|E-mail bulletin with news of the International Network of Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF Foundation).|
In this bulletin you will find information on:
1. RUAF From Seed to Table Programme
2. Lobbying for Enhanced Access to Credit and Financing
3. Other Activities RUAF Partners
4. RUAF Publications
- SWITCH Programme on Sustainable Water Management
- Amman Green Growth Programme
- Distance Learning Courses on Urban Agriculture
- Europe-China Workshop on Urban Agriculture
5. What's New on the RUAF Website
- Urban Agriculture Magazine
- Other publications
Overview of RUAF Partners
1. RUAF FROM SEED TO TABLE PROGRAMME
In the past months, the producers who participate in the urban agricultural businesses that are supported by RUAF in 17 cities, have started to harvest and market their first products. Please find some of the experiences described below. All groups have analysed the results from the first production cycle(s) and identified on the improvements to be made in the second production and marketing cycle, which lessons are included in the second round of Urban Producer Field School sessions. New sessions will give for example more attention to Integrated Pest Management, post-harvest technologies and negotiations with buyers. Middle East and North Africa
(Jordan), the business involves 82 families, of which 75% are women. The first spring onion harvest was an astounding success. Producers were able to fetch JD1.2 to 1.5 (JD1=€1) per bunch of onions (around 1 kg), while predictions made in the business plan were for JD0.7 to 1.0. With the onset of Ramadan in August, when green vegetable consumption is at its peak, this price level will probably be sustained, but it should settle to lower levels from the third season onwards. In Sana’a
(Yemen), the project currently involves 50 families, raising a semi-wild breed of local chickens. Supplementary feeding and disease management will receive specific attention in the coming months. Spring onions ready to be marketed (a special label will still be added to the package) Latin America
Some of the urban producer groups in Belo Horizonte
(Brazil) have started selling their harvest (a mix of vegetables and herbs) to municipal schools. The use of low-space, no-space (and vertical growing) technologies will be further explored as to increase production per unit area. In Villa El Salvador
(Lima, Peru), the urban farmers are preparing for a second round of sales of piglets and pigs at a local market and a slaughterhouse. A cost-benefit analysis of both forms of commercialisation will be made. In Bogota
(Colombia), the first harvest of baby potatoes failed due to extreme high temperatures and lack of adequate fertilisation (as participatory tests have shown). A second cycle with improved management already resulted in a better harvest, reaching 90% of the projections made in the business plan. Anglophone West Africa
production in Ibadan
(Nigeria) suffered from pest and disease attacks. Causes of the attacks are still being investigated. In Accra
(Ghana), two marketing stalls have been set up (one in the ministries area and the other on the University of Ghana campus. A third stall will be placed shortly. In addition to the stalls, three packaging sheds have been built; one at each of the three farming sites. The producers will wash, grade and package the harvest vegetables before sending it to the shops for sale. In Freetown
(Sierra Leone), the “Waterloo Hot Pepper business” is expecting to grind and sell pepper in the coming weeks. A production plan for the new growing cycle has been prepared, increasing the area of pepper to be grown. At the same time, a second business, selling mixed bags of vegetables has been set up in another area in Freetown, and the first bags have already been sold to customers (including offices, NGOs and individual households). A third business, involving a women’s group, has also been set up. The women sell mango juice to restaurants and on local fairs. Southern and East-Africa
(Zambia) the second cycle of tomato production will be harvested in 2 weeks time. In Bulawayo
(Zimbabwe) the business on improved local chicken breeds is developing well. RUAF and MDPs local partner World Vision have introduced complimentary projects such as market gardening, breeding rabbits, and growing mushrooms in addition to poultry farming. In Cape Town
(South Africa), the business “Harvest of Hope” is selling 170-200 boxes of mixed vegetables a week. Urban Producer Field Schools continue to be held, emphasising the identified weaknesses of production planning, quality control, and pack shed management. This project has won the Impumelelo Sustainability Award for 2010 (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMaBAwjvHtc
). Francophone West Africa
In Bobo Dioulasso
(Burkina Faso) the producer groups have started the second cycle of land preparation and nurseries. The first harvest of cabbages was sold to local market women. Negotiations with wholesalers are ongoing for the following harvest. In Porto Novo
(Benin), the first tomato yields were low as a result of pest attacks. For the second cycle, producers consider to grow a local (instead of hybrid) variety of tomato, and intercrop tomato with leafy vegetables. China
district of Beijing
, more urban producers joined the business, now involving 123 households. Further technological improvements, the use of improved seeds and marketing will receive specific attention in the coming period. In Huairou
district of Beijing
, the development of mushroom production and marketing is also growing, now involving 144 households. In Minhang
green vegetables are being produced and sold in baskets to visitors of a nearby agro-park as well as to high-end supermarkets. So far, participating farmers registered net incomes that were 4 times higher than before. South-East Asia
(Sri Lanka), the newly established Producer Association is opting for mixed vegetable production to reduce pest attacks (long beans, okra, local yams, leafy vegetables and chilies) and a business plan for mixed vegetable production is being prepared.
(Bangalore, India) the producers have started their 7th cycle of carrots. Based on their experiences over the past year, farmers are now discussing the revision of the cropping calendar introducing alternative crops for the rainy season. Carrots were sold on the local market, fetching a good price. New marketing arrangements- to be able to sell in the Bangalore city market- are being discussed. For more information you are welcome to contact one of the RUAF partners listed below or check out 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. LOBBYING FOR ENHANCED ACCESS TO CREDIT AND FINANCING
For small-scale commercial urban agriculture producers, access to credit and other sources of financing (e.g. subsidies/grants) are crucial to further development of their agricultural production and/or processing and marketing activities. Financial service providers however are either not familiar with the sector, regard it as too risky (for instance doubting the willingness and ability of the small entrepreneurs to repay their debts), or have requirements and procedures that are not accessible for poor urban farmer groups. It is for this reasons that RUAF called for local studies on credit and financing opportunities for urban and peri-urban agriculture in each of its 18 partner cities. The overall aim of the studies was to provide information, knowledge, and clear recommendations on how to broaden collective and individual financing opportunities for poor urban and peri-urban producers in these cities.
The studies will be used to discuss with local credit and financing studies concrete opportunities to improve their services to small scale urban producers.
MFCS project, a micro finance and development NGO in Madina, Accra. Photo by: Irene Egyir
Parties clearly need to know and understand each other, and this often requires a change of mindset (a valuable publication in this respect is by KIT and IIRR: Value Chain Financing - Beyond Micro-Financing for Rural Entrepreneurs, 2010). However, once such changes are in place, innovative forms of financing can be developed. We will share examples of such new forms of financing, like contract farming and guarantees in the next RUAF Update. For more information you can contact Marielle Dubbeling at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. OTHER ACTIVITIES RUAF PARTNERS
SWITCH Programme on Sustainable Water Management Amman Green Growth Programme
The EU-funded SWITCH programme on Sustainable Water management entered its final year in 2010. RUAF members IPES, IGSNRR, IWMI-Ghana and ETC collaborate in a work package on productive use of (waste) water for urban agriculture in Lima, Beijing and Accra, which combines action research and demonstrations of innovations in sustainable water management. In 2010, the partners are finalising these activities and will assess and report their findings under the sub-theme “Decentralised Waste-water Systems”. IGSNRR presented their work on improved rainwater harvesting systems for mushroom production at the Shanghai Expo, May 2010. IWMI reported on one of the demonstrations in Accra on the collection and re-use of urine as a potential fertilizer for urban agriculture in the latest issue of the Urban Agriculture Magazine (online at www.ruaf.org
). And IPES is developing a training package on the policy guidelines they developed for the safe treatment and use of waste-water for urban greening and food production for the national Ministry for Housing, Construction and Sanitation. Together with the city partners, ETC is finalising an assessment of the learning alliances in Beijing and Lima, and developing a policy brief and training material related to the sub-theme. More information at http://www.switchurbanwater.eu
or with email@example.com
The City of Amman signed the first of its kind in the world city-wide carbon demand management programme with the World Bank’s Carbon Partnership Facility in May 2010. The programme, entitled “Amman Green Growth Program” builds its interventions on four pillars: waste, energy, urban transport, and urban forestry sectors. The urban forestry component includes the maximisation of green spaces in the urban and peri-urban areas of Amman and unconditional support to Urban Agriculture including rooftop gardening, home gardening, improving the access to markets for urban producers, and strengthening the global food security of the city. The RUAF supported Urban Agriculture Office of the Municipality of Greater Amman is actively developing the latter component. For more information contact the head of the urban agriculture office of the Greater Amman Municipality Mr. Hesham el Omari at firstname.lastname@example.org Distance Learning Courses on Urban Agriculture
In the months of September-December 2010, 2 distance learning courses (in English
) on urban agriculture will be offered by Ryerson University. Both courses have been developed by ETC Urban Agriculture
(ETC-UA) and RUAF Foundation
, with technical support provided by The Chang School, Ryerson University, Canada. The first course “Understanding urban agriculture” will provide you a broad overview of urban agriculture, its forms, roles and impacts. The second course: “Urban agriculture policy making” guides learners through multi-stakeholder processes of policy making and action planning for urban agriculture. For certificate courses, course fees amount to $515 CAD (unfortunately, no scholarships can be offered). For the self-paced courses (no tutoring offered), no costs are involved. You can access the available courses at: http://moodle.ruaf.org/
. For further information on the certificate courses, course content, and inscription please contact: Reg Noble, Ryerson Coordinator of the Food Security Certificate at email@example.com
The Regional Office for FAO in Latin America and the Caribbean, IPES and RUAF have developed a Spanish
distance learning course on “Urban and peri-urban agriculture as a tool for food security”. The course is aimed at programme managers, project staff, government officials, technical staff and researchers interested in food security, local economic development and urban management. The course has a duration of 11 weeks and will start on July 1, 2010. For more information please look at http://www.rlc.fao.org/nucleo/cursos/AUP201004.htm Europe-China Workshop on Urban Agriculture
The RUAF Foundation in cooperation with China-Europe Forum and the Development Planning Unit of the London University College organised with great success a 2-day exchange of experiences on the development of urban and peri-urban agriculture between senior officials from 5 European and 9 Chinese cities. The workshop certainly will lead to a series of follow up actions. For more information contact Cai Jianming at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. RUAF PUBLICATIONS
- Cities, Poverty and Food; Multi-stakeholder Policy formulation and Action Planning in Urban Agriculture (forthcoming) by Marielle Dubbeling, Henk de Zeeuw and René van Veenhuizen (eds.)
With this publication RUAF and IDRC seek to synthesise the lessons learned with the MPAP approach (Multi-stakeholder Policy formulation and Action Planning) in urban agriculture in the 21 RUAF partner cities participating in the RUAF Cities Farming for the Future programme. The book describes the MPAP approach from a methodological (the process, steps, and tools) and as well as content point of view (what are effective policy measures and actions needed to facilitate sustainable and safe urban agriculture). The approach is further illustrated by case studies on the experiences gained with the MPAP approach and policy development in 7 RUAF partner cities. This publication will be published in April 2010 by Practical Action Publishing and will be launched at the World Urban Forum V in Rio de Janeiro.
- Urban Agriculture Magazine
Issue 23 of the Urban Agriculture Magazine, is a collaborative effort with WASTE, and focuses on Urban Nutrient Management. This issue is available on the RUAF website. Publication of the hard copy is slightly delayed.
The next issue of the Magazine, no. 24, will focus on Urban Value Chains for Urban Agriculture. This issue is planned to be published in September.
5. WHAT'S NEW ON THE RUAF WEBSITE
- Section on What’s new in the Library. Some of the new publications that have been uploaded include:
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: email@example.com | 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: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.cnruaf.com.cn
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