”

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