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Category — Asia

Progress threatens Istanbul’s historic gardens

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The Yedikule gardens provide a livelihood for more than 200 people in Istanbul. TRF/Stephen Starr

“Ten days ago they came and cut down all the trees almost to the roots,” he says. “I don’t know why they did that; maybe because they want a give better view for tourists to take photos of the walls. Who knows?”

By Stephen Starr
Reuters
Mar 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Recep Eraslan, 64, has worked a tiny sliver of land on Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet peninsula for more than three decades.

He grows spring onions, arugula and cabbage on a 1.25-acre (0.5 hectare) plot along the city’s ancient Byzantine-era walls that are part of one of the oldest urban gardens, or bostans in Turkish, in the world.

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March 24, 2017   No Comments

Singapore: Spa Esprit’s Cynthia Chua on urban farming and her new Farm to Beauty brand

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Cynthia Chua. A pioneer in everything from introducing waxing to expanding our gastronomical palette, Chua wants us to consider the viability of urban farming, not just for food but for beauty ingredients too.

Calendula is very good as anti-inflammatory product, especially post-threading and tweezing. With whatever we’ve grown, we are able to produce about 1,600 bottles. That was just 10-20 per cent of the garden being used.

By Renée Bachelor
Buro
Nov 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Now Chua is doing the seemingly impossible, working in partnership with Raffles City Shopping Centre and Edible Gardens to cultivate and hand harvest plants and herbs in a secret, rooftop farm stretching 10,000 square feet on top of Raffles City.

Tucked away on the seventh floor, more than 1,600 herbs and plants across 16 varieties have been grown, harvested and blended into beauty products. We visited the farm at sundown and it was pretty magnificent to see plants thriving within our urban landscape. Some of the plants that feature heavily in the first two products were aloe vera and calendula — these products will available at Strip and Browhaus outlets from this month.

Read the complete article here.

March 18, 2017   No Comments

Manilla, Philippines: New City Hall Annex rooftop is an urban gardening showcase

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Click on image for larger file. More photos here.

The once bare rooftop of the 4-storey Davao City Hall annex building burst into life as it has been literally transformed into a garden of colorful flowers and green herbs and vegetables.

By Carmencita A. Carillo
Business World
Mar 6, 2017

THE city’s plan to institutionalize urban container gardening (UCG) was recently launched with a permanent exhibit at the rooftop of the City Hall Annex Building. “The idea is to show people that it is possible to produce food even in a small plot of land… inspire Dabawenyos to engage in container gardening even if they live in the urban areas” City Agriculture Office Chief Leo Brian D. Leuterio said.

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March 12, 2017   No Comments

Singapore: City Farmer, Bjorn Low’s Video Story on ‘Game Changers’

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When Edible Garden City’s Bjorn Low first started out as a farmer here, he had one big problem: Where to find (affordable) land in Singapore?

By Steffi Koh
Channel News Asia
Mar 5, 2017

Excerpt:

An opportunity arose when Spa Esprit Group’s CEO Ms Cynthia Chua approached Mr Low, 36, and together with French chef Benjamin Darnaud – a believer in growing one’s own vegetables – they started Open Farm Community, a restaurant set in an urban farm on Minden Road.

“Urban farming in Singapore was previously unheard of,” said Ms Chua. “But now there is a momentum, there is a rhythm, and it was started because of people who are passionate about it like Bjorn.”

[Read more →]

March 12, 2017   No Comments

Indonesia: Disputed land plot converted into urban farming

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(Foto : Jhon Syah Putra Kaban / Beritajakarta.com)

The program adopts a profit sharing concept where the farmers secure 80 percent of the revenue while the administration gets 20 percent.

News Desk
Jakarta Post
March 1, 2017

Excerpt:

An urban farming plot has been developed on 1.7 hectares of disputed land on Jl. Pramuka Raya, Central Jakarta, by the municipality administration as part of its efforts to utilize unproductive land for economic activities.

The city administration has launched programs to develop productive activities on idle land across Jakarta

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March 7, 2017   Comments Off on Indonesia: Disputed land plot converted into urban farming

Indonesia: Urban farms could accommodate street children

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Jakarta deputy governor hopeful Sandiaga Uno holds up a shoe during the third and final official election debate at Bidakara Hotel in South Jakarta on Friday. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Deputy governor hopeful Sandiaga Uno has pledged to address the problems surrounding street children in the capital by, for example, developing urban farms that he said could employ street children.

By Indra Budiari
The Jakarta Post
February 11, 2017

Excerpt:

Sandiaga said that the large number of street children in the capital was a serious issue so that he and Anies Baswedan, who is running for governor, had prepared several plans to address the matter should they be elected.

“As we know, groceries are quite expensive. If the children could grow, let’s say, chili, they could earn a good income in a positive way,” the businessman-turn-politician said recently.

[Read more →]

March 6, 2017   Comments Off on Indonesia: Urban farms could accommodate street children

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.

[Read more →]

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.

[Read more →]

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.

[Read more →]

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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maly
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.

[Read more →]

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