BBC Future

Horizons

Farm to fork: The growing movement of urban farming

There are 7 billion people in the world, and the number is continuing to grow – with forecasters estimating that it will top 9 billion by 2050.

With pressure growing on available agricultural land and the logistical issues of transporting food over large distances, how will it be possible to feed an ever-expanding population?

Many are turning to the root of the problem – and are beginning to feed themselves by bringing farms into their cities.

Adam Shaw travels to New York where he meets some of the pioneers of urban agriculture, including a commercial organic farm using traditional agricultural methods but located on the roof of a six-story block in the shadow of the Empire State Building. He also learns how advances in greenhouse technology are encouraging higher crop yields in a smaller amount of space.

In other episodes in this series, Saima Mohsin visits an innovative research company that has been looking at a revolutionary way to grow plants indoors without natural light in the Netherlands, and Adam meets a specialist in public health who hopes to create a radical approach to growing food in cities – the multi-storied skyscraper farm.

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Image of Brooklyn Grange courtesy of T.Carrigan (Flickr) through Creative Commons licence.