Education in Urban Agriculture

Urban agriculture (UA) will never substitute food production from farmland but it can contribute to make more fruits and vegetables available near our growing urban world population. This calls for interdisciplinary research, but above all for interdisciplinary education. The next generation of urban farmers and developers is currently applying to our universities. Now the potential of UA is beginning to be realized, these young people will need practical hands-on skills and interdisciplinary knowledge to design new food system solutions. How to use limited space in an intense way, using the newest technology in an ecologically sound way calls for a large number of skills (see growing power). A growing number of universities develops courses and programs on UA (Redwood in Agriculture in urban planning 2009: 236).

A good example of a course which integrates how to learn to grow food and slaughter small poultry livestock with the theoretical knowledge from various disciplines such as soil science, horticulture, (insect) ecology, sociology and biology is the Urban Agriculture course at University of California, Berkeley. According to the course description the interdisciplinarity will

“allow us to better understand the biophysical and socioeconomic opportunities for and obstacles limiting urban and peri-urban agriculture”.

With the next round of education reform towards a semester model coming up, there should be space for a course on Urban Agriculture at Wageningen University.

One thought on “Education in Urban Agriculture

  1. Subsistence agriculture vs decorative agriculture – UA is belongs to the later. It is interesting to see this avenue. I guess it has good potential in case of – pet animal, floriculture (flower, orchid, cactus etc.), cage bird, aquarium fish culture, kitchen vegetable & fruits, and of course food processing of these produces.

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