Urban expansion in Asia is concentrated in metropolitan areas. This has adversely affected in-city food production by decreasing farmlands in and around urban centers. Asian countries have experienced fast disappearance of urban-fringe farmland which at some point provided 70% of the vegetables consumed by the city's population. Uneven distribution of incomes, along with an increase in urban poverty, has further exacerbated the already critical problems of low quantity and quality and high prices of wholesome food. In India, it is estimated that five out of every six urban families typically spend 70% of their income on food. The United Nations Development Program reports that some 200 million people are employed in urban farming and related enterprises, contributing to the food supply of 800 million urban dwellers. Also, over 85% of the vegetables consumed by the urban population in some Chinese cities are reportedly grown within the bounds of the municipality and an estimated ¥ 2.6 trillion worth of products is produced in “urban-like areas”. These statistics show that depending solely on rural agriculture to supply the food needs of urban dwellers in Asia is inadequate. This paper highlights compelling evidence in available literature lending support to urban agriculture as a viable option to overcoming food production challenges and adverse effects of urbanization such as environmental pollution and “urban poverty” in Asia.
Akaeze, O, Nandwani, D. Urban agriculture in Asia to meet the food production challenges of urbanization: A review. Urban Agric Region Food Syst. 2020; 5:e20002. https://doi.org/10.1002/uar2.20002