Urban agriculture may be inefficient, but it’s a model for a sustainable future

August 17, 2016 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

Rooftop garden at Eastdale Collegiate Institute in Toronto built by FoodShare Toronto. Students grow fresh fruit and produce on the roof of the school which is used by the school’s culinary program and cafeteria. (for The Globe and Mail/Ian Clarke)

It’s time we learned to embrace inefficiency. That may sound like heresy in a time when we are told that we must increase our competitiveness to become leaner, to increase productivity, to become more efficient to compete in the global marketplace.

The burgeoning urban and near-urban agriculture trend in North America and around the world exemplifies how many small-scale, entrepreneurial businesses are inherently inefficient in how much labour they use. But this is something we should encourage and recognize as important for both economies and societies. When we talk about efficiency, we are usually talking about producing the most product or service for the least input or cost, including labour cost. But this definition of efficiency is counterproductive for job creation and for the environment. In Canada, we’ve seen a shift from large, industrial employers to service and entrepreneurial sector jobs.

Read Urban agriculture may be inefficient, but it’s a model for a sustainable future by Ian Clarke at The Globe and Mail.

Entry filed under: Business, Community, Economy, Food, Resilience.

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