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Australia: Canberra has edge over states to lead the nation in urban agriculture: Regional Development Australia

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ACT Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The RDA argue supporting urban farmers and backyard gardeners would lessen food insecurity, reduce grocery bills, create at least 3000 jobs and provide a unique tourism opportunity.

Kathryn Lewis
Canberra Times
Apr 5, 2021


But the movement has begun on a small scale, with more urban farmers popping up throughout Canberra.

“[There are] small urban farms who have been working so hard and not being heard,” Mr Claessens said.

“They have proven it, but just need the leg up to deliver much more food locally.

“It’s not the purview of hobbyist … although there is a place for that as well, it is actually becoming essential. It’s becoming mainstream in cities around the world.”

Canberra can learn from Singapore, Vermont, Paris and Toronto and our urban farmers say better education and land access can help them continue to grow agricultural potential.

ACT Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti is keen to get behind the ACT as an urban agricultural haven, saying money wasn’t the barrier – imagination was.

“In a community like Canberra, it makes a lot of sense,” she said.

“[Throughout] COVID-19 we were worried looking at supply chains of food, it creates an opportunity for us to think about what are the new opportunities in a city that does import so much of its food.”

The Greens came into the October election with a spate of policies to grow Canberra’s local food production, including introducing street orchards, mandating space for community gardens, piloting larger urban farming projects like rooftop gardens and introducing food education in schools.

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