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Category — Middle East

Istanbul’s Komsuköy allows you to run an organic farm from your city computer

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Would you like to run a farm and harvest organic produce while sitting on a computer? Komsuköy is the meeting point for urban farmers in Istanbul’s Beykoz district, allowing them to grow their own natural products through an online platform that delivers organic products right to your door.

By Izlem Arsiya
Daily Sabah
Mar 2, 2016

Excerpt:

The platform allows you to purchase a section of a plantation field where you can grow all natural products with no hormones or GMOs. You can take care of your crops and plants online through the platform which gives you a 24-hour live stream of your plantation where you can monitor your crops every day until they are ready to be harvested and delivered to your table. Here is a closer look into how the system works.

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March 9, 2016   Comments Off on Istanbul’s Komsuköy allows you to run an organic farm from your city computer

In Istanbul’s Ancient Gardens, A Battle for Future Harvests

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The Yedikule gardens are watered using a narrow canal system known as masula. Click on image for larger file.

Development pressures are threatening Istanbul’s centuries-old gardens, which have produced food for the city’s markets since Byzantine times. A coalition of gardeners and environmentalists is fighting to preserve them.

By Jennifer Hattam
Jennifer Hattam is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul.
Environment 360, Yale
Feb 26, 2016

Excerpt:

“The bostan in Yedikule are one of the first forerunners to what we today term urban farming,” says Aslihan Demirtas, an Istanbul-based architect who also has a design studio in New York. “It’s become very trendy in places like Brooklyn to grow your own lettuce on a warehouse rooftop, but people have been producing food here within the city for 1,500 years.”

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March 3, 2016   Comments Off on In Istanbul’s Ancient Gardens, A Battle for Future Harvests

Istanbul’s farmers fight to keep historic urban agriculture

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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

Rich harvest from Egypt’s rooftop gardens

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The idea of rooftop gardening has been gaining popularity around the world as well as in Egypt. Above, a rooftop garden in a school in Qaliubiya. David Degner for The National.

When the Persian traveller Nasir Khusraw visited the Egyptian capital in about 1050, he wrote in his book the Safarnama that residents in the wealthy and densely populated area of Fustat had put gardens on the tops of their high-rises. The tallest of the buildings stood 14 storeys, and the gardens were irrigated using ox-drawn water wheels placed below.

By Patrick Werr
The National
September 9, 2015

Excerpt:

But the problems are myriad. One of the biggest is ownership. Very few buildings in Cairo are properly registered, especially in the poorer neighbourhoods where rooftop crops might provide the most benefit. Deciding who has the right to the roof is an obstacle.

Then there is the problem of who is responsible for the services. Many of the electricity metres in poor areas are not registered under the name of the owner. Water metres tend to be communal, so all the building’s tenants can end up financing the people irrigating and harvesting the crops on the roof.

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February 1, 2016   Comments Off on Rich harvest from Egypt’s rooftop gardens

Muscat, Oman: Science Café session at the Sultan Qaboos University Farm on growing fruit and vegetables at home

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Dr Nadiya Al Saady, executive director, Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC) and organiser of the monthly Science Café initiative.

Encouraging urban agriculture is an important step toward building a more sustainable food system in Oman, suggested Dr Al Saady.

Trade Arabia News Service
Jan 20, 2016

Excerpts:

“Science Café attendees were shown how to grow their own fresh produce organically, no matter what skill level or how much space they have available,” remarked Dr Al Saady.

‘Organic Gardening – Time to Grow’ was a 90-minute crash course in urban agriculture, designed specifically to encourage people to think more about diet, health and the environment, said a statement.

It also covered the basics of how to grow organic edibles in the garden, patio, balcony or window-box. The focus was on what is easy to grow, how to choose what to plant and how to keep plants alive and thriving, it said.

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January 20, 2016   Comments Off on Muscat, Oman: Science Café session at the Sultan Qaboos University Farm on growing fruit and vegetables at home

City region agrifood systems in the urbanizing Nile Basin community

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Island farming on the Nile River.

The total population of the Nile Basin riparian countries was around 85 million at their independence era, with projection of over a billion persons within this millennium. That booming demography requires mitigation, adaptation and adoption of urban agricultural policies and planning, consideration of imperatively adequate food and nutrition systems to cope with this dynamics.

By Mohamed Yassin
Sudan Tribune
Dec 11, 2015

Excerpt:

Family farming in rural areas is increasingly losing terrain at the expenses of the urban farming for multiplicities of reasons and drivers. Urban areas are offering more attractive employment opportunities and better chances of higher income and availability of basic deliverables, basically associated with the industries, trade, technologies, education, health and tertiary sector of services. The Agricultural sector has a shifting and dynamic nature and adaptability related to these urbanization processes, through the urban gardens, nurseries, and other sorts of multifunctional agri-food systems.

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December 22, 2015   Comments Off on City region agrifood systems in the urbanizing Nile Basin community

Urban Agriculture for Ethiopian Immigrants in Be’er Sheva, Israel

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The Earth’s Promise initiative in action. Credit: Courtesy JNF.

The garden, attached to the absorption center, began with 10 furrows (trenches used to plant seeds)—one per family—then grew to 50, and eventually to 100, with more currently being planned.

By June Glaze
JNS.org
Nov 6, 2015

Excerpt:

“They can plant whatever they want, including fruits and vegetables they had in Ethiopia that they miss in Israel. It’s wonderful to see families working together, using their skills, feeling proud of themselves. And when they leave the absorption center for new homes, they bequeath their furrows to new families coming in,” Katzenell said.

“These are people who came here with no jobs, no Hebrew, and with traditional [agrarian] knowledge that, living in an urban environment, they couldn’t pass on to their children,” said Moran Slakmon, co-director of Earth’s Promise with her husband, Adam Ganson.

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November 13, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture for Ethiopian Immigrants in Be’er Sheva, Israel

Abu Dhabi students have a farm day

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Students at a farm in Abu Dhabi as part of an initiative to raise their awareness about the environment.

“Visiting farms of Emiratis comes as part of the awareness plans and educational programmes aimed at increasing environmental and health awareness among children and school students.

Staff Reporter
Abu Dhabi
October 20, 2015

Excerpt:

The Abu Dhabi City Municipality and its partners paid a visit to a “model farm” in Al Wathba area.

The group visiting Emirati, Abdullah Hassan Al Ali’s farm included students from Al Noor School, and representatives from the Farmers Services Centre. The students were included to raise their awareness about the environment.

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October 29, 2015   Comments Off on Abu Dhabi students have a farm day

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

Pakistan Agricultural Research Council needs help to kick-start urban agriculture

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Farmers’ market in Layyah, Pakistan at twilight.

Dr Iftikhar says people need to help cities produce vegetables and fruits to cater to their own demands

Daily Times
April 28, 2015

Excerpt:

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad on Monday sought help from academia and students to materialise the concept of urban agriculture, initially in the capital city.

“Pakistan’s progress and prosperity is linked with agriculture, so as much as we promote this sector it would help boost overall economy of the country,” Dr Iftikhar said while addressing at the prize distribution ceremony of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) Girls College.

“Besides promoting the rural agriculture, there is need that we also work for urban agriculture to help cities produce vegetable and fruits to cater to their own consumption demands.”

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May 5, 2015   Comments Off on Pakistan Agricultural Research Council needs help to kick-start urban agriculture

Urban agriculture a possible solution to United Arab Emirates (UAE) food needs

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Dewa’s garden in Al Quoz, above, has a plot with more than 400 vegetables. Courtesy Dewa.

Dr Rashid bin Fahad, the Minister of Environment and Water, said continued reliance on traditional agricultural practices would not resolve food supply challenges.

By Emmanuel Samoglou
The National UAE
March 11, 2015

Excerpt:

ABU DHABI – Urban agriculture in the UAE has the potential to surmount the environmental obstacles it faces to provide fresh produce to residents, agricultural experts say.

The hot weather is the main problem for farmers, but staff at Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (Dewa) building in Al Quoz have successfully grown cabbages, tomatoes and cauliflower on the rooftop.

They use Green Mat, a subsurface farming medium that helps to conserve irrigation water. It is developed by Landex Green Environmental Solution in the UAE.

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March 21, 2015   Comments Off on Urban agriculture a possible solution to United Arab Emirates (UAE) food needs

Arab States of the Gulf encouraged to embrace urban agriculture

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Image Credit: Ramachandra Babu/©Gulf News.

“In many Emirati households, it is quite common that the household has its own herd of goat or sheep, their own palm trees and other minor agricultural practices. However, the modern practice of urban farming utilises all spaces, especially those that are on buildings and skyscrapers, which current Emirati agricultural practices don’t.”

By Saeed Al Gergawi
Gulf News
March 9, 2015

Note: The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf, except for Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Excerpt:

Where cities and towns within the GCC will grow their own crops and set up “farmer’s souqs” starting early in the morning on Friday and end before the Friday prayers, we will see building porters who will double as both farmer and porter, and help farm vegetables, fruits and crops that are requested by the building tenants; and then the GCC as a community will be able to depend on itself for its agricultural goods and the sustenance of the nation.

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March 16, 2015   Comments Off on Arab States of the Gulf encouraged to embrace urban agriculture

Speakers from Philips, Plantagon and Hungry Planet Farms to Share Insights in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Conference on ‘Building Resilience in Urban Agriculture’ March 9-11

Excerpt:

ADFCA will convene the event in partnership with some of the world’s most innovative organisations, including the RUAF Foundation, Association for Vertical Farming, and the University of Arizona. As part of this, industry experts will convene to outline a high-level Urban Agriculture Strategy for the Abu Dhabi Capital City District. Ready with market and city spatial data, participants will examine the potential application of the full range of urban agriculture typologies to understand Abu Dhabi’s fresh produce productive potential, evaluating risks and compatibility with its urban fabric.

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March 1, 2015   Comments Off on Speakers from Philips, Plantagon and Hungry Planet Farms to Share Insights in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Update 23 – Resource Centre /Urban Agriculture/Food Security (RUAF)

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RUAF Update 23 – Feb 2015

Excerpt:

Ongoing activities
• GROW the City Cafés in the Netherlands
• UA Enterprise development in India
• Promoting market oriented urban agriculture in Gaza
• Urban food mapping and WASH in Burkina Faso and Ghana
• WASH progress in Nepal and Bangladesh and the World Water Day

New projects
• Urban Green Education for Enterprising Agricultural Innovation
• Support to the City of Milan and other cities in urban food planning
• Developing tools for mapping and assessing sustainable city region food systems
• Supporting enterprises for urban waste recycling for food production

[Read more →]

February 16, 2015   Comments Off on Update 23 – Resource Centre /Urban Agriculture/Food Security (RUAF)

Lahore, Pakistan evicts buffaloes, cows and other cattle from urban union councils

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They make a plan to make Lahore a cattle-free city, raid barns and farms and net the cattle. As soon as the drive is over, the cattle again return to their places.

By Khalid Hasnain
Dawn
Feb 3, 2015

Excerpt:

Under the policy, cattle eviction campaigns are to be launched by the town municipal administrations with the district livestock wing or the officials/departments concerned of the CDGL. At present, the nine town administrations seem not bothered by the presence of cattle.

Famous social activist Prof Ajaz Anwar sees cattle an integral part of nature’s ecosystem, saying their only place is countryside.

“Metropolitan cities all around the world discourage keeping cattle in homes or sheds,” he told Dawn. “Here, it’s a matter of ill-planning. If they’ve banned cattle in urban UCs, the officials should have implemented it well.”

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February 3, 2015   Comments Off on Lahore, Pakistan evicts buffaloes, cows and other cattle from urban union councils