Is Urban Agriculture the Future of Farming at Home and Around the Globe?

Library Resources | July 19, 2017

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CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) provides universities worldwide with research tools for agriculture, the environment and urban farming.

Students of sustainable agriculture learn the concepts and techniques they need to practice and promote farming that is environmentally sound as well as profitable, according to the College Board, an organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. With this notion in mind, universities worldwide are looking to provide students with the tools needed to tackle issues in agriculture and the environment through focused research. CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) is an international not-for-profit organization with a mission – a mission that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture, the environment and urban farming. CABI’s approach involves putting information, skills and tools into people's hands and its 48-member countries guide and influence CABI’s work, which is delivered by scientific staff based in centers worldwide.

Students majoring in global health, agriculture and the environment require a unique set of tools to combat issues in the real world, which includes understanding new methods of sustainability.

(Urban) farm to table

One method that has taken roots is urban agriculture. This type of farming has become increasingly important in recent years to combat hunger and provide fresh produce in areas not suited for traditional farming. According to the University of Missouri Extension Urban Agriculture Best Practices and Possibilities report, “the popularity of urban agriculture has increased considerably in the last few years as concerns about the environment have combined with increased interest in health and community-building issues, giving rise to support for food systems in metro areas as an integral part of a sustainable development path for cities.”

Students focused on urban agriculture will need to learn about the type of land that can be used, what foods grow best in urban areas and how to teach urban farmers the tools to create and run a successful business.

Students majoring in global health, agriculture and the environment require a unique set of tools to combat issues in the real world, which includes understanding new methods of sustainability.

Environmental and Community Benefits

Urban agriculture not only provides city residents with healthy, sustainable food, but it can also promote community bonds and jobs. However, there are challenges including zoning, soil and water access and ensuring the business is profitable, the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources reports.

By understanding the unique challenges urban farmers face, students educated in the fields of global health, agriculture and the environment are able to address such issues head-on, allowing the farmers and the communities they serve to thrive. Additionally, students have the resources to follow trends – what foods sell best, how to cut costs, etc. — while working to stay ahead of issues like seed diseases and food contamination and spoilage.

Sharing the wealth

The internet and Google-like searches may seem like the optimal place for a person interested in urban farming and other environmental and agricultural programs to turn to, however these resources can be riddled with false information. Trusted tools like CAB Abstracts or Global Health databases from CABI are curated by experts in the field to provide quality, comprehensive, relevant and above all reliable information - saving time and effort. They enable users to make informed decisions based on the evidence from research.

CAB Abstracts features a broad range of case studies, policy guidelines and information on new technology for urban agriculture, providing students with real-life tools to learn from. Case studies support urban farming in the United States, as well as countries worldwide such as China, Nigeria, Kenya and Korea.

Additionally, users of Global Health and CAB Abstracts databases from CABI have access to information on how to improve food security through good agriculture practices, combating threats to agriculture and the environment, and helping to reach sustainable development goals around the world.

For a free trial of Global Health and CAB Abstracts from CABI, click below.  Individual students/researchers are encouraged to recommend CABI resources to your local Librarian or Department.

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