This is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources for instance water, soil and even air. In environmental degradation, the ecosystem is destroyed and wildlife undergoes extinction. There are many forms of environmental degradation that are of negative impact to agriculture. For instance, when habitats are destroyed, biodiversity is lost and natural resources are depleted. The environment is most affected as organisms which give it life are no more (Schertenleib, Forster & Belevi, n. d). The earthworms that enrich soil fertility are killed by soil pollution.
This means that if earthworms are all eliminated, the soil will not be fertile. The degradation of the environment can occur naturally, or through human processes which includes different kinds of pollution. Areas of concern in the same concept are loss of rain forests, air pollutions and the ozone depletion. The marine environment is also affected. These kinds of pollutions are known to occur all over the world and the blame is on the people themselves for the activities they carry out. This has poisoned the planet’s oceans and even the remote areas. Major disasters like oil spills have ruined the local environment.
All these hazards can be curbed by individuals by stopping the constant pollution of the environment. To some extents, different organizations have been formed to help rehabilitate locations that have been affected. One way to do this is urban agriculture. With urban agriculture, the environment can be conserved since the wastes from industries can be converted to be fertilizers in the farms around the cities. Statistical facts It is estimated that 50% of the world’s populations live in cities (UNFPA, 2007). In the cities, most populations settle there for various reasons such as studies and seeking for employment.
As economic pressures mount, the urban population engages in urban agriculture as labor is available with large population in urban centers. The growing of crops and rearing of animals in the urban areas has become common. About 800 million people are involved in urban agriculture world wide and this has contributed to the feeding urban residents (Schertenleib, Forster & Belevi, n. d). It is definite that with food production or rather the general production of farm outputs, the city residents can get a plenty supply of food in their respective areas of residence.
With large populations in the cities and with plenty food products from urban agriculture, there will not be any instance of food deficiency. Urban residents with low income spend between 40 percent and 60 percent of their income on food every year (RUAF, n. d). The only remedy to this is that these low income residents can start practicing urban agriculture to supplement the expenditures on food. If they participate in urban agriculture, they will be able to save up to 60% of their incomes at the end of each year (Neondo, 2003).
The money they would have spent on buying food can be saved and used to develop other areas of the economy. This means a lot of to the growth of the economy of the particular country. It is expected that by 2015, about 26 cities in the world will have a population of 10 million or even more (FAO, n. d). To be able to manage these populations, countries are obliged to concentrate in urban agriculture because they have little choices left. It is therefore encouraged for urban dwellers to practice heavily on urban agriculture, with an objective of keeping the country away from food shortage come 2015(FAO, n.
d). 2. The spectrum of urban agriculture and the function of relevant organizations Urban agriculture has some aspects that distinguish it from rural agriculture. One of them is the fact that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system. It is evident that urban agriculture is embedded in the urban ecosystem of which it interacts with. Such linkages involve using urban residents as laborers and the use of typical urban resources for instance organic waste as compost and urban waste water for irrigation.
In urban agriculture, there is a direct link with urban consumers and direct positive and negative impacts on urban ecology (Amin, 2002). Urban agriculture is also characterized by being part of the urban food system and competing for urban land with other urban functions. It is also influenced by other urban policies and plans. Some of the organizations that influence urban agriculture both directly and indirectly are Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC), Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA), and the Resource Centers on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF Foundation)