Urban vegetable for food security in cities. A review

  • Global food production faces great challenges in the
    future. With a future world population of 9.6 billion by 2050,
    rising urbanization, decreasing arable land, and weather extremes
    due to climate change, global agriculture is under pressure. While
    today over 50 % of the world population live in cities, by 2030,
    the number will rise to 70 %. In addition, global emissions have
    to be kept in mind. Currently, agriculture accounts for around
    20–30 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. Shifting food
    production to locations with high demands reduces emissions
    and mitigates climate change. Urban horticulture increases global
    food production by exploiting new locations for cultivation.
    However, higher land prices and urban pollution constrain urban
    horticulture. In this paper, we review different urban cultivation
    systems throughout the world. Our main findings from ecological,
    economical, and social aspects are: (1) Urban horticulture
    activities are increasing globally with at least 100 million people
    involved worldwide. With potential yields of up to 50 kg per m2
    per year and more, vegetable production is the most significant
    component of urban food production which contributes to global
    food security. (2) Organoponic and other low-input systems will
    continue to play an important role for a sustainable and secure
    food production in the future. (3) Despite the resource efficiency
    of indoor farming systems, they are still very expensive. (4)
    Integrating urban horticulture into educational and social programs
    improves nutrition and food security. Overlaying these,
    new technologies in horticultural research need to be adopted for
    urban horticulture to increase future efficiency and productivity.
    To enhance sustainability, urban horticulture has to be integrated
    into the urban planning process and supported through policies.
    However, future food production should not be “local at any
    price,” but rather committed to increase sustainability.

  • Eigenbrod, Christine and Nazim Gruda

  • Journal Article

  • Agronomy for Sustainable Development

  • 35

  • 483–498

  • 2014-12-11

  • 10.1007/s13593-014-0273-y

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