THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: The Urban Agriculture Revival
Some critics of urban agriculture see its growing popularity as a superficial response to public concerns about urban food deserts. However, urban agriculture could evolve instead to become an important part of the U.S. food system, as it already is in much of the rest of the world. The United Nations estimates that more than 800 million people worldwide cultivate fruits and vegetables or grow livestock in cities (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], n.d.). The World Watch Institute estimates that urban agriculture produces 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food (n.d.). The U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t yet collect data on urban agriculture, but urban gardens are becoming an increasingly important source of fresh vegetables and fruits in some cities. This is particularly true in the inner-city communities of old post-industrial cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia, and Camden, New Jersey (Royte, 2015).
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