Urban agriculture gets policy-level support in Sri Lanka’s Western Province
Water is a critical resource in urban settings, with the poor often being forced to endure unreliable supplies and contaminated wells.
International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Issue 16 – 2013
The urban poor in South Asia often lack livelihood opportunities and adequate nutrition. One way to address both these shortcomings is to encourage urban farming. Projects facilitated by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), one of the partners of the Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF) Foundation, assisted urban gardeners and entrepreneurs in Gampaha, Sri Lanka, with marketing, business planning and agricultural water management. The initiative led to a policy amendment in Sri Lanka’s Western Province followed by a process to incorporate urban agriculture in the National Agriculture Policy.
Policymakers take notice
The success of the project attracted the attention of the Western Provincial Council, which incorporated a new agenda on urban agriculture into its agriculture implementation plan. The Council also initiated a roundtable discussion with other provinces which resulted in the endorsement of a set of recommendations on urban agriculture by the Minister of Agriculture, who directed his ministry to correspondingly amend the national agriculture policy.