Target: Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack
Goal: Applaud agency’s support of small-scale urban farming as a way to combat global hunger.
Global hunger is an ongoing challenge as reflected in this petition, but thanks in part to the efforts of the ForceChange community, a significant step has been taken to combat this pressing issue.
By the year 2030, the majority of the world’s population or 60 percent, will live in cities. Without new solutions, feeding them will be very difficult. However, a growing success story has almost gone unnoticed. Small-scale urban farming has developed from a curiosity to a genuine global movement. According to the United Nations, urban farming is responsible for producing about 20 percent of all the food on Earth and its potential for growth appears unlimited.
Gotham Greens, in New York City, produces over 300 tons of herbs and salad greens per year using rooftop hydroponics and has plans for an urban farm in Chicago. After Hurricane Sandy, Gotham Greens was the only produce available in many of the city’s supermarkets. Food Field in Detroit converted the site of a former elementary school into a farm and plans a new aquaponics system for raising fish. Bryan, Texas is turning vacant lots into gardens, all year round, and wants to organize field trips that connect the community with food being produced for it. In London, FARM:shop even has a rooftop chicken coop and cafe. In Singapore, Sky Greens operates a three story urban greenhouse where it practices vertical farming that produces between five and ten times more food than traditional farming. In Cleveland, an entire shopping mall has been reborn as an urban farm while San Francisco has converted a former freeway on-ramp into an urban farming project. Sharing Backyards is a program that links people without yards with people who have unused yard space. Yard sharing programs are taking off across Canada, the United States and New Zealand.
These are just a few of the countless examples of urban farming operations sprouting up everywhere on Earth. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has acknowledged that urban farming is on the rise and with it, a growing demand to fund programs that support agriculture in urban areas. Urban farming is an important success story that could be critical to our future food supply. Applaud this positive advancement, and tell the Department of Agriculture, urban farming should be encouraged and supported, whenever and wherever possible.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. Where will their food come from? Fortunately, urban farming has grown from a curiosity into a global movement. An important success story, urban farms already produce 20 percent of the world’s food supply and, with endless potential, we want this movement to grow. Urban farming could be key to feeding the world’s population in the future.
There are countless examples of urban farming operations sprouting up, from the conversion of a dead shopping mall into an urban farm in Cleveland to vertical farming operations that produce five to ten times more food than traditional farming in Singapore. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has acknowledged that urban farming is on the rise and with it, a growing demand to fund programs that support agriculture in urban areas. Urban farming is an important success story we need to build on for a sustainable food supply when the majority of the world lives in cities. Thank you for taking the first steps to promote urban farming, and continue to do more to encourage this important solution.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Liza de Guia