New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Welfare Politics: Is Urban Farming the Answer?

Malik Yakini. D-Town is a two acre farm operated by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.

“We would encourage everyone to start growing something”

By Bankole Thompson
Michigan Chronicle
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.”

Read the complete article here.

1 comment

1 Lanay Perry { 12.22.11 at 6:35 pm }

“The situation we face is a very complex situation,” indeed. Detroit’s history is no secret to anyone. Some aspects of our current situation are pretty unique to Black people in America, but on the whole we face many obstacles seen across the globe. The greatest of these obstacles are fear and apathy. Those “who have” fear “not having” which results not only in a refusal or reluctance to help the underdogs, but many lack respect for those who do not have and who are not willing to work to improve their situation. Urban farming adresses each of these issues. Food is grown, not purchased with food stamps or taking away from local farmers’ markets. The farm mentioned in this article, particularly, allows anyone in the community to not only become a member, but to volunteer as well. This means that the people reaping the benefits of receiving fresh produce, but they also have the opportunity to learn how to create their own vegetable garden or farm and all that operating a farm entails. I think this is a great idea and a definite solution to at least part of urban cities’ “complex situations.”. Peace.