|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
- Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Liberia
- From Freetown to Cape Town
- UA Magazine Survey
- RUAF Website Survey
5. What's New on the RUAF Website
- Effects of the global financial crisis on the food security of poor urban households
- Urban Agriculture Magazine
6. What's New in the Library
Overview of RUAF Partners
1. RUAF FROM SEED TO TABLE PROGRAMME
The RUAF-FStT programme builds on the RUAF-Cities Farming for the Future (CFF) programme (2005-2008), supported by DGIS-TMF and IDRC (capacity development component). In the RUAF-FStT programme, the processes set in motion in the RUAF partner cities were continued with a specific focus at strengthening of urban farmer organisations and capacity development regarding farming systems innovation, micro-enterprise development (in production and processing) and marketing (value chain development).
URBAN FARMING AND MARKETING PROJECTS
In 2010, the capacities of the regional RUAF partners, local support organisations and urban producer organisations to engage in joint implementation and monitoring of sustainable urban agriculture (farming and marketing) projects were further strengthened. Based on the lessons learned and the identified knowledge gaps, second and third cycles of the Urban Producer Field Schools (UPFS) were designed and implemented. The producers increasingly use the improvements in their practices and in the businesses in which they participate, and they are assisted by group and organisational strengthening. In 2010 also business plans were upgraded/modified, in order to improve the economic viability of the business and to enhance the entrepreneurial capacities and mind sets of both the producers and the local partners. In 2011, where needed, final adjustments will be made to the business plans.
In Accra (Ghana) new sessions of the UPFS on good irrigation practices, introduction to IPM and marketing have been completed. A vegetable kiosk located at Legon University has been installed (see photo below), while a second kiosk has been agreed with the Department of Agriculture. The involved farmer groups have started selling their produce at these kiosks under the coordination of a marketing committee.
In Belo Horizonte (Brazil) the sale of mixed vegetables to municipal schools is expanding. A new producer group has joined the scheme, and the number of municipal schools buying products has risen from 2 to 9.
In Lima (Peru) alternative marketing strategies are being tested and evaluated. In this context, a two-day fair was held, which was attended by local authorities and municipal officials, and which served to improve the image of pig farmers in the district, in addition to sell piglets and products. Cost-benefits of marketing through fairs will be compared to marketing through other outlets, like direct sale to city slaughterhouses.
Farmers in Porto Novo (Benin), Ibadan (Nigeria) and Gampaha (Sri Lanka) encountered difficulties with heavy rains and pests and diseases. Solutions are discussed and agreed upon with the farmer groups. These may include shifting to other (dryer) production locations, shifting to another- more suitable- growing season, introduction of mixed cropping systems or use of different (and more resistant) varieties. Ecological production techniques are promoted in all cities.
In Huairou, Beijing (China) a programme of mushrooms seed breeding has been initiated, in order to strengthen the production capacity of the cooperative for high quality mushrooms. Improved production has increased the value with RMB30 (= 2.93 in Euros) per unit of mushroom, resulting in increased household incomes with up to RMB 6,000.
In Tongzhou, Beijing the established cooperatives on grapes, vegetables and tomatoes continued to play a crucial role in marketing, sales, and quality control. The project has developed into a training ground for neighbouring villages and seed providers.
In Amman (Jordan), the FStT project managed to raise the profile of spring onions from a simple, labour-intensive and financially non-rewarding crop to a source of pride for its farmers (who are mostly women). The most striking example is a widow who supports her family from one dunum (1,000 square meters) plantation, which is now giving her an average of Euro 1,000 every 3 months, and which used to be less than Euro 150 when she was planting fresh herbs. Before FStT, spring onions were sold in bulk while now different producer groups (and even non FStT farmers) are giving a closer attention to labelling, marketing and packaging. Spring onions are now being sold at an average of one JD (almost equal parity to Euro) while previously it would not fetch more than 0.15 JD/Euro thanks to the improved quality, appropriate post-harvesting, state-of-the-art presentation and labelling.
Next to the production and marketing related aspects, much emphasis is also put in FStT on organisational strengthening of the urban producers’ groups and organisations by assisting them to develop strategic plans to improve their internal organisation, establish group savings schemes, establish strategic external relations with support organisations, and explore market possibilities. In 2011 organisational strengthening will be continued in some of the partner cities, especially those cities where (a) new producer members have joined the groups recently, bringing to light tensions or the need for continued support in areas like group decision-making, communication and integration and (b) recently group credit and saving schemes have been set up which need to be monitored and further improved and consolidated.
MULTI STAKEHOLDER POLICY FORMULATION AND ACTION PLANNING
In 2010, FStT continued to support the local Multi-Stakeholder Platforms/Forums (MSF) in the cities, facilitating the implementation of the City Strategic Agenda on Urban Agriculture (CSA). Also a start was made with policy review and policy lobbying at national level.
In Bulawayo, the Land Committee has been working on updating maps and identifying and zoning land for urban agriculture and related activities in the city, and the Capacity Development Committee organised a workshop for councillors and other policy makers in the city to raise financial support.
The 3rd MSF was held in Ibadan in September. As part of the CSA, the National Seed Service Council submitted a proposal to AGRA titled “Seed for the Future Innovation”, aimed at promoting effective farmer-led sustainable certified seeds multiplication a.o. for the production of some targeted seeds (cowpea, maize and soya beans) for urban agriculture.
In Belo Horizonte a working group of the MFS on commercialisation held meetings with the State and Federal Tax authorities to identify tax options that would allow informal agricultural workers to issue invoices.
In Bogota the MSF drafted a national law on urban agriculture. The law is currently being discussed by the national council.
In India, a workshop on urban agriculture was held with the national planning committee. It was agreed to collect further data on the presence and impact of urban agriculture in different states in India as a basis for further evidence-based policy making.
In Ghana, the regional RUAF office contributed to the development of an urban policy in Ghana. In collaboration with the Institute of Local Governments urban agriculture will be mainstreamed in the training programmes of metro and municipal assemblies in Ghana.
In Brazil RUAF/IPES supports the Ministry for Social Development and Combating Hunger (which coordinates the National Urban Agriculture Programme) to document, systemise and analyse the implementation of the National Policy on Urban Agriculture, also towards informing the new national government that will take charge in January 2011.
A workshop in Zimbabwe with, amongst others, representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and Local Government reviewed the national agriculture policy and added a section specifically dealing with urban agriculture, which will be done by the Ministry of Agriculture.
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 online 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
As indicated in the last RUAF Update, RUAF recently initiated local studies on credit and financing opportunities for urban and peri-urban agriculture in each of its partner cities. Results of these studies are being discussed with local credit and financing institutions to lobby for and put into place (new) financial products servicing small-scale urban producers. The studies show that:
a. The quantification of the demand for credit and finance by urban small producers is generally weak, while there is little information on their repayment capacity;
b. The (local) lobbying for enhanced access to credit and finance for small-scale urban agriculture requires more attention;
c. Risk reduction is a major issue both for financial institutions as well as for urban producers. Hence setting up crop insurance schemes (farmers) and guarantee funds (for credit institutions) is strongly recommended.
d. Many ideas regarding improved access to credit and finance are available, but few cities so far developed concrete and fundable proposals. Some of the proposals that may inspire other cities include the following:
In Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), a system of contract farming for production of mushrooms has been set up. A consortium of restaurants and supermarkets will fund production initially for two urban producer groups. The money will not go directly to the farmers but to a bank that will administer the loan on behalf of the consortium. The farmers will then sell 50 per cent of their mushrooms to the consortium and the surplus to other markets. The funding being provided is for the infrastructure and inputs. The bank will provide subsidised training for the farmers and will not charge the farmers for training in business management and bookkeeping.
In Lima (Peru), Microfinanzas PRISMA (MFP) formally expressed its interest to provide financial services to peri-urban pig breeders, and to start a pilot project with AGROSILVES producers. For this purpose MFP adapted their credit scheme for housing to include financing for improved pig breeding facilitates. MFP already awarded two loans of US$750 each, and is monitoring this experience in order to define a more appropriate financial product for these producers.
In China and India, lobbying is focused on making existing government subsidy schemes more accessible to migrant and urban agriculture producers.
In Ndola (Zambia), a self-administered credit and savings scheme has been set by the urban producers. Farmers used their income from 2010 to contribute to this scheme.
As a result of the lobbying for urban agriculture over the past 3 years in Jordan, the Agricultural Credit Foundation of Jordan has announced that it is has significantly reduced the requirements for credits up to 2,000 JD (Euro 2,000) for Urban Farmers, and the credit can be now attributed based on a simple personal guarantee of a moral person. This is a breakthrough considering that the guarantees needed prior to that decision needed in addition to the guarantee of a moral person the hypothecation of land and an additional guarantee from a family person that is a public civil servant or a member of the armed forces.
3. OTHER ACTIVITIES RUAF PARTNERS
Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Liberia
RUAF collaborates with CARE and Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in two EC supported programmes on the enhancement of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in Liberia. The programmes, which started in December 2009 for a period of three years, work (in partnership with HDF, Africa 2000, and the University of Liberia) with urban and peri-urban producers and multiple stakeholders in Greater Monrovia, Tubmanburg and Gbarnga. RUAF facilitates the development of a Multi-stakeholder process on Policy Formulation and Action Planning, seeking the official recognition of UPA and strategic planning to enhance it. This process is closely linked to other components of these two programmes: farmer organisation, value chain development and improving access to financing. Multi-stakeholder Local Facilitating Teams have been formed with representatives of city, township and national actors. A first training workshop for these teams was organised in June 2010 on the implementation of the multi-stakeholder process, and the teams are currently undertaking a situation analysis of UPA according to their agreed work plans. The programme has started a website. More information with email@example.com or with the coordinators of WHH: Andre.Stelder@welthungerhilfe.de, and CARE Liberia: Alberto.firstname.lastname@example.org
From Freetown to Cape Town
A group of seven participants including 5 farmers from the Freetown Mountain Farmers Association (MOFA), the Freetown coordinator from National Association of Farmers in Sierra Leone and the program manager from international NGO COOPI, travelled to Cape Town from 10 to 18 October to study and exchange experiences with farmers and staff involved in the Harvest of Hope organic vegetable box scheme. MOFA vegetable box scheme started as a pilot in Freetown in May 2010 as part of the RUAF FStT innovation project and now regularly reaches 80 customers. Farmers and the local team are looking to expand their customers’ base. Harvest of Hope box scheme started 2 years ago in Cape Town initiated by Abalimi. It has been steadily growing - also through the FStT program - and now reaches 230 customers weekly. Freetown farmers witnessed all stages of the short supply chain and exchanged on production planning, financial transactions between producers and the marketing company (owned by the farmers themselves in Freetown and by NGO Abalimi in Cape Town) and on marketing.
Among the learning for the Freetown farmers there were at an individual level the importance of organic production, composting and eating their own vegetables; as an organisation they had a chance to revise their pricing and marketing strategy. At the institutional level they realised the importance of engaging collectively with local and national institutions in Freetown on issues like land, credit and services. As for the Cape Town farmers, they were struck by the energy of their West African colleagues who farm and market in very difficult conditions with little support. They learnt how they actually own and manage their marketing organisation with support from the FStT project and how they constantly engage more youth in their associations.
More information: email@example.com
UA Magazine survey
The UA Magazine is published since 2000 and is supported by development funds, and is free of charge. Therefore we monitor its use, and we appreciate your opinion about its content and style.
We do hope that you have time to assist us in filling out a short survey on the UA Magazine at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M2TNG5X. Among others we are interested to know what according to you has been “the most interesting article in the past 24 issues?”
RUAF website survey
We also seek your feedback on our website in October 2010. You can also fill it in here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JLV6ZDL
4. RUAF PUBLICATIONS
Effects of the global financial crisis on the food security of poor urban households
RUAF Foundation published the results of a study during the second half of 2009 into the effects of the global financial crisis of 2008 on the food security of low and middle income populations in 5 cities: Rosario (Argentina), Bogota (Colombia), Accra (Ghana), Kitwe (Zambia) and Colombo (Sri Lanka). The studies assessed current socio-economic circumstances of households, food practices, coping strategies, the policy environment and current nutritional status of women and young children. Data were generated through household surveys (600 households per city), 24 hour food recall, anthropometry of under-five year olds and women from 15 to 49, Focus Group Discussions and Expert opinions on policy issues. The study was undertaken in coordination with United Nations HABITAT, Nairobi, Kenya and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada and was carried out with the aid of a grant provided by IDRC. The synthesis report and the five case study reports can be downloaded here.
NO. 25: RUAF 10 Years; Promoting Urban Agriculture
This special issue is currently under production. We have already received a number of contributions, for which our thanks, but we can receive more. We are looking for short contributions (250 words) in the form of photos and short stories that express your view on:
- The main progress in the past ten years regarding urban agriculture in your/a certain city or country; or
- The main challenge for future research and development on urban agriculture.
Please send your idea or contribution as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org
5. WHAT'S NEW ON THE RUAF WEBSITE
- UA Magazine 24 - From Seed to Table: Developing urban agriculture value chains
In this issue you will find examples of different forms of value chains and value chain development in urban agriculture including cases from the Netherlands, Madagascar, Vietnam, Yangon (Myanmar), Phoenix (Arizona) and Cape Town (South Africa)
- Updated city page on Freetown (Sierra Leone)
- Updated RUAF Publications section
- New edition of Working Paper 3 Cities, Food and Agriculture: Challenges and the way forward (2009). This policy briefing resulted from the international expert consultation organised by FAO-Food for the Cities and RUAF Foundation (24-25 September, 2009, in Rome). The document discusses urban agriculture in view of the recent food and economic crisis and debates on climate change. It provides evidence-based “food for thought and action” to senior policy makers in member states and relevant UN agencies. The document intends to stimulate and facilitate the development of pro-poor policies for urban and peri-urban agriculture at international, national and city levels.
- Video Taste the Waste - A documentary about the worldwide destruction of food. Why do we throw away so much? And how can we stop this kind of waste? Film by Valentin Thurn.
- We have installed a PayPal donation button on the website where we give you the option to make a voluntary contribution which will allow us to continue providing you and others with the latest news and information on urban agriculture and food security.
Of course all publications remain accessible to everyone just click the “continue to download” link to proceed downloading. We will regularly inform you on how donations were used.
- Upcoming events.
6. NEW IN THE LIBRARY
Every update we highlight a selection of new publications that were taken up in the RUAF library, this time we highlight 3 publications on Africa.
Community-based energy Briquette production from urban organic waste at Kahawa Soweto Informal Settlement, Nairobi
Mary Njenga, Nancy Karanja, Gordon Prain, John Malii,Patrick Munyao, Kuria Gathuru and Beatrice Mwasi, Urban Harvest, Working Paper Series, Paper 5 October 2009.
Many youths living in the informal settlements are highly affected by lack of jobs in the formal sector and to address their plight, they have come up with initiatives to address poverty and unemployment as well as environmental burdens and insecurity in their neighborhoods through recycling waste resources. One major problem that the urban poor in cities of Sub-Saharan Africa have to contend with is inaccessibility of affordable cooking fuel,The fuel briquette-making project was implemented from February 2007 to February 2008 at Kahawa Soweto village when a pilot briquette production plant was established.
Keywords: Africa, Kenya, solid waste management, urban agriculture, recycling, periurban agriculture, food security, energy, youth, unemployment, enterprise development.
Beyond Urban Gardens: Meeting the Growing Needs of Ethiopia’s Urban Population
Gultineh, D., J. Van Ness, Proceedings USAID Urban Gardens Program for HIV-Affected Women & Children November 16, 17 2009, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The ''Beyond Urban Gardens'' conference was organised by USAID and DAI. Speakers including Ethiopia's Minister of Agriculture, USAID's Mission Director, and the City of Addis Ababa's Director of Urban Agriculture. The speakers shared success stories, demonstrating how UA can improve the lives of its beneficiaries in school and community gardens. Other local and international NGOs also shared their diverse experiences in implementing UA programs.
Participants debated on how to advance the UA agenda. The conference concluded with an agreement to establish a regular forum to help guide the intensification, expansion, and management of the urban agricultural movement in Ethiopia.
Keywords: urban agriculture, Economic impact, food security, socio-economic aspects, school garden, community gardens, HIV-AIDS, Africa (Eastern), Ethiopia.
Urban food security in South Africa: Case study of Cape Town, Msunduzi and Johannesburg
Frayne, B., Battersby‐Lennard, J., Fincham, R., Haysom, G., 2009. Development Planning Division Working Paper Series No.15, DBSA: Midrand.
South Africa’s population is already more than 60% urbanised. With sustained urbanisation, the locus of poverty is now shifting from rural to urban areas. In addition, the recent sharp rise in food prices, coupled with an economic downturn, all suggest that poor urban households are experiencing a widening food gap. However, there is little empirical evidence that quantifies the prevalence of food insecurity. In response, the Urban Food Security Baseline Survey was undertaken by the African Food Security Urban Network (AFSUN) in late 2008, collecting data from approximately 6500 households and 28 500 individuals in eleven cities in nine Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. This paper focuses on the research outcomes for the three South African cities of Cape Town, Msunduzi and Johannesburg.
Keywords: Food Security and Nutrition, urbanisation, poverty, South Africa, research.
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/
- 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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