Urban farming is not the sole incrimination to its past failures in other parts of the world. Timing, feasibility, geography, and demand should be taken into account before starting urban farming. Take the Netherlands for example, a small country that manages to become the world’s major food exporter through the strategic integration of agriculture and horticulture into the city. In fact, they had reduced the use of water by 90% for key crops through cultivated fields and almost removed chemical pesticides for plants grown in greenhouses by 2017.
Greenhouse from the Netherlands I The Civil Engineer
Malaysia being an agricultural country has an advantage in implementing urban farming, a warranted paradigm shift considering the urban population was expected to rise by 75% by 2020, while rural farmers are becoming scarce.
Viability in Developing Countries
The viability of urban farming, especially when it relates to income generation is a contextual concern. Robust data have implicated the empowering impact on livelihood and food security for lower-income households who engage in urban farming. For instance, urban farming constitutes a large percentage of total crop production in developing countries such as Cuba, Vietnam, and Ghana. Considering the natural resources available in Malaysia, urban farming is a potential waiting to be explored.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia I Photo by Patrick Langwallner
It’s Not Counterproductive, It’s Adaptation
In regard to the myth that urban farming perpetuates environmental pollution, it actually works the other way round. Urban farming has been cited for climate change mitigation and adaptation. It is evidently practised to reduce “urban heat island”. Furthermore, depending on the methods employed, energy reduction and resource efficiency can be achieved by integrating urban farming with manufacturing industries. For example, the multipurpose agro -parks from Rossario.
Interventions and Policy Making
However, the challenges remain a hindrance in the first place because there are gaps to be filled before urban farming becomes a fully viable venture for the mass. In Malaysia, these gaps call for governance and interventions, specifically from investors and policymakers to provide opportunities for urban farming to thrive.
Policymaking for better urban farming opportunities in Malaysia. I Photo Source: Canva
We see the need to integrate and expand agriculture to urban planning, multifaceted cooperation for engineers, legal scientists, and policymakers to identify urban farming methods that can be made conducive in Malaysia. In other words, allowing more agency for the city dwellers to see urban farming as a business model that is part of broader sustainability strategies in face of urbanisation, maintaining livelihood and ensuring food security.
Want to know how to get started with your own vegetable farm at home through urban farming? Simply reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at
+6012 666 7474 and look for Francis.