The RUAF Foundation designs, coordinates and implements programmes and projects in cooperation with local governments, NGOs, farmer organisations, consumer groups, universities and research organisations, private enterprises and other local, national and international partners.

  • RUAF applies a participatory, multi-stakeholder and gender-positive approach to the planning and implementation of its programmes and projects, often starting with a joint analysis of—and dialogue on—the actual food and agriculture situation in the city region, main development opportunities and constraints, strengths and weaknesses of actual policies and regulations regarding intra- and periurban agriculture, the role urban agriculture may play in realising actual key policies (social, economic, ecological) and the priorities for policy change, research and development action.
  • All RUAF projects have a strong focus on capacity building and empowerment at the level of the municipal authorities involved, and also at the level of farmer and consumer organisations, SMEs, and the governmental and non-governmental actors that play a role in the implementation of these programmes and provide services to urban producers and other stakeholders. Special attention is given to the role of urban agriculture in alleviating poverty, in creating green  jobs, and in enhancing food security and income for the urban poor, especially for women and young people.
  • The RUAF Foundation is oriented towards the delivery of practical and high-quality results, and during project design and implementation the RUAF partners devote systematic attention to the sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness of its activities. Into all projects, RUAF builds systematic qualitative and quantitative monitoring and evaluation of results and impacts as well as broad dissemination of lessons learned regarding the innovations realised and the methods applied.

Projects under implementation or recently concluded include the following:

Recipe book on urban food challenges

RUAF documented 24 case studies on urban food policy in the Netherlands (in Dutch). The so-called "recipe book" is a result of the City Deal Food on the Urban Agenda an initiative of 12 municipalities, the province of Gelderland and 3 national Ministries.

Each case deals with a specific problem in the food system. Four themes are central: strengthening food chains in and around the city; healthy food and social inclusiveness; ecological and economical sustainability and innovation; and governance innovation. Together the case studies show how integrated food policy can be put into practice.

Dutch City Deal: Food on the Urban Agenda

On 26 January 2017, 12 Dutch cities, the Province of Gelderland and 3 national Ministries jointly signed the Urban Agenda on Food, with the objective to strengthen the Dutch food system together with the private sector, knowledge institutes and societal organisations. The partners will specifically work on four themes: 1) Governance innovation; 2) Ecological and economic sustainability innovation; 3) Regional food systems and strengthening of fair and short supply chains around cities; 4) Food education, health and social inclusion.

URBAN GReen Education for ENTeRprising Agricultural Innovation (Urban Green Train)

Do we need new educational models to train a new generation of urban agriculture entrepreneurs?

This question will be answered in the Urban Green Train project. The project, led by the University of Bologna, aims at encouraging pioneering business oriented initiatives on urban agriculture based on knowledge exchange, cooperation and innovation among SMEs, policy makers and higher education institutions. RUAF Foundation maps knowledge and business initiatives of urban and peri-urban agriculture in 4 selected European countries and for supporting the development of educational modules and resources that respond to UA business training needs.

Western Africa Biowastes for Energy and Fertilizer (WABEF)

The EU funded WABEF project (Western Africa Biowastes for Energy and Fertilizer) is a collaborative project of CIRAD, RUAF Foundation and institutions in Senegal (UCAD and IAGU), Benin (Songhai) and Mali (AEDR) that will disseminate viable anaerobic waste digestion technologies. RUAF is involved in: a. the inventory of viable technologies; b. the development of feasible business models; c. involving multiple stakeholders for joint learning and policy uptake of the project’s results.

GROW the City: Urban agriculture for a sustainable regional food provisioning, The Netherlands

The RUAF Foundation, its partner ETC Foundation and PPO of Wageningen University are organising a series of thematic meetings in the Netherlands to foster policy debate on sustainable food consumption and production, to discuss opportunities and constraints for enhancing both intra- and peri-urban agriculture in the Netherlands and to facilitate exchange and dialogue in the learning community “GROW the City”.

Accelerating Sustainable WASH – WASH Alliance International Programme

As a continuation of the WASH Alliance (2011-2015), the RUAF Foundation collaborates in 2016 as a member of the WASH Alliance International (WAI),with Dutch and local partners in Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh and with minor activities in Ethiopia and Kenya. RUAF and partners support innovations and policy uptake of safe and productive agricultural use of household wastewater and organic wastes in water and sanitation programmes, by capacity building, business support of urban farmers and multi stakeholder involvement.

Market-oriented urban agriculture in Gaza

OXFAM Italia and the RUAF Foundation are jointly implementing the Gaza Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Project (G-UPA) with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The project will assist small-scale urban producers to establish value-adding microenterprises and to organise marketing chains for selected products at the local level and for export. Also, a Gaza Strip-wide Platform on Urban Agriculture will be established to develop longer-term policies and programmes.  

Integrating urban agriculture and forestry in the climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies of cities.

Through this 2 year project the RUAF Foundation supports the integration of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture and Forestry (UPAF) in the UN-HABITAT Cities and Climate Change Initiative, and in local and provincial city climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and programmes in Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso), Kesbewa / Western Province (Sri Lanka) and Kathmandu (Nepal).

Cities Farming for the Future programme (CFF)

This major 4-year programme enhanced the capacities of staff of local government, NGOs and universities and of leaders of urban producer groups; it facilitated multi-stakeholder diagnosis, policy formulation, and action planning and implementation on intra- and periurban agriculture in 20 major cities in 17 countries. The CFF programme was coordinated by the RUAF Foundation and implemented by 7 RUAF network partners in cooperation with local government, NGOs and universities.

From Seed to Table Programme (FStT)

From Seed to Table (FStT) is a major 3-year programme aimed to encourage urban farmer groups to innovate their local production systems, to engage in value-adding activities and establish innovative short marketing channels in 18 major cities, and to enhance the capacities of NGOs to support them effectively in such activities. The FStT programme also facilitated local policy making and innovative financing in support of small-scale commercial urban agriculture. FStT was coordinated by the RUAF Foundation and implemented by 7 RUAF network partners in cooperation with local government, NGOs and universities.

Urban agriculture for food security in Liberia

Since 2009, RUAF collaborated with Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in the Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA) projects, funded by EU Liberia: until 2013 in partnership with CARE-Liberia, and from 2013-2015 with Action Contre la Faim (ACF) in the UPANI project, in cooperation with local authorities, NGOs and universities. RUAF facilitated a process of multi-stakeholder policy formulation and action planning, and providing related capacity development for local staff and the various local stakeholders involved in the planning process. In 2015 this activity came to an end, and was evaluated very positive.

Urban agriculture with disadvantaged groups in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Jointly with Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI, Italy), the RUAF Foundation implemented the EU-funded project “Enhancing food security and development opportunities for disadvantaged groups in Freetown, Sierra Leone”; the project established youth-led agroenterprises and enhanced food security for most disadvantaged groups through local production of nutritious food.