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Category — Asia

India: Agrarian Freedom in Madurai’s Urban Agriculture

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Figure 1. Flooded rice paddy and coconut grove outside of Madurai. Photo by author.

Bowdoin Senior Receives Award for India Research

By Jeb Polstein
Bowdoin College
Program: South India Term Abroad

Excerpt from Bowdoin News about Jeb’s project:

While he was studying away in India last year, Jacob “Jeb” Polstein ’17 researched the rise of urban agriculture in the city of Madurai.

Using ethnographic data he collected from three sites around the city, Polstein looked at how the capitalistic promotion of urban agricultural movements has complicated traditional agrarian ideas and practices. At Bowdoin, Polstein is majoring in philosophy and environmental studies.

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January 24, 2017   Comments Off on India: Agrarian Freedom in Madurai’s Urban Agriculture

Philippines: Taguig aims for better environment, healthier lifestyle through urban farming

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Urban farming model at Tipas Elementary School /CREDIT: ilovetaguig.com / Manila Bulletin

To encourage residents to create their own “urban farms,” the City Agriculture Office held the first Gulayan Contest for Women on December 19, 2016.

Manila Bulletin
Jan 15, 2017

Excerpt:

Mayor Lani Cayetano said the city government intends to preserve at least 25 hectares of agricultural land. To achieve this goal, the city government is aggressively promoting urban farming and gardening. This goal is not prompted by nostalgia for an agricultural past, but for pragmatic reasons. The city government views urban farming not only as a source of income for its residents but as a way to promote a better environment and a healthier lifestyle.

The city’s urban gardening program favors organic farming where pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, and growth hormones are not used on crops. Organically grown products are better for the environment and for a person’s health.

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January 21, 2017   Comments Off on Philippines: Taguig aims for better environment, healthier lifestyle through urban farming

Afghanistan: I can grow vegetables to feed my family and from the surplus I can even make a small profit

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Assadulah in his greenhouse. Foto: PIN Archive.

The EU funded project lasted for 28 months and in total supported over 1000 low income households, specifically focusing on women with particularly limited access to income generating activities.

People in Need Czech Republic
2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpts:

Assadullah has been selected as beneficiary of a project tackling urban poverty in Mazar-i-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan, undertaken by People in Need and funded by the European Union. One of the project activities is focused on kitchen gardening.

Assadullah’s life changed a great deal since he started cultivating the small garden behind his house. “Before I joined the project I did not have enough information about agricultural activities and did not know even know what a greenhouse is,” describes Assadullah. “Previously our daily diet did not include vegetables and if we had guests we had to buy vegetables in the market,” he adds.

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January 13, 2017   Comments Off on Afghanistan: I can grow vegetables to feed my family and from the surplus I can even make a small profit

Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City’s farms enjoy solid growth

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A farmer takes care the fresh vegetable garden at Cu Chi District, HCM City. – VNA/VNS Photo Manh Linh.

The city’s vegetable cultivation last year reached 15,370 ha, up 9.5 per cent over 2015, yielding more than 419,100 tonnes of vegetables, a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent.

Viet Nam News
Jan 2, 2017

Excerpt:

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City last week to review the city’s agricultural sector performance last year and set tasks for this year, department director Ngueyn Phuoc Trung said the production value of the cultivation sector grew by 3.9 per cent, the animal husbandry sector by 4.5 per cent and the seafood sector by 7.7 per cent.

This was a result of following an urban agricultural model, reducing rice-growing areas of low productivity, and increasing the area for cultivating high-value ornamental trees and safe vegetables as well as dairy farming, he said.

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January 11, 2017   Comments Off on Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City’s farms enjoy solid growth

Transforming city backyards into veggie farms in Quezon City, Philippines

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Its metro-wide urban agriculture project with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) dubbed as the “ATIng Gulayan ng DA”.

GOVOH – The Official Gazette is the official journal of the Republic of the Philippines
Dec 24, 2016

In the face of today’s growing population, the Department of Agriculture (DA) sharpens its focus on food security and poverty alleviation through its metro-wide urban agriculture project with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) dubbed as the “ATIng Gulayan ng DA”.

To officially set this project in motion, the ATI spearheaded a series of roadshows in different barangays in Metro Manila to encourage local families to transform their backyards into vegetable gardens, starting with Barangay Old Balara in Quezon City.

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December 29, 2016   Comments Off on Transforming city backyards into veggie farms in Quezon City, Philippines

CityFarm Malaysia ventures into indoor farming to inspire more urbanites to grow their own food

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(from left) Chew, Koay and Loo showing the City Window farm hydroponic starter pack. Pix by Owee Ah Chun

“I AM a city farmer,” read the words in black and striking green on the black T-shirt worn by the youth who greets me at the door of the second-floor office in Sri Kembangan, Selangor.

By Zuliantie Dzul
New Straits Times
17 December 2016

Excerpt:

The self-taught trio and two others behind the set-up are graduates of the Multimedia University in Cyberjaya. It was through clubs and student activities that they met as they were all on different programmes.

“It all started as a hobby about two years ago,” shares 28-year-old Chew, who’s a freelance software engineer. “I saw this urban farming concept on TV. It’s big in the US and Europe, and I was interested. So I bought a plant and put it in a small corner in Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre, where he worked. Soon after that, Koay decided to join as well.”

Discussions followed soon after and eventually, the idea became a reality and CityFarm Malaysia was born.

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December 26, 2016   Comments Off on CityFarm Malaysia ventures into indoor farming to inspire more urbanites to grow their own food

Singapore: Urban Farm’s Revenue is Expected to Hit More Than $1 Million in 2017

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See video here.

Okinawa Spinach: It’s something that can be substituted for other vegetables that are bought in the store.

By Sarah Toms and Aimran Supardi
BBC
Dec 8, 2016

Excerpt:

Singapore is a small, metropolitan island that imports more than 90% of its fruit and vegetables. Spare land is scarce, but urban farming – on rooftops, footpaths and vacant lots – is slowly taking root.

That’s because Bjorn Low, the co-founder of a business called Edible Garden City, has been sowing the seeds of change over the last four years by championing local produce that’s still being grown in places by older plot farmers.

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December 16, 2016   Comments Off on Singapore: Urban Farm’s Revenue is Expected to Hit More Than $1 Million in 2017

Malaysia: Minister announces that Urban Farming will be introduced in People’s Housing Programme areas

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Yan Sri Noh Omar said urban farming will be introduced to People’s Housing Programme (PPR) areas to promote agricultural activities among residents. Photo by Choo Choy May.

“If one PPR area has 300 houses, just imagine the outcome if each house unit growing three chilli plants.”

Malay Mail Online
Serdang, Dec 5

Next year, urban farming will be introduced in People’s Housing Programme (PPR) areas to promote agricultural activities among residents, especially those living on strata properties, says Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.

He said Lembah Subang Satu PPR had been selected for the urban farming pilot project which was aimed at transforming the lives of PPR residents through residential farming.

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December 12, 2016   Comments Off on Malaysia: Minister announces that Urban Farming will be introduced in People’s Housing Programme areas

China’s CCTV News visits Singapore: Urban farming provides sustainable solutions

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“The edible garden certainly sounds like a good idea. But it’ll be difficult to develop bigger farms there, considering how small the country is. Is that right?”

Correspondent Miro Lu from Singapore
China CCTV News
Nov 28, 2016

Singapore produces very little of the food it consumes, but the city-state is now trying to become less dependent on food imports. Some people now want to make the garden city into an edible garden city, and they’re trying to teach more people how to grow their own food locally.

Link to more complete video story.

December 4, 2016   Comments Off on China’s CCTV News visits Singapore: Urban farming provides sustainable solutions

Official China news agency features ‘urban agriculture’ photo in US-China pledge to promote agricultural cooperation

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newchina

Lead photo caption: AeroFarms is a mission-driven company setting a new standard for controlled urban agriculture to address the global food crisis by building and operating indoor farms in cities. (Xinhua/Wang Lei)

Xinhua
Nov. 22

Excerpt:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — Officials from China and United States on Tuesday hailed the two countries’ agriculture cooperation and pledged to strengthen the partnership.

Agriculture is one of the earliest, most productive and potential areas for Sino-U.S. cooperation, said Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang at the China-U.S. Agriculture and Food Seminar held during the 27th Session of the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT).

“In the past 15 years since China joined the World Trade Organization, bilateral agricultural trade volume witnessed an average annual growth of 17 percent, reaching 32.1 billion US dollars last year,” said Wang.

The agricultural cooperation between China and the United States has made fruitful achievements in trade and investment, technology exchange and personnel training, and has made important contributions to the development of Sino-U.S. relationship, he said.

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November 23, 2016   Comments Off on Official China news agency features ‘urban agriculture’ photo in US-China pledge to promote agricultural cooperation

Singapore: Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Trade and Industry Opens New Community Garden

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sincom
Community members tending their plots at the Eng Kong and Cheng Soon Community Garden yesterday. PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Applicants ballot for the 90 plots available, for $50 a year. All have been taken up.

By Lin Yangchen
Straits Times
Nov 13, 2016

Excerpt:

The 50m by 44m garden near Toh Tuck Road was started by the Eng Kong and Cheng Soon Neighbourhood Committee at a cost of $22,500 and paid for by contributions from residents.

The garden was officially opened yesterday by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Trade and Industry. It is the latest addition to nearly 1,000 community gardens in Singapore.

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November 21, 2016   Comments Off on Singapore: Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Trade and Industry Opens New Community Garden

Singapore: Two Beauty Products Made from Ingredients Harvested from the Rooftop of Raffles City

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beuty
The distilling process to derive essence from herbs and plants to make Farm to Beauty’s products.

The group and Edible Garden City essentially distil the essence of these plants, then work with a Singapore-based laboratory to create the products over a six-to-nine-month period.

Malay Mail Online
Nov 11, 2016

Excerpt:

Well, this is is already happening with Spa Esprit Group’s new venture. Called Farm To Beauty, the brand launched two products last week — A Cool Aloe Cooling Gel and Om, Calendula! Calming Cream — with its main ingredients harvested from the rooftop of Raffles City.

Farm to Beauty actually took root (literally) when Spa Esprit Group’s chief executive Cynthia Chua met Edible Garden City’s founder Bjorn Low, and was amazed to find that urban farming is possible in Singapore.

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November 17, 2016   Comments Off on Singapore: Two Beauty Products Made from Ingredients Harvested from the Rooftop of Raffles City

Vietnam Home Features Accessible Platforms That Integrate Urban Farming

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vet1
ver2

“Terraces home serves as a constant reminder of the origin of paddy rice civilization in a flat world context, threatened by various types of pollution currently at an alarming level.”

Design Boom
Nov 6, 2016

Excerpts:

In Vietnam, H&P architects has completed a large residence featuring accessible platforms that integrate urban farming as a basis for sustainable development. located in the city of ha tinh, ‘terraces home’ seeks to combine architecture with agriculture, forming a new typology that the architects refer to as ‘agritecture’. influenced by the country’s terraced rice fields, the property intends to dissolve boundaries between internal and external living.

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November 8, 2016   Comments Off on Vietnam Home Features Accessible Platforms That Integrate Urban Farming

Harvesting the food of the future, spirulina, on a Bangkok rooftop

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spirkPhoto by Claire Knox.

Are Bangkok’s fledgling urban rooftop farms a hidden goldmine for hotels and hospitality businesses? Meet the hoteliers and entrepreneurs proving that environment-focused partnerships are the best marketing tool a business can have.

By Claire Knox
Sea Globe
October 28, 2016

Excerpt:

At 8am, Bangkok’s Siam Square is heaving. Traffic slows to a crawl, commuters squeeze into the skytrain and the sweet, smoky smell of grilled street food wafts from the downtown district’s labyrinthine sois. But on the Novotel Bangkok’s sun-bleached rooftop, 20 floors up from the heady streets below, the still, almost serene atmosphere could not be any different. Most mornings here, a passionate group of hoteliers, microbiologists and engineers arrive to harvest one of the planet’s oldest life forms, an algae called spirulina that some are hailing the ‘kale or spinach of the future’. According to the hotel’s general manager Manuel Reymondin, the Novotel’s rooftop spirulina farm – conceptualised, set up and run by a small Thai startup called EnerGaia – is also showing that when it comes to marketing, partnering with sustainably minded entrepreneurs can be the best publicity manoeuvre of them all.

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November 5, 2016   Comments Off on Harvesting the food of the future, spirulina, on a Bangkok rooftop

Thailand’s Veggie Prince

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bangk

Nakorn “Prince” Limpacuptathavon, 33, is the poster boy for sustainable farming in the city. He started growing chemical-free vegetables on a piece of land next to his own house eight years ago.

By Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
Bangkok Post
Oct 21, 2016

Excerpt:

As his enthusiasm for all things green grew, he began hosting activities at his learning centre, Ban Jaochai Phak, or Veggie Prince’s House, in Lat Prao Soi 71 and now talks at various events to spread his organic farming know-how. Guru chatted with Prince about how urban farming can benefit city life, in case you may want to get out your shovels and garden forks.

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October 29, 2016   Comments Off on Thailand’s Veggie Prince