The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) highlights the importance of agriculture and sustainable cities in SDG target 11.3; “countries should aim to work to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization for participatory, integrated, and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries.”
SDG Knowledge Hub argues that to achieve this target, in the spirit of the SDGs, governments should integrate urban agriculture into their established and growing cities.
In urban areas, space is a rare and a sought-after resource. This renders sustainable agriculture focus to be in rural areas.
However, with focus on achieving SDGs by 2030, urban farming projects are becoming common uniquely using urban spaces for maximum agricultural use.
Additionally, with innovative technologies, this has put sustainable self-sufficiency within reach utilizing small spaces equivalent to a two-car park space as proven by Smart Urban Farm Technologies.
Sarah Itambo, the Director of Smart Urban Farm Technologies, has led by example to prove that farming can be sustainably done closer to the consumers, who have families and businesses in the city.
According to her, modern urban farming has less to do with access to land or soil, and locations, saying that even with an underground facility with no sunlight, a farmer can make it a perfect place to establish a 100% controlled and optimized environment for urban farming.
For her, even an old parking facility, warehouse, or shelter can be cost-effective by converting it into an urban farm. A highly sophisticated and advanced farm, growing fresh salads, vegetables, and crops for the nearby restaurants and homes to order.
With this, the profit margins are higher as the farmer is able to cut on transport or engaging brokers to get their farm produce to the market.
During its fact finding, Kenya ToU Ltd, paid a visit to the globally recognized smart farmer at her home in Donholm where she has practiced modern farming for over eight years now.
Sarah has not only managed to make her small front and backyard to her household kitchen garden, but also a source of wealth as she sells her produce to the nearby stores and neighbors.
“Farming was not my career course, but my passion for it would not let me live without practicing it. Since I had a small piece of land, then definitely I had to be smart in my thoughts, and yes, that’s how I started my farming” stated the Tourism graduate.
After research, she started backyard gardens, aquaponic systems, barrel/vertical gardens, vermicomposting, rearing chicken, and rabbit keeping.
“The good thing with this type of farming is that you can still attend to your day job, and later work on your farm, and within a short period you start enjoying the benefits,” said the smart farmer.
Roof top gardening and Black Soldier Fly keeping are other interesting ventures she has taken into practice. The black soldier fly is a non-pest insect of interest to the sustainability community due to the high eating rates of its edible larvae. When found on carcasses or piles of rotting fruit, this larva often outcompetes other species of scavengers for food.
Domestically, the black soldier can be used to feed chicken and fish as Sarah has been doing and hence cutting the cost significantly.
For the smart farmer, she believes that if the larger urban population embraced the new farming technologies and make use of the available spaces, then they would reap big. The venture requires low-input, it’s cost-efficient, independent, and sustainable in densely populated metropolitan areas.
Sarah has an insatiable quest to share her knowledge which she does through trainings and farm visits at very friendly rates.
For more information or to book a training or farm visit session, call/WhatsApp: 0742343908 or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook page: Smart Urban Farm Technologies
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