If you were told to come up with one agricultural trend that has had people talking over the last five years, urban farming would undoubtedly spring to mind. Everyone living in a city that has a small piece of space to spare has thought about starting a little garden to benefit themselves and the community at some point. This has been proliferated in part by the desire to grow one’s organic food as well as a need to supplement their regular sources of livelihood. While the idea has been lauded far and wide, one nagging question still evades everyone; is it really possible to make a decent return from this type of farming?
Crunching the numbers
The British Food Journal published a study in 2016 that detailed the returns of 370 urban farmers in the United States. The figures in there indicated that on average, the yearly sales from their farms was around $54000. In the same study, only a small portion of the total number of farmers indicated that they do indeed fall back on urban farming as their sole source of livelihood.
While the numbers may seem a bit too lean to ponder over, there is a caveat; in fact, 75% of all farmers in the United States actually get $50,000 a year from their farms. So if you had already developed that sinking feeling, look at the second figure, and the other side of the story will show itself.
Why do farmers decide to grow urban farms?
When you talk with urban farmers, you then start getting the sense that they are not actually in it for the money-not primarily, anyway. A large chunk of those who practice urban agriculture indicates that they are motivated by the desire to combat food insecurity as well as the need to help the community around them. Surprisingly, only one in 10 urban food farmers says that they started farms in a bid to earn a little cash on the side.
So, is it worth it?
Sure, the figures indicated above are not jaw-dropping in any sense of the way. However, it is important to note hat most of the farmers who carry out this type of farming do it on ridiculously small plots of land and are not motivated by the desire to make money. So, this speaks to the fact that any farmer who sets out there with the sole goal of making profits will certainly get a nice check from season to season. A good case in point relates to hydroponic urban farmers, who will net anything north of $100,000 on their farms a year. So all it takes is a sizeable investment and the proper maintenance practices.