South Korean Urban Farming On The Rise
With food prices continuing to climb, due to transportation and unreliable weather, the idea of bringing the farm to the city is gaining popularity among many South Korean urbanites. And the experts are predicting this sudden surge in urban farm interest isn't going away anytime soon, claiming agricultural inflation and food security are too strong an incentive for the general populace.
This trend has slowly been building since 1992 when urban farms began springing up throughout the country. It's estimated by the South Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries that now over 700,000 residents of South Korean metropolitan areas now grow their own vegetables as a hobby. Of those 700,000 people, 153,000 live specifically in Seoul, South Korea's largest city and capital. With a population of approximately 10.5 million, that means that about every 1 in 70 people in Seoul is an urban gardener.
But the Ministry still isn't satisfied with the numbers, hoping to encourage another 5 million, 10% of the country's population, to get into urban farming by 2020. To help their goal along, the Ministry intends to create 8000 community farms, covering a total of 3000 hectares of land - changing 7200 unused spaces, rooftops, and undeveloped lots into green spaces.