New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland

Click on image for larger file. Maps show where projected urban expansion until 2030 is expected to result in cropland loss. Competing areas (red) hold croplands but have a high probability (>75%; medium scenario) of becoming urbanized by 2030.

Urban agriculture, the expansion of farming into areas farther from urban centers, and farming intensification practices (such as the heavy use of fertilizers), will offset some of the loss of farmland, say the scientists.

By Andrew Amelinckx
Modern Farmer
January 27, 2017
(Must read. Mike)

Excerpt:

The study, “Future urban land expansion and implications for global croplands,” published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that by 2030, as much as 86.5 million acres of productive farmland worldwide—between two and four percent of total farmland—will be lost as the world’s so called mega-cities, generally defined as being more than ten million residents, and the adjoining areas, called “mega urban regions,” take over prime agricultural croplands to make room for a growing population and their activities.

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January 29, 2017   Comments Off on By 2030 Megacities May Devour More Than 86 Million Acres of Prime Farmland

Alternative farming on the rise in besieged Gaza

Said Salim Abu Nasser has grown 3,500 kg of organic produce without any soil. He grows herbs, lettuce and peppers with aquaponic farming [Mersiha Gadzo/Al Jazeera] Click on image for larger file.

As fertile land shrinks and water crisis deepens, Palestinians are searching for different ways to feed their families.

By Mersiha Gadzo
Aljazeera
Jan 28, 2017

Excerpt:

At sunset on a warm January day, Said Salim Abu Nasser’s three grandsons crouched on the ground, using bricks to crush chalk into powder for calcium to help grow vegetables in water.

Abu Nasser, 53, has grown 3,500 kilogrammes of organic produce without any soil, transforming his rooftop and concrete lot in Gaza City into an organic oasis. He grows a dozen different types of vegetables and herbs for his family, including eight children and eight grandchildren.

Using hydroponic techniques, Abu Nasser can grow twice as many crops than with conventional techniques, and he saves 90 percent more water by recycling nutrient-dense water. His broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce and cauliflower float on polystyrene squares with holes cut into them, while their roots absorb nutrients from the water.

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January 29, 2017   Comments Off on Alternative farming on the rise in besieged Gaza