The All Under One Banner coalition in Glasgow, Scotland is seeking investors for a new project in urban farming. Organizer Manny Singh’s Glasgow Urban Farming Initiative (GUFI) is intended to be a non-profit organization that seeks to engage members of the Glasgow community in sustainable agriculture.
Singh says, “We believe that challenges unique to the Glasgow community such as vacant land, poor diet, nutritional illiteracy and food insecurity present a unique opportunity for community-supported agriculture.”
GUFI will use agriculture to promote education, sustainability and community while reducing socio-economic disparity. As Singh states, “By viewing urban farming and gardening as an educational opportunity we are hoping to provide a long-term solution to the problem of food insecurity in urban areas. When people develop new skills they become actively engaged in the learning process. Through a combination of workshops and fieldwork, we hope to educate the citizen farmers and provide hands-on experience necessary for successful food production.”
Citing examples of commercially successful vertical farm developments in countries such as the USA, Japan, Germany and Singapore, Singh believes that vertical farms in disused buildings and on vacant land would be ideal for Glasgow.
“Some recent additions to the Glasgow scenery include abandoned buildings and houses, unkempt land and other poorly used spaces. Redeveloping these locations into food-producing plots would make them valuable assets to any community,” said Singh.
Singh also hopes to alleviate the problems the city faces due to high levels of unemployment.
“With the current state of Glasgow`s economy, a large community of unemployed people exists. These people are not bound by the constraints of 9-to-5 employment and may have more time available to participate in community service projects. Community farming can support a healthy lifestyle, especially in times of limited income.”