Urban Farming: Roles, Benefits, Business Prospects – Cultivating crops for the purpose of serving the immediate environment, and providing healthy food materials could be seen as some of the driving forces of urban farmers. Some urban farmers may be nutritionists who value the health of fellow human beings while they make a good profit from it. In this read, we highlight the general concept of urban farming, its types, best practices, how to start an urban farming business, benefits of urban farming, and its business prospects.
Overview of Urban Farming
Previously, food crops were usually grown in the rural areas and transported to the urban areas for purchase and use by the final consumer, however, we have witnessed an innovative era where agriculture is redefined to accommodate new and safe practices even at the comfort of our homes. this redefinition gave rise to urban farming. There are numerous benefits of urban farming which will be discusses in details later in this post, but some include provision of food, availability of meat, diary products, health security. etc.
Meaning of Urban Farming: Roles, Benefits, Business Prospects
Urban farming therefore, involves the cultivation of food crops by people or an individual, using the available green space to plant for profit making. In other words, it means the cultivation of local crops in the urban areas for easy access to fresh crops which are good sources of healthy meals.
It does not end at growing plants such as pepper, vegetables, it also involves rearing small animals such as chicken for meat, snails, eggs or other plants like mushroom, some other food crops like plantain, bananas, even fruits such as tomatoes, pawpaw, cucumber, coconut, medicinal plants such as Roman chamomile, rosemary, uziza leaf, scent leaf and other kind of minor herbal plants.
Types of Urban Farming
Here, emphasis is made on the types of urban farming practicable in recent times for the purpose of maximizing profits. here are 5 notable kinds of urban farming. They include:
1. Backyard garden:
Here, food crops are grown on home properties. Some people have large plots of land in their residential homes but would not utilize them. Hey, if you have such, then try backyard garden. You may decide to grow in small quantities for a start to get use to the process and care of the plants for better yield. Produce from backyard garden may not necessarily be sols for large profits for a state, but trust me, if you have earned from it once, you might want to rent a neighbors backyard to expand the business next time.
2. Rooftop Gardens.
Rooftop garden came as a solution to limited space in agriculture. In most urban areas, there is little or no land space for planting. This is rather a more technical way to plant crops but its completely beneficial. This type of urban farming requires a bit of large planning on how and what to plant with either the container or making roof top beds, consulting to ensure that the roof will support the weight of your plant, Checking to ensure easy access for materials to and from the roof, channeling a source of water to the roof and finally, use the appropriate soil. There are two major ways to plant on the roof top , bed or containers. Potting soil is the concentrate used for effective rooftop garden.
3. Vertical farms:
Vertical farms simply includes the use of minimal space to achieve large quantity planting and harvesting. It could be green walls, where the empty spaces on the wall are used to cultivate crops or mounting of irons with multiple strata where planting will be done and placed on for germination, growth and harvest. So, if you have little space and would love to try urban farming, try the vertical farms and expect great yield.
4. Animal husbandry:
As said earlier, this business does not only entail the cultivation of crops for consumption, it also involves rearing of small animals alongside the plants. Here, the farmer would need to take an authorized location to be able to rear these animals. Certain animals are restricted in some areas and may not be allowed access. therefore, careful evaluation of intended location is important before one proceeds to venture into animal husbandry in the urban areas. Some of the small animals include animals such as poultries, goats, rabbits, or sheep, fish of any kind.
5. Forest Gardening:
This is the practice of using urban forests to cultivate crops for subsistent or commercial use, with permission from appropriate authorities. Since the land is likely to be spacious, forest gardening can give room for multiple crop cultivation, while it discourages deforestation.
How to Start an Urban Farm
We have discussed various kinds of urban farming in this post. However, exposing the steps to begin will determine the best type suitable for various individuals based on their needs. While some require little or no capital to start, others are capital intensive. Before thinking of how to start an urban farming business consider how much does it cost to start an urban farm. The procedures to start an urban farm includes:
- Acquire a space, if you have one use it, if you don not have, then get a space.
- Clear the space if it is bushy, if its rooftop, consult the roof engineer
- till the soil to give it a different texture and improve yield if its rooftop, make the best or prepare the bottle for planting
- sprinkle the fertilizer on the soil before planting
- Sow, water, weed, nurture the plants
- wait for maturity and harvest
Benefits- General and Health benefits
The general benefits of urban farming includes access to food nd availability of substances, emphasis on health through hygienically grown farm produce, profit maximization etc.
Since this writeup discusses urban farming in the light of business. We have pointed out a few prospects of this business for profit maximization.
Ever considered being a major supplier of fast selling and highly demanded agricultural produce in your community of residence? this is a multi million business. If there is availability of unused land round you, then urban farming is the answer. Urban farmers who cultivate cash crops can earn between $100- $1000 dollar monthly for a start. The earnings is bound to increase as they expand the business.
In summary, urban farming is a lucrative business that gives farmers the opportunity to contribute their quota to promote healthy living by planting and distribution of food crops and grant easy access to the products. An urban farmer soon becomes a major marketer where with good strategy and consistency.