RUAF Update # 12
Submitted by Femke Hoekstra on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 10:29
RUAF Update # 12
|E-mail bulletin with news of the International Network of Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF).|
In this bulletin you will find information on:
1. RUAF From Seed to Table Programme
2. Other Urban Agriculture activities by the RUAF Partners
3. RUAF Publications
- Urban Food Security in Southern Africa: Strategic Policy Dimensions (June 2009)
- Cities and Climate Change: Responding to an Urgent Agenda
Overview of RUAF Partners
- Urban Agriculture Magazine
- Other Publications
- Agriculteurs dans les villes Ouest-africaines: Enjeux fonciers et accès à l’eau
- Radio campaign “Urban Agriculture in my City” (Agricultura en mi Ciudad)
1. RUAF FROM SEED TO TABLE PROGRAMME
RUAF started in 2009 its two year From Seed to Table (FStT) Programme. In each of RUAF’s 17 partner cities the regional and city partners have identified one or more urban producer groups (UPOs). In the paste three months, a rapid and participatory farming system and market analysis has been undertaken with these UPOs. In this process, products with high market potential and consumer demand, either already produced by the farmers or new products which fit well in their farming system, have been identified. Critical points in the product market chain (“from seed to table”) of these “most promising products” have been analysed with the farmers. The aim was to identify possible technical and organisational improvements in that chain that will lead to higher producer benefits and enhanced sustainability of production (see below for some examples from the different cities).
Last month, the regional and city partners have been trained in facilitation of the next activities; the development of a business plan, and the organisation of Urban Producers Field Schools. In each city partners and selected UPOs are currently developing business and project plans to realize the identified organisational and technical changes, as well as to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurial capacity of the producers and their organisations. At the same time curricula are being developed that strongly knit together the above-mentioned components in periodic farmer meetings, that combine planning with practical exchange and learning on the technical and organisational aspects of production, processing and marketing of the selected product. We will report on progress in the next Update (October 2009) and on our city pages on the RUAF website.
Parallel to these activities, studies have been launched in all cities to identify existing and possible new innovative forms of credit and financing of small-scale market-oriented urban agriculture. The studies will bring forward concrete recommendations of enhancing urban producers’ access to finance.
The multi- stakeholder forums (MSF) in the RUAF partner cities that were established under the RUAF Cities Farming for the Future Programme, meanwhile are working on updating and upgrading of the City Strategic Agenda (CSA) on Urban Agriculture and Food Security. This includes the identification of new priority areas for the MSF participants, developing and agreeing upon concrete activities and projects, institutionalisation, and policy formulation on urban agriculture. Policy and practice is thus directly linked in each city, as new legal, sanitary and financial regulations may be required for the realisation of profitable From Seed to Table enterprises.
Go to www.ruaf.org to read more on the background, objectives and expected outputs and results of the programme. Below the FStT activities in each city will be highlighted.
Middle East and North Africa
In peri-urban Amman (Jordan), RUAF works with an active grass root women association in Iraq el Amir, to improve the production of green onions and leafy vegetables. Innovation points include the establishment of a demonstration nursery, year-round production under cover, and packaging and selling the vegetables as “local and healthy produce”. The urban producer groups in Sana’a (Yemen) are currently finalising the selection of the most promising product.
Both in Amman as in Sana’a, the multi-stakeholder forums are relatively new, and have recently agreed on their CSA. In Sana’a, scenarios are being discussed to include urban agriculture in the city development plan under which agricultural lands will be preserved.
The 4 urban producer groups in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) that participate in RUAF, have jointly chosen to improve their production and marketing of a mix of 10 different species of vegetables and herbs. Crops will be ecologically produced in both the rainy and dry season and sold on-farm as well as in farmer markets and selected stores in the neighbourhood. The producer groups will also be strengthened in their internal management, administration and external relationships. In Villa El Salvador (Lima, Peru), the urban farmers will improve on their raising of piglets and pigs, to be sold (alive) at local markets. In Bogota (Colombia), market analysis is still ongoing to decide on the type (and best combination) of crops to be sold to community kitchens and local restaurants.
The MSF in Bogota prioritized in their upgraded CSA, the formulation of a City Urban Agriculture Policy for Bogota, and to promote the inclusion of urban agriculture in the review of the City Planning and Zoning Plan of the city.
Anglophone West Africa
In June, the Odogbo farmers in Ibadan (Nigeria), commemorated the one year anniversary of RUAF in their farming community and celebrated Efo (vegetable) as a productive business. Under FStT, the “efo women” will seek to improve their production and facilitate better market access for Amaranthus and other vegetables. The identified innovations are: improved vegetable seeds, compost, and improved irrigation; grading, packaging, and contract marketing at farm gate and at farmers markets; and improved relations with support and control organisations in this (new) market chain. In Accra (Ghana) producer groups will seek to improve the production and marketing of lettuce, including direct sale to restaurants and at farmer kiosks.
In Freetown (Sierra Leone), where the identification of the most promising options is still being done, the issue of land regulation for urban agriculture was identified as a priority area by the MSF. Illegal land grabbing is a major issue and legislation needs to be revised to better preserve and protect agricultural areas and open spaces. City Councils of Freetown and neighbouring Waterloo, the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Agriculture are key players in this process.
Southern and East-Africa
In all three cities, business plans are being developed by local partners and urban producer groups. In Ndola (Zambia) they agreed to focus on the production and commercialisation of a new variety of tomatoes, in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) on improved local chicken breeds, and in Cape Town (South Africa), the urban producers will up-scale production and sale of mixed vegetables to high-end schools in the city.
In Ndola, the MSF is working closely with the Ndola District Development Committee to find (government) funding for a number of activities under the CSA. A policy document on urban agriculture has been approved by the City Council management committee and is awaiting formal adoption by the full Council.
Francophone West Africa
Producer groups in Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) have agreed to work on the ecological production and direct sale of cabbages to marketing women and exporters under FStT. In Porto Novo (Benin) they will work on improved joint production and processing of tomatoes: using improved varieties and irrigation techniques, and processing and direct sale in periods of high supply.
At national level, urban agriculture has been included as a component of the Emergency Food Programme on Food Security in Benin.
In Tongzhou district of Beijing, urban producers have identified several “most promising options”, including green house production of a special type of cherry tomato and vegetables. The products will be sold to customers directly through a box system. Preliminary testing and marketing of these boxes proved to be quite successful. In Huairou district of Beijing, producers concentrate on mushroom production, while in Minhang in Shanghai strawberry and other green vegetables will be sold in baskets to visitors of a nearby agro-park as well as to high-end supermarkets.
The Multi-stakeholder forum in Shanghai has agreed to collaborate with RUAF-China and the Chinese Agriculture University in a comprehensive planning project on urban agriculture in Minhang to be launched in 2010.
Urban producers in Magadi (Bangalore, India) are developing their business idea of carrot production using improved seed varieties and marketing through high-end markets. Ecological nutrient and crop management, composting and joint marketing will get attention in the urban producer field schools. Urban producer groups in Gampaha (Sri Lanka) have selected to innovate their production and marketing of green chillies, by introducing quality seeds, integrated nutrient management, the formation of producer clusters and the establishment of a common collection and marketing centre.
Discussions are currently underway to develop vertical vegetable gardens as a source of complementary foods in IDP (internally displaced people) welfare centres in the North of Sri Lanka. Project development will be done together with the World Food Programme.
For more information you are welcome to contact one of the RUAF partners listed below.
For more information on the RUAF-FSTT programme: see www.ruaf.org. The RUAF website contains information on the RUAF-FSTT programme, the activities in each region and pilot city and all RUAF publications, including the Urban Agriculture Magazine in 6 languages, as well as an extensive on line bibliographic database (English) and other valuable resources sections as well as linkages to the regional RUAF-websites with more specific information.
2. OTHER URBAN AGRICULTURE PROJECTS BY THE RUAF PARTNERS
- Urban Food Security in Southern Africa: Strategic Policy Dimensions (June 2009)
MDP participated in this conference organised under the Project on Urban Food Security in Southern Africa, which is a collaborative research project of 11 universities from Southern Africa (Swaziland, Harare, Lusaka, Blantyre, Windhoek, Maputo, Lesotho, Gaborone, and Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, from South Africa), and the Canadian universities of Calgary and Queens. The conference brought together policy makers and senior officials of the mentioned cities to discuss possible policy interventions. Research presented, indicated a.o. that urban food security is quite low across the whole region, and that almost 70% of the region’s urban residents suffer from food insecurity. Studies also revealed that residents in South Africa have very limited alternative livelihood coping strategies as compared to residents in the, relatively poorer cities, in other countries in the region. It was acknowledged that urban agriculture is still a low key activity. MDP and AFSUN have therefore agreed to cooperate on issues of influencing policies on urban agriculture and food security in the region. More information is available at MDP and on the African Food Security Urban Network (AFSUN) website: www.afsun.org
- Cities and Climate Change: Responding to an Urgent Agenda
The 5th Urban Research Symposium (http://www.urs2009.net)was held in Marseille, France, last June, and aimed at pushing forward the research agenda on climate change form a city’s perspective. There is a growing awareness that the combined effects of climate change, peak oil, the recent food crisis, rapid urbanisation and continued population growth have the potential to undermine the resilience of our cities and ultimately render the current food system unsustainable. RUAF presented at the Conference the latest issue of the UA Magazine: “Building Resilient Cities”, which was developed with the World Bank organisers, and which included a selection of symposium papers. In follow up, the World Bank, in collaboration with RUAF, IDRC, FAO and other partners will be launching new work to compile and analyze data on how UA can improve the resilience of cities to the impacts of climate change. We will keep you updated on its progress.
3. RUAF PUBLICATIONS
- Urban Agriculture Magazine:
Issue no. 22 of the English UA Magazine
on Building Resilient Cities
has been published and distributed. This issue shows how urban agriculture can play a critical role in helping the world’s urban poor by providing a practical solution to the food crisis in the shorter term and by providing a climate change adaptation mechanism in the longer term. The magazine is available online
. The hardcopy magazine was accompanied by a CD with the publication “Women Feeding Cities - Mainstreaming gender in urban agriculture and food security”
, which can also be found online
Issue no 20 on Water for Urban Agriculture is available in Spanish
The next issue of the Magazine in English will focus on Urban Nutrient Management
. This issue will be a collaborative effort with WASTE
We are interested to receive your article before 15 September
. You can find the complete call for contributions on www.ruaf.org/node/1315
UA Magazine No. 24, which will be produced in 2010, will focus on Linking Urban Producers to Markets; Chain development for urban agricultural products
. Contributions for this issue are expected before 1 March 2010
Agriculteurs dans les villes Ouest-africaines: Enjeux fonciers et accès à l’eau
(English title: Farmers in West African Cities, access to land and water)
. Moussa Sy, Ndèye Fatou Diop Guèye and Salimata Seck Wone, 2009.
Participatory research for sustainable development of urban agriculture was conducted from 2001 to 2004 in Dakar, Niamey, Cotonou, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Abidjan and Bamako. The book shows how in an unfavourable context urban agriculture supports the livelihoods of thousands of people, by reducing malnutrition, generating income and preserving the environment. You can purchase the book here
. Radio campaign “Urban Agriculture in my City” (Agricultura en mi Ciudad)
This radio campaign was promoted by IPES with the FAO Regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean (FAO-RLC), to inform and raise awareness about the benefits of raising small animals and growing food in urban and peri-urban areas, the importance of consuming clean and healthy food; and to encourage city authorities to promote local programmes and projects on urban agriculture in their cities. Click here
to listen to some audio fragments.
The RUAF programme is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS, the Netherlands) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada)
The partners in the RUAF programme are:
- Regional Coordination West and Central Africa (Anglophone): IWMI-Ghana (International Water Management Institute Sub regional Office for West Africa), Accra, Ghana.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://ruaf.iwmi.org/
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- Regional coordination China: IGSNRR (Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resource Research of the National Academy of Sciences) Beijing, China.
Email: email@example.com | Website: www.cnruaf.com.cn
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