Cuba Serves As Model For Urban Farming

With urban farms sprinkled throughout the island, Cuba is proving to be one of the world's most successful models of how to integrate agriculture into urban areas.
December 20, 2008, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"Now, in the wake of three hurricanes that wiped out 30 percent of Cuba's farm crops, the communist country is again turning to its urban gardens to keep its people properly fed."

"Around 15 percent of the world's food is grown in urban areas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a figure experts expect to increase as food prices rise, urban populations grow and environmental concerns mount."

"Since they sell directly to their communities, city farms don't depend on transportation and are relatively immune to the volatility of fuel prices, advantages that are only now gaining traction as "eat local" movements in rich countries."

"In Cuba, urban gardens have bloomed in vacant lots, alongside parking lots, in the suburbs and even on city rooftops."

"They have proven extremely popular, occupying 35,000 hectares (86,000 acres) of land across the Caribbean island. Even before the hurricanes, they produced half of the leaf vegetables eaten in Cuba, which imports about 60 percent of its food."

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Published on Monday, December 15, 2008 in Reuters
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