Welfare Politics: Is Urban Farming the Answer?
“We would encourage everyone to start growing something”
By Bankole Thompson
28 September 2011
Is urban farming the answer to an economy in Detroit that has left some jobless, homeless and others with no other means to make a living for their families?
Malik Yakini, a longtime Detroit advocate, entrepreneur, educator and pioneer of Africancentered education, said while urban farming is not the whole answer because “the situation we face is a very complex situation, it is part of the answer for the economy we are dealing with.”
Yakini, whose brainchild, the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN), has caught the attention of students from area colleges, including the University of Michigan who are studying models of transformation in urban centers like Detroit, said urban farming is critical for Detroit’s economic survival at this time.
“Food economy is the first economy of every society,” Yakini said. “If we are able to provide a significant amount of money from the food we produce, it can stimulate the economy because of the potential to hire more people to work on urban farming.”