It is no longer news that urban farming is now been considered as a much more modern and sustainable way of farming, following how such modern practice of farming provides good, healthy and desirable food for people, particularly in the urban areas where there is a rapid urbanization. However, despite how some developed and developing countries are adopting urban farming and setting up policies that will favour urban farmers in their countries, Nigeria is yet to utilize her urban areas in terms of providing sustainable urban farms that can supplement the traditional systems of farming in ensuring the availability of food crops all year round.
The global covid-19 pandemic paved a way for urban farming to be practiced by some developed and developing countries of the world, following how the global demand for healthy food increased during such period (a situation that could not be handled by the traditional ways of farming alone). Farms had to be set up in the urban areas of such countries and the results were outstanding compared to the results obtained from the traditional soil farming techniques.
Nigeria been the most populous country in the African continent, is blessed with enormous potentials in the agricultural sector of its economy, but such potentials are yet to be realized because of the numerous challenges the sector is facing, including the global covid-19 pandemic measures of lockdown and inter-state travel restrictions that disrupted the channels of food supply chains into cities and towns. The urban areas are also experiencing an influx of Nigerians from the rural areas at the beginning of every year, leading to a continuous reduction in the availability of lands, and an increase in the demand for food by the urbanites.
And so, considering all of such challenges faced by both the agricultural sector and the urban dwellers in Nigeria, drastic actions must be taken to so as to achieve food security in such areas, one of which is the utilization of these towns and cities for sustainable urban farming.
The urban areas of Nigeria are mostly charactized with white collar jobs, professionals of different fields, and few individuals that are into farming. However, we know that these jobs and professionals cannot provide food for the increasing population of the urban areas, and the farmers in the rural areas, cannot be able to meet up with the demand of such population. Hence, the need for urban dwellers to utilize the little spaces they have around them in adopting a more sustainable way of farming which is the urban farming.
For the urbanites, there are numerous benefits attached to adopting urban farming, some of which include;
- Provision of good, healthy and desirable food all year round, thus achieving food security.
- Provision of employment for the urban dwellers.
- Climate change and other factors affecting the traditional system of farming will be dealt with in urban farming.
- Urban farming makes use of less water and no soil in its practice.
- The health of the urbanites will be improved as they consume healthy food produce which are not affected by pests and diseases.
Although some states in Nigeria, including Lagos State, have started adopting urban farms in their towns and cities, certian things need to also be put in place for such modern system of farming to be adopted fully in the Nigerian agricultural sector, some of which are the creation of policies, programmes and initiatives that will favour these urban farmers. Hence, the creation of the Young City Farmers Initiative (YCFI), which is set up to ensure that Nigerian youths, particularly in the urban areas, are educated on urban farming and how they can set up their own farms.
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