Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Urban Agriculture

NRCS serves all agriculture – large to small, conventional to organic, rural to urban. As American agriculture continues to grow in new directions, NRCS conservation assistance is growing along with it.

Food insecurity is an everyday reality for many urban communities across the United States. About 23.5 million people live in communities lacking food access nationwide, and 15.8 million of children are food insecure, according to data from USDA’s Economic Research Service. Many low-income urban areas lack retail grocery stores and access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Convenience stores or fast-food franchises provide the only food options, which are highly processed with low nutritional value.

Building Healthy Communities

Urban farmers are addressing food access issues by growing healthy foods for their communities. Urban farms empower people to solve hunger and poverty issues within their community by changing the way people look at what and how they eat; providing jobs and skills training and beautifying and unifying neighborhoods. Many farms also teach citizens how to prepare fresh ingredients for healthy meals.

Conserving our Resources

Urban farmers practice conservation – they convert food waste into healthy soils by composting, minimize storm water runoff by capturing rainwater, save energy costs that would otherwise be used for long-distance transportation of food items, and create more green space in the city.

Growing in Size

Today, 15 percent of the world’s food is grown in urban areas according to ERS. With most of the world’s population residing in cities, this statistic will likely continue to increase. Urban agriculture is part of the rising local food movement aimed at reducing the distance food must travel from farm to table.



Underserved Communities

Historically underserved participants are eligible for advance payments to help offset costs related to purchasing materials or contracting through EQIP.  

Urban agriculture conservation practices

High Tunnels
Managing Weeds and Pests
Soil Health
Irrigation and Water Management
Pollinator Habitat
Wind Breaks
Energy Efficiency
No till
Organic Agriculture