WMNF’s Camilla Carrero reports on a panel discussion hosted by the St. Petersburg College Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions about the $9 billion dollar agriculture industry.
Urban agriculture is increasing in popularity, as a means to provide resiliency from supply chain issues. Here’s Dr. Catherine Campbell, a Community Food Systems Specialist with the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or UF IFAS.
“We all remember COVID, The grocery store shelves were empty. And that was partially because of food that was in those stores came from across the country and when we have you know pandemics or natural disasters, those long supply chains get disrupted. But what we saw was small farms and local farms are able to step in; pivot and do their sales to local communities which supported that resilience and access to food,” Campbell said.
Community-supported agriculture is one solution to meet small-scale infrastructure needs. Here’s Monica Petrella, Food Systems Coordinator for UF IFAS.
“Here in Hillsborough, we have kind of the beginning pieces of what a community land trust respective to agriculture production could look like. It’s happening on a very small scale Sweetwater Organic Community Farm was the first kind of direct-to-consumer farm in Florida to offer something called a CSA, which stands for community-supported agriculture,” Petrella said.
CSAs along with agrarian trusts represent a few of the many ways that communities are encouraging local agricultural investments to combat food insecurity. As well as, offer more alternatives to mainstream food supply chains. To find out more information on local food system programs, visit Hillsboroughcounty.org