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Category — Asia

Malaysia: Urban farming has helped cut living costs says Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister

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malaysDatuk Seri Ahmad Shabby Cheek.

Since its inception in 2014, the programme has amassed 38,506 participants who grow vegetables, herbs and ulam at 1,634 locations nationwide.

By Nurbaiti Hamdan
The Star
May 19, 2016

PETALING JAYA: The Government-initiated agriculture programme in urban areas is turning into a movement that helps to reduce the cost of living, said Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

Since its inception in 2014, the programme has amassed 38,506 participants who grow vegetables, herbs and ulam at 1,634 locations nationwide.

“This was something unthinkable because previously, urban people were thought to only work in factories, offices and hotels,” he said in his speech during a working visit to the Petaling Jaya urban farming site in Kampung Lindungan here Thursday.

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May 24, 2016   No Comments

This Indonesian Startup Lets City Dwellers Play FarmVille In Real Life

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infro

Help a local farmer invest in seeds and watch your investment bear fruit.

By Adele Peters
Co-Exist
05.18.16

Excerpt:

Someone living in a high-rise in Jakarta may not have a balcony, let alone a garden plot for growing food. But an Indonesian startup is working to turn city dwellers into virtual farmers: Through the platform, called iGrow, someone can invest in seeds for an underemployed farmer in a rural area, and then get regular updates as the food grows. When the crop is sold, seed investors share in the profits.

“The main thing is [to] create food security for all people,” says founder Iqbal Muhaimin. “We want people to participate in food security by making them say, ‘I grew my own food.'”

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May 23, 2016   No Comments

Urban farm gives fresh start to youth and homeless in Christchurch, New Zealand

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chrzCultivate Christchurch hopes to scale up in the coming months after gaining access to two larger sites.

“As a young person, it’s really hard to get into employment if you don’t have either the networks or qualifications or haven’t had to practice those skills,” Stewart said.

By Alice Cannet
The Press
April 25 2016

Excerpt:

One of Cultivate’s volunteers had been out of work and education for seven years before joining the group.

She had since put spent nearly 100 hours in the garden in the last three months and was studying horticulture at the National Trades Academy.

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April 28, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farm gives fresh start to youth and homeless in Christchurch, New Zealand

Indonesia: Peri-urban agriculture in Jabodetabek Metropolitan Area and its relationship with the urban socioeconomic system

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insCitizen watering vegetables that planted on vacant land in the residential area in East Jakarta. Agriculture is crucial to Indonesian economic development so that discussing farmers is highly relevant as 39.96 million people. 35 percent of the total workforce — work in the agricultural sector.

Peri-urban agriculture (PUA) in the surroundings of Jakarta as well as in the East and Northeast of JMA has contributed to increasing food affordability as well as strengthening food security policy.

By Didit Okta Pribadi, Stephan Pauleit
Land Use Policy
Volume 55, September 2016, Pages 265–274

Abstract:

Peri-urban agriculture (PUA) has been proposed as an important urban element to deal with the challenges of increasing poverty, food insecurity, and environmental degradation as particularly found in rapidly expanding cities of the developing world. However, farming in the peri-urban is under strong pressure from urbanization. The economic and social roles of farming need to be better understood in order to integrate peri-urban agriculture into urban planning. This study used multivariate techniques and Geographically Weighted Regression to analyze statistical data at a village and sub-district, to explore the varying relationships between agricultural activities and urban economic activities, urban poverty and informality, as well as food security. This method was applied in the Jabodetabek Metropolitan Area (JMA) with Indonesia’s capital Jakarta at its core, and it resulted in some important findings.

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April 28, 2016   Comments Off on Indonesia: Peri-urban agriculture in Jabodetabek Metropolitan Area and its relationship with the urban socioeconomic system

Korea helps urban dwellers start small rural farms

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farmgame
President Park Geun-hye listens to a developer of a mobile farming game during the 2015 A Farm Show in Seoul. (Yonhap file photo)

A unique exposition designed to help urban dwellers relocate to rural areas to start small farms will kick off in Seoul next week under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs and Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s key news service, organizers said Thursday.

By Kang Yoon-seung
Yon hap News
Apr 21, 2016

The organizers say the expo will be helpful to urban residents who are dreaming of leading a slow and peaceful life instead of being chased by hectic urban routines.

In 2014, the number of South Korean households escaping urban areas to start an agricultural career came to 44,586, up 37.5 percent from a year earlier. Although the official data is not yet available, experts said the figure is estimated to have hovered above 50,000 in 2015, which is more than a 10-fold growth from 4,067 posted in 2010.

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April 25, 2016   Comments Off on Korea helps urban dwellers start small rural farms

Harvard Doctoral student Aleksandar Sopov helped save Istanbul urban gardens

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spovAleksandar Sopov has worked to preserve urban gardens in Istanbul. “I had to save them,” he says. “When those public places are erased, it moves people into arenas where demagoguery can take place.” Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer.

They had been tilled by Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, and, more recently, Syrian and Afghan refugees. “Their destruction would be the destruction of that connection between the Middle East and Europe.”

By Leslie Macmillan,
Harvard Gazette
Apr 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Sopov said such ancient gardens are the forerunners of modern urban farming, which relates to modern concepts like food justice and sustainable cities. “When food is produced locally, consumers know more about farming practices,” he said, “so laborers aren’t unpaid and mistreated, and pesticides” aren’t used.

City farming is important because it engages a wide swath of urban dwellers, he said, creating a sense of community and shared purpose. The prevalent image of the eastern Mediterranean as divided along ethnic and religious lines and wracked by strife “is a recent political construct,” he said. In fact, despite the devastation wrought by the wars of the 20th century, “Skopje [in Macedonia] preserved many of its Ottoman caravansaries, hamams [baths], churches, mosques, madrasas,” proof of a vibrant, multicultural city.

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April 19, 2016   Comments Off on Harvard Doctoral student Aleksandar Sopov helped save Istanbul urban gardens

India: Man Held for Rooftop Ganja Farming

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indiapot
The ganja plants found on Nissar’s rooftop; (Inset) Nissan.

The ‘City Shadow Police’ nabbed grower

By New India Express News Service
28th March 2016

Excerpt:

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 31-year-old man who gave a shady twist to rooftop farming by growing ganja plants on the terrace of his house has been nabbed by the City Shadow police.

The Pettah police identified the man as Nissar, s/o Ali Akbar, Pulikkal Puthenveetil, Anayara. Nissar was trapped by the police during raids conducted as part of ganja raids in the city. The police also recovered a country-made rifle and country bombs from his residence. According to the police, the ganja plants were hidden among wild balsams on the rooftop.

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April 3, 2016   Comments Off on India: Man Held for Rooftop Ganja Farming

Bees buzzing in many Korean cities

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kbee
Min Dong-seok (R), secretary-general of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, and Park Jin, head of the Urban Bees Seoul, show hives during a ceremony to harvest honey on the rooftop of the commission’s building in downtown Seoul.

According to the Seoul city government, the nation’s capital now has 300 beehives in 27 places, up from 186 hives in 21 areas last year.

By Hwang Seok-joo
YoonHop News
March 26, 2016

Excerpt:

However, Park Jin, the head of Urban Bees Seoul (UBS), an urban beekeeping cooperative in Seoul, refutes that bees rarely attack people unless they are provoked.

“People have a tendency to vaguely assume that honey bees are dangerous and to worry that honey collected in cities might be polluted,” Park said.

An earlier probe by the Seoul-based Institute of Health and Environment found no heavy metals like lead and cadmium in honey produced even in heavily-crowded Myeongdong in downtown Seoul, he said.

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March 31, 2016   Comments Off on Bees buzzing in many Korean cities

Japan is Combatting a Decline in Farming

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jape
Chickens wander freely among the rice paddies and raised beds of City Farm Odaiba. Joshua Hunt.Click on image for larger file.

The earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear disaster that rocked Japan’s Tohoku region in March of 2011 dealt a series of sharp blows to the 70,000 farmers living in Fukushima prefecture

By Joshua Hunt
Modern Farmer
March 23, 2016

Excerpt:

City Farm Odaiba, which sits atop a high-rise overlooking Tokyo Bay, on the manmade island of Odaiba, represents one of many initiatives aimed at reversing the farm-sector decline. Established in 2012 by real-estate behemoth Mitsui Fudosan as a kind of refuge for elderly farmers who had fled Tohoku after the tsunami, the community farm—with rice paddies, soybean fields, staked tomatoes, raised beds, and a flock of resident chickens—quickly became something more than a place for the displaced people to dirty their trowels.

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March 30, 2016   Comments Off on Japan is Combatting a Decline in Farming

Survey of teenagers living in New Zealand’s cities has found an alarming lack of knowledge when it comes to farming and food production

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cart
Image from: If You Plant a Seed Hardcover by Nadir Nelson.

81 per cent admit they know only “a little” or “nothing at all” about these topics.

Press Release: Rabobank
Conducted by research consultancy Key Research, the Rabobank Farm Experience Urban Youth Research
Scoop
15 March 2016

Excerpt:

Key findings:

81 per cent of surveyed teens say they know only a little or nothing about farming and food production.

Eight per cent have never been on a farm, while a further 35 per cent have visited a farm three or less times in their life.

72 per cent don’t know anything, or know just a little, about how food gets from farm to plate.

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March 18, 2016   Comments Off on Survey of teenagers living in New Zealand’s cities has found an alarming lack of knowledge when it comes to farming and food production

Taking community gardens to backyards in Merivale, New Zealand

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nzm
Gee and Rawiri Sammons, and Merivale Community Gardens trustee David Harricks. Photo Tracy Hardy.

“It’s cheaper to go to Pizza Hutt and buy a $5 family pizza than it is to go to the supermarket and buy fruit and veg, which is absurd.”

By Cayla-Fay Saunder
SunLive
Mar 13, 2016

Excerpt:

Merivale Community Gardens coordinator Deb McCarthy says the community garden has been available for four years, and people respect it and use it, so the “next step is to take it to their backyards.”

But it’s not a set-up and leave sort of project, says Deb. Each backyard garden gets a mentor assigned to come back to the garden on a regular basis, “at least once a month,” says Deb, to see how the family and the garden are growing.

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March 17, 2016   Comments Off on Taking community gardens to backyards in Merivale, New Zealand

Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City passed a new provision to urbanise agriculture in the 2016-20 period, with adjustments to facilitate bank loan access of farmers and enterprises in the city

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vihmc

The switch from traditional to urban farming in HCM City has yielded great success over the last five years, according to the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Vietnam News
Mar 5, 2016

Excerpt:

For the 2011-15 period, more than 3,700 farmer households and enterprises with feasible business plans received a loan interest subsidy from a city programme to implement their projects.

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City on Thursday, Tran Ngoc Ho, the department’s deputy director, said the projects had created jobs for 45,097 labourers and helped raise the average per capita income in rural areas to VND39.72 million (USVND37,897,250) per year, reducing the income gap between rural and urban areas.

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March 11, 2016   Comments Off on Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City passed a new provision to urbanise agriculture in the 2016-20 period, with adjustments to facilitate bank loan access of farmers and enterprises in the city

Istanbul’s urban farmers face eviction from ancient gardens

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istr

The gardens adjacent to the city’s walls number almost 300 and there are around 120 people who work these plots

By Suraj Sharma
Middle East Eye
Feb 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Fifty-one-year-old Avci is one of around 120 urban farmers who make a living by working 300 plots of land along a stretch of the city’s walls known as the Yedikule Bostanlari, or the Seven Towers horticulture gardens.

Avci and all the other urban farmers active there have been told by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality to vacate the plots by March at the latest. The reason behind this is simple.

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February 26, 2016   Comments Off on Istanbul’s urban farmers face eviction from ancient gardens

Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture

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istb
An aerial view of Yedikule gardens.

Istanbul is struggling to keep its centuries-old farming plots due to the drive for modernisation. Dozens of farmers face being kicked off the land they have cultivated for generations.

By Van Meguerditchian
The Observers
Feb 5, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

The Yedikule (“Castle of the Seven Towers”) gardens, planted and taken care of by local farmers for generations, are located right outside the old city walls in the southern tip of European Istanbul. The area is a UNESCO-protected site that contains the old walls that guarded what was then Constantinople from outside invaders.

After losing most of their storage areas and sheds in January, when city authorities dismantled them by force, the farmers and their families now fear they will lose their gardens by this spring – and that Istanbul’s city center will lose its 1,500-year-old agricultural practice.

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February 6, 2016   Comments Off on Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture

The Urban, Rooftop and Vertical Farming Association of Malaysia

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kong
Kong showing how food waste is used as a natural fertiliser to grow vegetables in drums.

The Agriculture Department, Kong said, had taught him the know-how and supported by providing vegetable seedlings.

By Elan Perumal
The Star
Jan 30, 2016

Excerpt”

Kong, who first introduced the idea to his neighbours in Bandar Sunway Semenyih in February last year, said the iniative drew some 20 families who successfully planted crops such as sweet corn, brinjal, ladies’ fingers, chilli and leafy vegetables.

He said the residents grew the crops in their own compounds and shared the produce with their neighbours and they barter-traded the produce among themselves.

“It created much excitement as the residents were not only able to eat fresh vegetables from their own gardens, but it gave them the opportunity to build new friendships,” he said.

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February 2, 2016   Comments Off on The Urban, Rooftop and Vertical Farming Association of Malaysia