Agripedia

Earn Big by Doing Farming the Urban Way

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

With the recent resurgence of farming in and around cities, people have been reconnecting to agriculture by growing food themselves and visiting farmer’s markets. This fast-growing phenomenon has the potential to nourish communities and create economic opportunities. Today urban agriculture exists in many forms including: community and backyard gardens; rooftop and balcony gardening; growing in vacant lots, parks the list goes on. 

What is Urban Farming? 

Well, if simply put Urban Farming is growing or producing food in a city or heavily populated town or municipality. It is often confused with community gardening, homesteading or subsistence farming. Here the main reason to distinguish Urban Farming with all these is level of commerce, the growing of product to be sold as opposed to being grown for personal consumption or sharing. In community gardening for example there is no commercial activity. 

Who can start an Urban Farm? 

There are no set rules about who can start it or who cannot. An individual, group of friends or anyone can start an urban farm. Urban farming helps stimulate the local economy through job creation, income generation, and the growth of small businesses. More importantly, urban farming makes fresh food more affordable. 

How to start an Urban farm? 

You don’t necessarily need a background in urban farming to start this business. Do some research and understand the landscape of where you want to do urban farming. You can do some internet searching of what type of urban farms are there in your area? What type of produce does generally the clients in your area are looking for? The clients can be local restaurants, grocery stores and supermarkets. Like any business, the business model is same here. You have to identify your target customers, plan on what you will going to produce and where and how it will be distributed. What is the situation of existing market and what, who and where is the competition? These are some initial questions that you need to ask yourself before starting an Urban farm. You can also visit existing farms to see and identify that how your project can be different or better from others.  

Finding an area to plant and cultivate. 

If you already have an existing backyard or garden or any other dedicated farming area, then you are saved from an important hassle. If you are in the majority and don’t have a nice big backyard or garden then you can look for options like balconies, community gardens, windows. People are even growing in bedrooms, Almira’s, you name it. Rooftops can be a really good option. Urban farming is all about making the most of the space you have.  

Is it profitable? 

Urban Farming has different kinds and mostly all of them are profit generating. Some examples are Hydroponic farming, Mushroom farming, Organic farming, Rooftop gardens. The key to profits is creating a niche for your business. Organic foods are in huge demands these days. People are paying more and more for foods that are organic. Locally produce mushrooms can also be a good option as most local restaurants and supermarkets can be potential clients. Lettuce produced by Hydroponic farming also generates good profits as almost all grocery stores and local restaurants are looking to buy good quality and organically produced Lettuce. The options are vast, it’s yours to decide that on what you will focus your time and energy on. 

While creating your business plan, be sure to include opportunities to get small business grants to help fund your new venture. For this reason, always look towards diversifying your revenue streams and build strong relationships with your customers. Besides your urban farm, you can generate another revenue line in your providing seedlings business through and compost. With a growing market for environmentally friendly products and services, many are starting to look at waste in a new way. Composting today is no longer a method of disposal in rural areas. It is fast becoming a common way to manage waste and produce a usable product- creating a viable business opportunity. Your customers could be landscaping companies as well as fellow urban farmers. Beyond selling simply farm produce, you can also venture into value-added products. By transforming the raw farm products into food, personal care, craft products and more. Value added products can help boost your income and expand the market season. 

Urban farming requires constant creativity and problem-solving but with a little creativity, you can transform any empty space into a farm of profit generation and local community harmony. 

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