Preservation of agricultural land is crucial. Annually, one million acres of farmland are converted to nonfarm uses. Most of the conversion happens in metropolitan counties where four out of five Americans live. Urban agriculture is an emerging way of growing food in and around metropolitan areas. Last Wednesday, the Commercial Horticulture Agent in Orange County, Hannah Wooten discussed the growing needs in urban agriculture.
Before we dive in the details, let’s have a look at some statistics in Florida to understand why we need urban agriculture.
- Florida 3rd largest state by population.
- Florida’s second largest industry is agriculture.
- Nation’s second highest value of vegetable production from Florida.
- Growing seasons favorable for specialty crop production.
- Less than 1% of Floridians are farmers.
- 12% of households in Florida are food insecure
“The good news about the future of food is that our problems are totally solvable!” says Hannah, “As is, we waste 40% of our food between the farm and your trash can. If we just stop wasting food, everybody eats without cutting down more trees. A more controversial solution is to seek cellular solutions using genetic modification techniques aimed at enhancing food production efficiency. Organic agricultural production does seek environmentally sustainable solutions but yields less food per acre. Urban agriculture is another solution that keeps food close to the consumer, thus reducing nutritional loss during transportation and offering superior product on a local level.”
The domestic food supply is incredibly important, and traditional farmers on tractors are not the only ones supplying the food. The future of farming is exciting. Watch the recording to learn more: