Institute of Urban Farming and Sustainability is an initiative of Innovation Society India. IUFS is headed by Dr. Anirudh Garg who has more than decade experience in the domain. Urban farming is the need of our growing cities. Here we are working to facilitate urban agriculture/vertical farming/peri urban horticulture via the vital human resource development i.e. skill development in Indian youth, appropriate technology products for its smooth practice. Besides the conventional terrace vegetable growing our working involves other operations as the animal husbandry, goat farming, aquaculture, honeybee keeping and the vital civil, mechanical, engineering work including solar & wind farming. Much of COT & IoT will be soon visible. Also alternative food, herb therapy, technology as the spirulina are likely to come up soon, wheat germ is already popular. We envisage that urban farming is likely to take the form of a social movement for sustainable cities where organic growers, ‘foodies,’ and ‘locavores’ shall form l networks founded on a shared ethos of nature and community holism. These networks get evolved by receiving formal institutional support, become integrated into local town planning as a ‘transition town’ movement for sustainable urban development.

For the developing nations as ours, food security, nutrition and income generation are going to be key motivations for its success. In any case, more direct access to fresh vegetables, fruits through urban agriculture can improve food security and food safety.

In the historical time community wastes were used in ancient Egypt to feed urban farming. In Machu Picchu, water was conserved and reused as part of the stepped architecture of the city; vegetable beds were designed to gather sun in order to prolong the growing season.  We have also witnessed Allotment gardens coming up in Germany in the early 19th century as a response to poverty and food insecurity. Victory gardens sprouted during WWI and WWII and there have been fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens in cities of US, Canada and UK. These efforts were undertaken by citizens to reduce pressure on food production. A community farming program that is well-established is Seattle’s P-Patch. The grass roots aquaculture movement has been hugely influential in the renaissance of urban agriculture throughout the world.

The Severn Project in Bristol were started in 2010 for £2500 and provided 34 tons of produce per year, employing people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The idea of supplemental food production beyond rural farming operations and distant imports is not new and has been used during war times and the Great Depression when food shortage issues arose. As early as 1893, citizens of a depression-struck Detroit were asked to use any vacant lots to grow vegetables. They were nicknamed Pingree’s Potato Patches after the mayor, Hazen S. Pingree, who came up with the idea. He intended for these gardens to produce income, food supply, and even boost independence during times of hardship.

During the first World War, President Woodrow Wilson called upon all American citizens to utilize any available open space for food growth, seeing this as a way to pull them out of a potentially damaging situation. By the year 1919, over 5 million plots were growing food and over 500 million pounds of produce was harvested. A very similar practice came into use during the Great Depression that provided a purpose, a job and food -over 2.8 million dollars worth of food was produced from the subsistence gardens during the Depression. At Second World War, the War/Food Administration set up a National Victory Garden Program – 5.5 million Americans took part in the victory garden movement and over 9 million pounds of fruit and vegetables were grown a year, accounting for 44% of U.S.-grown produce throughout that time.

In 2010, New York City saw the building and opening of the world’s largest privately owned and operated rooftop farm, followed by an even larger location in 2012.Both were a result of municipal programs such as The Green Roof Tax Abatement Program and Green Infrastructure Grant Program. These positive experiences are in fact just a history.Urbanization, climate change implications, population growth, residual pesticides, lifestyle preferences together with precision agriculture technology as hydroponics has driven market growth in urban agriculture today. Urban farming & its unique integration with waste management has high potential for both developed and developing nations. It is a matter of priority to APAC and high priority to India particularly in terms of our deep connect to pro agri skills. Innovation Society initiated project in the name of Institute of Urban Farming and Sustainability.

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