THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: The Urban Agriculture Revival


  • John Ikerd University of Missouri, Columbia



Urban Agriculture, Globalization


First paragraph:

Some critics of urban agriculture see its growing popularity as a superficial response to public concerns about urban food deserts. However, urban agriculture could evolve instead to become an important part of the U.S. food system, as it already is in much of the rest of the world. The United Nations estimates that more than 800 mil­lion people worldwide cultivate fruits and vege­tables or grow livestock in cities (Food and Agri­culture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], n.d.). The World Watch Institute estimates that urban agriculture produces 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food (n.d.). The U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t yet collect data on urban agri­culture, but urban gardens are becoming an increas­ingly important source of fresh vegetables and fruits in some cities. This is particularly true in the inner-city communities of old post-industrial cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia, and Camden, New Jersey (Royte, 2015).


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Author Biography

John Ikerd, University of Missouri, Columbia

John Ikerd is professor emeritus of agricultural economics, University of Missouri, Columbia. He was raised on a small farm and received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Missouri. He worked in the private industry prior to his 30-year academic career at North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri. Since retiring in 2000, he spends most of his time writing and speaking on issues of sustainability. Ikerd is author of six books and numerous professional papers, which are available at and

John Ikerd



How to Cite

Ikerd, J. (2017). THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: The Urban Agriculture Revival. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 7(3), 13–16.

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