Urbanization and its implications for food and farming
This discusses the influences on food and farming of an increasingly urbanized world and a declining ratio of food producers to food consumers. Urbanization has been underpinned by the rapid growth in the world economy and in the proportion of gross world product and of workers in industrial and service enterprises. Globally, agriculture has met the demands from this rapidly growing urban population, including food that is more energy-, land-, water- and greenhouse gas emission-intensive. But hundreds of millions of urban dwellers suffer under-nutrition. So the key issues with regard to agriculture and urbanization are whether the growing and changing demands for agricultural products from growing urban populations can be sustained while at the same time underpinning agricultural prosperity and reducing rural and urban poverty. To this are added the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to build resilience in agriculture and urban development > to climate change impacts. The paper gives particular attention to low- and middle-income nations since these have more than three-quarters of the world’s urban population and most of its largest cities and these include nations where issues of food security are most pressing.