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Magadi, Bangalore (India)
Submitted by RUAF South and ... on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 11:33
Date of RUAF intervention: 2006-ongoing
Bangalore (officially Bengaluru) is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Located 12.97° N, 77.56° E on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka. Bangalore has an estimated metropolitan population of 6 million (60 lakh) and covers an area of 741 km² (286 mi²), making it India's third-most populous city and fifth-largest metropolitan area. Situated at about 1000 meters above sea level, it is known for its salubrious climate where temperatures remain moderate through out the year. The maximum temperature in July is around 32°C / 90°F and the minimum around 22°C / 73°F. Bangalore is also called "the Garden City" and is characterized by a lush green structure. It is connected by air, rail and road to all major cities of the country and has direct international connections to many cities worldwide.
Bangalore has been a pioneer in several initiatives including greening, large scale recycling wastes, and vegetable distribution for instance, In the inner city areas, urban horticulture initiatives, though scarce, are visible in the form of back- and front yards, as well as terrace gardens. These small spaces are effectively used for growing and household waste recycling.
Peri-urban agriculture includes the growing of vegetables, fruits, flowers, paddy and livestock production. Produce is a.o sold on small farmer markets. However, with its growing populations, peri urban agriculture areas are being pushed away. To remain a viable sector, agricultural productivity and the quality of produce would need to be improved and forms of ecological agriculture promoted.
In Bangalore, the local NGO AME Foundation was identified as lead partner for the Multi-stakeholder Policy formulation and Action Planning in process in Bangalore. They mobilized various stakeholders involved in UPA activities in the city, including the local municipality, schools, the University and urban producers or community organizations, to create a UPA enabling team as a platform for mutual exchange and support to promote UPA within Bangalore city.
A Project Inception Meeting was held on September 6th 2006 to formally introduce the RUAF project to the city of Bangalore. A first analysis of the presence of urban agriculture in Bangalore revealed that that there was significantly more scope for peri-urban agriculture as compared with urban horticulture. Establishing productive and economically viable agricultural production nodes in the peri-urban zone surrounding Bangalore has significant strategic importance and fits within the Land use Planning associated with the Bangalore Draft Master Plan. It is seen as a means of addressing urban food security and a means of re-dressing the current trend of rural/peri-urban to urban migration and associated increase in urban poor. This would also directly impact on the income and livelihood security of peri-urban farmers their household food security and status in society. Opportunities for Urban Horticulture were more limited and could take the form of residence association allotment gardens, terrace gardens and school gardens.
It was therefore decided to focus the MPAP process on two distinct areas in Bangalore: urban Bangalore, characterized by the presence of urban horticulture activities and Magadi, a peri-urban municipality with a population of 25,000 inhabitants and characterized by a clear presence of farming in the area, a keen interest to interventions like solid waste management and promotion of ecological agriculture and with an active NGO presence working on supporting livestock raising.
With support of students, questionnaire surveys were implemented in Bangalore to get further insight in the current UPA production systems, consumption patterns and marketing opportunities. Also a stakeholder identification and analysis and a policy review were implemented. In urban Bangalore the characteristics, needs and potentials for urban horticulture development were thus identified. Constraints included: lack of availability of seed/seedlings/planting material; water availability; in-adequate training and training/knowledge materials; lack of networking opportunities; and lack of skilled support. Opportunities included: nursery cultivation and sale of seedlings; residents associations identifying and enrolling potential ‘Malis’ (helping hands for gardening) for supporting the urban horticulture activities by residents in selected areas. Based on this analysis, a Pilot Project was developed to develop income generating opportunities for the urban poor, in association with composting of household wastes and rainwater harvesting. Emphasis was placed on the development of training/knowledge materials. In addition the project team developed a city strategic agenda to develop urban agriculture in Magadi.
The FStT project started in January 2009. The main aim of the project is to strengthen the marketing capacities of urban producer group/s in Magadi. After the introductory and context analysis phase of the first six months (February to June 2009), the project has moved to its planning phase (July 2009). During the project planning stage, producer groups who have market potential were identified. Most of the urban farmers have small lands for cultivation. Carrots were choses as the most promising option. Urban producers in Magadi have developed their business idea of carrot production using improved seed varieties and marketing through high-end markets. The carrots will be produced by 100 farmers and sold through a supermarket and local market in a collective approach. Various inputs suppliers, service providers, producers & marketers and inter-relations were mapped. This analysis has been used to select what are the areas to be improved by technical and marketing innovations. Ecological nutrient and crop management, composting and joint marketing will get attention in urban producer field schools.
In 2010, the producers have started their cultivation of off-season carrots. Traditionally, the farmers do not grow carrots in the rainy season (June to October), in this area. Therefore, demonstration plots were developed to show the best practices that can be adopted to grow year round carrots. The preliminary results have been promising. The farmer groups (6) have formed the Magadi Vayalagam Vegetable Growers’ Association, which is registered under the cooperative act of India, and association level strengthening activities are on-going. A revolving fund scheme is being developed with project funds, to establish sustainability.
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