A Scan of Critical World Developments
Urban Farming: Sowing New Seeds in Latin America
According to a recent report from the UN Commission on Trade and Development, a transformation in agriculture will be necessary for food security on a warming planet. The report argued for a shift from an industrial, monocultural model heavily reliant on chemical inputs, to a diverse and regenerative agricultural system that empowers small-scale farmers. Such a shift has begun taking place across Latin America and the Caribbean. Twenty percent of urban households in Guatemala and Saint Lucia now practice urban, or peri-urban, agriculture; 90,000 residents of Havana, 50,000 families in Bolivia’s main cities, and 8,500 households in Bogotá do, as well. These urban farmers have been embracing practices that produce more and better-quality food with reduced reliance on agrochemicals, thereby improving food access for low-income families through farmers markets that link producers to consumers. The spread of urban agriculture also has the potential to foster a more regenerative relationship between human communities and the natural systems on which they depend. Through their work, urban farmers are sowing the seeds of the cities of tomorrow.