ROME, Nov 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – City dwellers are growing their own food on a much greater scale than previously thought, farming an area the size of the European Union, according to the first comprehensive study on the global scale of urban agriculture.

Most of the land – which totals some 456 million hectares – lies just outside of cities, although 67 million hectares of it is being farmed in urban centres, the study published in the November issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters found.

“It is surprising to see how much the farm is definitely getting closer to the table,” Pay Drechsel, a co-author of the study and a scientist at the International Water Management Institute, said in a press release.

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