With half of the world’s population now living in cities, a number that is projected to reach two-thirds in the coming decades, people are becoming increasingly disconnected from their food both geographically and conceptually. Food travels greater distances, leading to increased waste, food miles, and supply chain vulnerability.
History tells us that during times of stress people turn to urban agriculture. Therefore, it is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a resurgence of urban agriculture for its contributions towards food security, health and wellbeing. Moreover, urban agriculture has been identified as a key strategy for adapting to climate change. Recent analysis identified it as a $4 billion growth opportunity for Australia.
So is urban agriculture just a nice idea, or a plausible reality?
Cosmos spoke to Isobel Hume, Dr Matthias Salomon and Professor Tim Cavagnaro from The University of Adelaide about their new study showing why backyard farming is the type of dirty work you want to be involved in.
Deborah Devis is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) in biology and philosophy from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in plant molecular genetics from the University of Adelaide.
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