Financing Local Food Factories
27 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2015 Last revised: 22 Jul 2017
Date Written: December 3, 2015
This Article seeks to change how local food is conceived in terms of financing. This unusual approach could yield several important benefits, first among them being that large-scale local food production in urban areas could become more common. Part I of this Article explores the reasons why massive alternative urban agricultures are necessary now: the difficulties associated with feeding a rapidly growing, and rapidly urbanizing, population. Part II explores one particular massive alternative urban agriculture, the vertical farm. By focusing on the vertical farm, the importance of financing as a critical component in growing local food is brought into focus. In Part III, the Article first explores the example of financing for what is proposed to be the nation’s largest vertical farm, AeroFarms, in Newark, New Jersey, which illustrates how creative financing can facilitate massive alternative urban agricultures. The Part then considers how several types of existing — and potential — financing could be deployed in a manner modeled on economic development agreements typically used for factories and other manufacturing uses to advance the cause of local food. By viewing local food as a finance problem, and in particular a finance problem similar to that of urban manufacturing, the prospects for significantly scaling up the production of local food, and perhaps even disrupting agricultural production as it has been practiced for millennia, begins to take shape.
Keywords: land use,urban agriculture, vertical farm, population, agriculture, economic development
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