New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Africa

Resident of Kawaala, Uganda, a Kampala suburb grows food on small lot

nairsacHarriet Nakabaale shows some crops in eggshells that she grows as part of her extended farming in her sack garden.

“We need people, especially in the urban areas to engage in agriculture, regardless of limited land. And the answer is sack farming.”

By Mathias Wandera
The Monitor
06/20/2015
Excerpt:

“I started by collecting huge sacks that had been dumped around my neighbourhood. Given that I have always had a poultry house, I was able to compost chicken manure that had accumulated in the coop. This I mixed with black soil to enrich the soil. But I did not just fill the sacks with the soil, I had to place small pebble stones at the middle of the sack, right from bottom to top, then filled the sack with soil leaving the stones erect in the middle,” the mother of three says.

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June 29, 2015   No Comments

Urban and suburban agriculture project begins in Republic of Cabo Verde

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Republic of Cabo Verde,[5] is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. Located 570 kilometres (350 mi) off the coast of Western Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).

Funded by the FAO with a total of US$400,000

Macua Hub
June 19th, 2015

Excerpt:

A project aimed at urban and suburban production of fruit, vegetables, roots, tubers and ornamental plants will begin in the capital of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Praia, said the country’s Minister of Rural Development, Eva Ortet.

The minister, cited by newspaper A Semana, said the project, to be carried out by the central government, was part of a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) programme to create subsistence green belts in cities and surrounding areas that it calls “urban and suburban agriculture.”

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June 28, 2015   No Comments

Sana, Yemen: Historic urban gardens in Unesco world heritage site damaged by war

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Devastation in Yemen: historic district of Sana’a before and after – in pictures

By Arnel Hecimovic
The Guardian
12 June 2015

A Saudi-led air strike killed at least six civilians and destroyed historic houses in the old quarter of Sana’a, two days ahead of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva. The air raid was the first in the Unesco world heritage site in Yemen’s rebel-held capital since the coalition started its air campaign in March against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

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June 13, 2015   Comments Off on Sana, Yemen: Historic urban gardens in Unesco world heritage site damaged by war

FAO: Urban and peri-urban agriculture: the way forward for a zero hunger world

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FAO Examples in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean Regions

By Ms Isabel Denis
EuDevDays
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
11 May 2015

Excerpt:

With a growing population estimate to more than 9 billion by 2050 and the growing of the cities estimate to 3,5 billion by 2025, the urban world will have to face challenges and opportunities. 85% of poor people in Latin America and around 50% in Africa and Asia will be concentrate in cities. In many developing countries, urban grow is link with the hope for rural populations to escape hunger, unemployment and insecurity.

They spend most of their income to feed themselves and suffer malnutrition, even at a higher grade than in rural areas, and 30% of them are unemployed. The vulnerable populations socially excluded, generally young and unemployed are a “new bomb” and source of global insecurity which constitute a challenge for the governments to solve.

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June 13, 2015   Comments Off on FAO: Urban and peri-urban agriculture: the way forward for a zero hunger world

Can Africa’s urban farms go vertical?

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A worker harvests fresh produce from a tower at Sky Greens vertical farm in Singapore.

Now is the time to forge the creative partnerships between African entrepreneurs, Western vertical farming pioneers, social impact funders, and corporations to develop economically rewarding but also safe food solutions for Africa’s cities.

By Esther Ngumbi
Thomson Reuters Foundation
21 May 2015

Excerpt:

As a poor student at Kenyatta University in Kenya, I experienced the direct results of this reality. The only food I could afford was Sukuma Wiki, the most commonly eaten leafy vegetable around. I ate it every day of the week, and was often sick. As it turns out, the greens were most likely grown using contaminated water.

In a study published by East African Medical Journal, scientists discovered that the levels of fecal bacteria in water used for irrigating crops and washing vegetables in markets was dangerously high.

Even worse, such cases of food contamination are widely found, as most wastewater generated from urban centers goes untreated into the surrounding environment.

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May 31, 2015   Comments Off on Can Africa’s urban farms go vertical?

How to grow food in a slum: lessons from the sack farmers of Kibera, Kenya

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Fred Onserio, headmaster of Stara rescue centre and school, waters vegetables in the sack gardens in the school grounds. Photograph: Patrick Mayoyo/Africa Eco News

A Kenyan government initiative is helping a growing community of residents to tackle food insecurity in one of the largest slum areas in Africa

Patrick Mayoyo in Nairobi
The Guardian
18 May 2015

Excerpt:

Farming in a slum, however, inevitably has its complications. Not only is land and space scarce, but finding areas free from contamination can also be a challenge.

According to Eva Kadzo, a public health officer and community strategist with the ministry of health, sack farming in Kibera has helped discourage people from planting crops near dump sites and sewers, which had been a common practice in the area. Many of the sewers contain heavy metals such as lead and mercury, creating a health risk to those who consume vegetables grown near them.

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May 24, 2015   Comments Off on How to grow food in a slum: lessons from the sack farmers of Kibera, Kenya

Sana’a Yemen, 2010 – Woman Teacher Giving Gardening Lessons

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Photo by Salwa. Click on image for larger file.

Teaching horticulture in Yeman

Information from Salwa from ‘Food for Cities’
May 21, 2015

Excerpt from letter:

I have few pictures of a lady school teacher with scholars (around 12 years old boys) in a public garden in Sana’a Yemen in 2010; they take lessons in gardening and are assigned a plot to plant and visit on a regular basis in the public garden; I don’t have more information, I only met them once by chance while I was working on an urban Agriculture project with RUAF foundation and my university in Beirut; unfortunately, there is war now in Yemen.

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May 22, 2015   Comments Off on Sana’a Yemen, 2010 – Woman Teacher Giving Gardening Lessons

Shanghai’s Green Ring Generates Half of The City’s Food

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Update May 2015 – RUAF – Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security

This RUAF Update informs you about our latest activities including:

Ongoing activities:
• CITYFOOD network
• Milan Urban Food Policy Pact
• CityFoodTools workshop on city region food system assessment
• Role of urban agriculture in working with refugees in Jordan
• WABEF: using slaughterhouse waste for bio-energy production
• Successful course on Food Security in an Urbanising Society
• Young Expert Programme

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May 18, 2015   Comments Off on Shanghai’s Green Ring Generates Half of The City’s Food

Managing change and building resilience: A multi-stressor analysis of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Africa and Asia

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Tending the garden, Sichuan, China, ca.1940-1950.

Resilience of UPA systems is being undermined by urban growth pressures

By Jon Padghama, Jason Jabbourb, Katie Dietrichc,
Urban Climate
Volume 12, June 2015, Pages 183–204

START and UNEP, along with several partners in Africa and South Asia, recently completed a 9-city assessment of urban and peri-urban agriculture that focused on the environmental dimensions of UPA. An article in Urban Climate synthesizing the findings of the assessment is available here. The article examines how poor governance, haphazard urban growth patterns and extreme events are amplifying impacts on UPA systems that may undermine the capacity of UPA systems to meet urban food as well as adaptation needs.

The assessments can be accessed at http://start.org/programs/upa

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May 16, 2015   Comments Off on Managing change and building resilience: A multi-stressor analysis of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Africa and Asia

‘Guerrilla gardening’ takes root in hunger-hit Mali, Africa

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A man selling garden hoes rests by the side of the road in Mali”s capital Bamako June 14, 2005.

The small group of farmers working on a series of plots use makeshift plastic hoses to pump water from the Niger River onto their rows of broccoli, cabbage and other green vegetables.

By Chris Arsenault
Reuters Africa
April 29, 2015

Excerpt:

BAMAKO, Mali, April 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – On the green banks of the Niger River in downtown Bamako alongside heavily guarded foreign hotels, a group of urban farmers busily weed and water vegetables on some of Mali’s prime real-estate.

The “guerrilla growers” do not own the land they’re cultivating but property rules aren’t stopping them from trying to feed themselves in one of the world’s poorest countries.

In North America and Europe “guerrilla gardening” usually means an act of political protest against industrialised food production or a lack of green space but in Bamako and across Africa the growing trend for urban gardens is about survival.

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May 7, 2015   Comments Off on ‘Guerrilla gardening’ takes root in hunger-hit Mali, Africa

Hydroponic agriculture turns Kenyan homes into gardens

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“I grow tomatoes, kale and spinach, which saves me time and money,” she said. “The crops mature faster [with hydroponics] when compared to growing them on a farm.”

World Bulletin
April 6, 2015

Excerpt:

We teach farmers how to utilize the vertical spaces in their homes,” Mwangi, the hydroponics expert, told.

Kimani Kemboi runs a pharmacy at Aga Khan University Hospital and lives in Westlands, an affluent Nairobi neighborhood.

“For every household in Nairobi, space is an issue,” he told. “Unlike other towns, Nairobi is not an agricultural town.”

Kemboi first heard about hydroponics from a friend who uses it to grow fodder for his animals in Kikuyu, a town in Kenya’s Kiambu County.

“After visiting him, I decided to make a small kitchen garden for myself,” he said.

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April 14, 2015   Comments Off on Hydroponic agriculture turns Kenyan homes into gardens

Review Paper on ‘Garden Kits’ in Africa

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Lessons Learned and the Potential of Improved Water Management

By Douglas J. Merrey and Simon Langan
International Water Management Institute
2014. 60 pages

Excerpt:

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize available knowledge and lessons learned from past experiences in promoting kitchen or home gardens, with a special emphasis on water management. The paper has been prepared based on an extensive desk study. It focuses on gardens whose primary purpose is production of food and, at times, growing herbs and spices for home consumption.

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April 10, 2015   Comments Off on Review Paper on ‘Garden Kits’ in Africa

Nine-city assessment of Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in Africa and Asia.

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Kampala, Uganda
Dakar, Senegal
Ibadan, Nigeria
Tamale, Ghana,
Chennai, India
Kathmandu, Nepal
Dhaka, Bangladesh

START
Enhancing scientific capacity to inspire informed action on global environmental change

Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) faces significant pressures from rapid urban expansion and related stresses. START and UNEP recently partnered with several organizations to undertake a nine-city assessment of UPA in Africa and Asia. The assessments examined key environmental and governance dimensions of UPA to advance understanding of how increasing urban pressures on land and water resources, and intensifying climate risks, are undermining the resilience of UPA in the face of rapid urban development.

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February 22, 2015   Comments Off on Nine-city assessment of Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in Africa and Asia.

Ghana, Africa – Hunger looms; Due to unregulated sale of farmlands for housing around cities

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Market in the city of Tamale, Ghana

“A few years ago, peri-urban farming provided enough vegetables to feed Accra, but today we import vegetables from Burkina Faso.”

Ghanaweb
Feb 21, 2015

Excerpt:

Ghana’s 1.7 million housing deficit means that increasing demand for housing is competing with farmlands particularly in peri-urban areas such as Dodowa, Pokuase, Amasaman, Ningo-Prampram and Afienya where farmlands are shrinking.

Although data on how much farmlands the country is losing is hard to come by, the country’s estimated 14 million-hectare agriculture land, out of which six million is lying fallow, continues to be under threat due to the urban drift that has increased demand for homes.

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February 22, 2015   Comments Off on Ghana, Africa – Hunger looms; Due to unregulated sale of farmlands for housing around cities

‘City Seeds’ documentary – Urban Farming in Nepal and Uganda

City Seeds from Kyle Robinson on Vimeo.

Excellent 25 minute documentary!

Film by Kyle Robinson
Sustainable Seas Trust
2013-2014
Funding from START, European Commission, UN Environment Program, US Agency for International Development
(Must see! Mike)

A film about urban and peri-urban agriculture in cities across the world.

This film investigates the use of urban and peri-urban agriculture in developing cities in Africa and Asia, such as Kathmandu in Nepal, and Kampala in Uganda. The film assesses its value to a country’s economy and combating environmental threats such as climate change, as well as addressing the challenges involved in nurturing and sustaining effective urban and peri-urban agriculture.

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February 22, 2015   Comments Off on ‘City Seeds’ documentary – Urban Farming in Nepal and Uganda