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Traditional & Urban Agriculture: Why We Need Both

With an ever growing global population, agriculture is becoming an increasingly important focus in ensuring a sustainable food supply. Unfortunately, with the growth of industry cities are expanding. In turn, farmland is being paved over to allow these cities to grow. This is costing the world millions of acres of farmland annually and is becoming a chronic problem. Thankfully a new trend has been sweeping major urban centers, providing renewed hope in the form of urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is the growth of plants and/or raising of livestock in or near urban areas. While traditional agriculture is still the main food producer right now, urban agriculture is and will continue to gain importance as an alternative food source for years to come. With a growing demand for food supply, both of these methods will need to continue to grow healthy in order to feed the world population.

Traditional agriculture has been around for centuries and has always been an economic staple for the United States. With a large amount of farmland being lost annually, it’s imperative for traditional agriculture to produce sufficient, sustainable yields. Along with this, it will be important to avoid losing much more agricultural land in the future.

This map shows farmland lost in the United States to developing cities.

The Rise of Urban Agriculture

Although urban agriculture is improving the environment as well as aiding in food security, safety, and access, sufficient yields from urban agriculture to feed a global population cannot be expected. This is why we need both traditional and urban agriculture in order to obtain a sufficient food supply. The growing concern over air pollution created from the continual rise in industry is becoming more of a problem every day. With a majority of this air pollution being in cities, urban agriculture can play a huge role in solving this problem. This doesn’t mean that traditional agriculture methods don’t play a role as well though!

Synergy of Traditional & Urban Agriculture

Traditional agriculture will always play a major role in global food supply and economics. Since traditional farmland is much larger in area than most urban farms, more crops can potentially be yielded and more animals can be raised. Looking into the future though, with a constant growing population, new methods of growing are necessary in order to survive. With the decline in the area of farmland annually, urban agriculture will be this new method and can make up for the declining land for traditional agriculture. These two methods can work hand in hand to ensure that food supply stays at a sufficient amount as well as cleaning up the environment.

About The Author

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I am 22 years old, from Sanford, North Carolina. I'm currently entering my senior year at North Carolina State University, majoring in Biological and Agricultural Engineering with a minor in Soil Science. I'm looking to pursue a career in agriculture dealing with environmental protection.