The importance of urban farming has been flourishing in times of the crisis – helps people fight COVID-19 pandemic
Coronavirus is changing the world in unprecedented ways. Widespread lockdowns are pushing urban residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables from their homes.
According to architects and food experts, lockdowns are pushing more city dwellers to grow fruits and vegetables in their homes, providing a potentially lasting boost to urban farming.
During the crisis, panic buying in some countries has led to empty supermarket shelves and uptick in the purchase of seeds, according to media reports.
“More people are thinking about where their food comes from, how easily it can be disrupted, and how to reduce disruptions,” said landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, who designed Asia’s largest urban rooftop farm in Bangkok.
“People, planners, and governments should all be rethinking of how land is used in cities. Urban farming can improve food security and nutrition, reduce climate change impacts, and lower stress,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In recent decades, the fast pace of urbanization in developing countries is causing urban malnutrition, the Food and Agriculture Organization said, calling on planners to become “nutrition partners” and pay attention to food security.
Despite pressure on land to build homes and roads, there is more than enough urban land available within UK cities to meet the fruit and vegetable requirements of its population, researchers at the Institute for Sustainable Food at the Britain’s University of Sheffield said in a study last month.
On Monday, Singapore lawmaker Ang Wei Neng said that during the coronavirus outbreak, “it would be wise for us to think of how to invest in homegrown food”.
For Allan Lim, Chief Executive of ComCrop, a commercial urban farm in Singapore, the pandemic is a reminder that disruptions to food supplies can take place at any time.
“It has sparked more interest in local produce. Urban farms can be a shock absorber during disruptions such as this,” he said.