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Category — Middle East

Urban Agriculture in Casablanca, Morocco

How can agriculture be integrated into the urban structure and the urban development process in Casablanca

The project is a research and demonstration project of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the research program “Research for the Sustainable Development of Megacities of Tomorrow – Energy- and Climate-Efficient Structures in Urban Growth Centres” of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Urban Agriculture in Casablanca, Morocco

1. Challenge
• Rapid urban growth is reducing and fragmenting agricultural land within the city region
• Conventional planning tends to neglect agriculture and open space as valuable resources and parts of the regional land use structure
• Informal development further contributes to the fragmentation of land us patterns and the reduction of open space
• Low awareness of the potential of urban agriculture for a productive green infra- structure and sustainable food supply

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December 27, 2013   Comments Off

‘Lettuce Grow’ – An environmental citizenship project in Pakistan

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‘Lettuce Grow’ project for young people and communities – introducing them to growing Kitchen Gardens

Society for International (SIE) runs the iEARN Pakistan Centre in Karachi, Quetta and Islamabad focusing educational development and capacity building of K-12 students, teachers and youth in general
Dec 12, 2013

Excerpted from the Facebook page:

“I am extremely excited to start a kitchen garden at a school in my community,” says a YES alumna during the Lettuce Grow Training Program.

Twenty YES Alumni and Access teachers enthusiastically participated in the Lettuce Grow project today on December 12, 2013 at the iEARN Center, Karachi. The day was packed with an interactive session on container gardening and hands on experience of growing vegetables and fruits easily.

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December 23, 2013   Comments Off

Amman, Jordan: In home gardens, there’s income and food for urban poor

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Last week the Jordanian ministry of agriculture decided to start selling fruit saplings to the public at bargain prices

By Elizabeth Whitman
The Business Mirror
Inter Press Service
14 Dec 2013

Excerpt:

As utilitarian as it is cheery, this rooftop array is one of several urban-agriculture projects that are significantly improving livelihoods for the urban poor in this sprawling city. A slowly but steadily growing phenomenon in Jordan, urban agriculture has vast potential for reducing poverty and improving food security, and it has the added benefit of greening and cleaning up more rundown sections of cities.

But the success of urban agriculture depends on key components that are increasingly difficult to secure: land and water. Space for planting is growing ever slimmer in Jordan, and the country suffers from a perpetual shortage of water.

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December 20, 2013   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture and the Transformation of Yedikule in Istanbul

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The public gardens offer jobs and income for approximately 200 Bostancis and offer town grown products for the regional market.

A lot of farmers migrated to Yedikule from more countrified regions.

By Lennart Kudla
InEnArt
December 3, 2013

Excerpt:

The public gardens of Yedikule in Istanbul are not only one of the oldest intra-urban agricultural areas of Istanbul (more than 1500 years old), but also a fragment of one of the largest green spaces of the city. They are located close to the ancient city wall (built between 413 and 412 B.C.). In former times there were moats to protect ancient Byzantine from its numerous enemies during sieges. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks (1453) the walls and the moats slowly lost their importance.

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December 12, 2013   Comments Off

Gaza Urban Rabbit Raising Intervention

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A January 2013 evaluation found that two years after the initial support, 50% of rabbit kits that were distributed were still in operation.

Written by Elena Qleibo and Elena Bertola
Edited by Zalynn Peishi, Laura Phelps and Carol Brady
OXFAM 2010

Excerpts:

Rabbit Raising intervention

The rabbit raising intervention is funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and implemented by MA’AN Development Centre.
The rabbit raising intervention seeks to protect the livelihoods of unemployed people and to provide very poor households with increased consumption of protein or vitamin-rich food. This activity was implemented with the intention of increasing household consumption of fresh meat, and allowing beneficiaries to sell surplus rabbits to local markets at affordable prices. Rabbit rearing has been showed to be a sustainable and profitable intervention for small-scale household food production. The intervention was also expected to empower women, as household members recognise the economically productive role that women play. 286 Gazan households were involved.
The rabbit raising intervention was implemented as part of a twelve-month project starting in November 2009.

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November 15, 2013   Comments Off

Aquaponics in Gaza

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The project will continue to focus on female producers offering the means for them to secure fresh, nutritious food and potentially generate a supplemental income for their family.

By Christopher Somerville and Cyril Ferrand
Field Report/Emergency Nutrition Network
Sept 2013 Issue 46

Excerpts:

Initial results
The initial 15 rooftop aquaponics units showed some promising results. Most of the beneficiaries exerted considerable effort into the management of their units and most harvested a summer crop that was used for household consumption. For some beneficiaries, it reduced the need to purchase food (such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants) in local markets. Others paid less attention to reaching the full production potential of their units and concentrated more on growing some of their favourite herbs and vegetables. Every beneficiary mentioned that they thoroughly enjoyed managing their units.

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November 11, 2013   Comments Off

Bombed Syrian city of Homs – rooftop agriculture photographed

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See larger image here. Then click below the image – ‘Open Photo Viewer’ – to see full screen view. (Must see. Mike)

Urban farming on rooftops of buildings in Bab Dreib in besieged Homs

Photo by HOMS Promedia
2013

Also Read: Final dispatch from Homs, the battered city

Marie Colvin (1956-2013) was the only British journalist reporting from inside the besieged Syrian enclave of Baba Amr. This is her final report.

The Sunday Telegraph
19 Feb, 2012

Excerpt:

Syria, 2012

They call it the widows’ basement. Crammed amid makeshift beds and scattered belongings are frightened women and children trapped in the horror of Homs, the Syrian city shaken by two weeks of relentless bombardment.

Among the 300 huddling in this wood factory cellar in the besieged district of Baba Amr is 20-year-old Noor, who lost her husband and her home to the shells and rockets.

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November 5, 2013   Comments Off

Roof-Top Farming in Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Dhaka roof farmer with his goats. “Dr.M.H.Rahman: I served the Dhaka community through my Veterinary Hospital. The Hospital is still open in my absence. I encouraged people to rear goats, pigeons, ducks and even Japanese quail on their roof-tops since these items have a big market value as there is a consumer preference for micro-livestock. The animal manure is also a source of fertilizer for pot nurseries in Dhaka where this has been the practice for some time.”

Roof-top farming in Dhaka city, where crops include goat, spinach, jute, lemon, guava and many other vegetables that are grown throughout the year.

By Dr.Mohemmed Habibur Rahman, Professor of Pathology, Department of Pathology, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh
At present: School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Consumer Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana. P.O.Box: LG 586, Legon
All photos by Dr.Mohemmed Habibur Rahman.

The Case for Building-Integrated Food chain in the inner city

Beyond energy cost, there are additional vulnerabilities in our conventional food-production system. Political crisis like hartal, natural calamities like too much rain, little rain and even flood in the north disrupts communication and in the long-term, reduction of flows water from the upstream will cause water shortages in Bangladesh and its primary vegetable-producing regions. These vulnerabilities are reviving interest in growing food locally (using available resources by the innovative Bangladeshis – once the bottomless basket), and even on the roof tops.

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October 21, 2013   Comments Off

‘Crops in Pots’ – Karachi, Pakistan

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Photo of Zahra Ali Husain.

To spread urban farming in Pakistan

By Farhan Anwar
The Express Tribune, Pakistan
October 7, 2013

Excerpt:

One such initiative has been undertaken in Karachi by the husband and wife team of Yasir Husain and Zahra Ali. They have called it ‘Crops in Pots’, which Zahra Ali started as a blog in 2008. It has grown into a community of 1,500 members who exchange inspiration, ideas and knowledge about organic urban farming. The basic idea is to connect urban organic gardeners and farmers with the general public and to start a conversation about the importance of heirloom seeds and organic farming in cities and also create green spaces from where people can get free food and fight food insecurity.

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October 7, 2013   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture and Ethiopian Jews


French news report showing the Kalisher Community Garden.

The Kalisher garden enables the Ethiopian community to dig deep, to vitalize and enrich the landscape, to stay connected with their past culture, and to look forward to a bright future in their new homeland.

By Doni Kaye
Forward
Aug 28, 2013

Excerpt:

This scene encapsulates a typical gardening session at the Kalisher Community Garden located near one of Beer Sheba’s absorption centers designated for families of immigrants from Ethiopia. This summer, I have had the opportunity to work in urban agriculture spaces located near several centers of Israel’s recent immigrant communities, many from Ethiopia. During this time, I have seen how these urban gardens encourage intermingling between community members; yield produce which offers families with an additional source of income; and affords residents with supplemental food options.

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August 29, 2013   Comments Off

Storytelling in an Israeli Community Garden

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Ethiopian immigrants tell their stories

Excerpts from Earth’s Promise website:

We recently launched a new storytelling/oral history series with members from the Kalisher Absorption Center in Be’er Sheva, which serves the Ethiopian immigrant community. Sitting in the godjo (mud hut) we built in the Kalisher Community Garden, we have a men’s group and a women’s group of 10 to 15 people each that will meet three times each over the course of a few weeks. With the help of a Hebrew translator, participants each share stories about life back in Ethiopia and coming to Israel. Each session is tape recorded and our goal is to transcribe the stories and compile in a book that will be available in Amharic, Hebrew, and English.

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August 7, 2013   Comments Off

Refutrees: Sustainable Development for Palestinian refugees

The Rooftop Garden Project for Palestinian refugee communities

Problem = Donor reliance, deteriorating health, and lack of food sovereignty. Palestinian refugees, as the longest standing refugee community in the world, continue to be reliant on international humanitarian assistance programs in such a way that restricts their independent development.

Solution = Rooftop gardens that provide Palestinians the capacity to grown their own organic food in dense and restrictive spaces. The rooftop garden addresses the lowering health status of Palestinian refugees by getting to the root of the problem: access to good food.

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August 7, 2013   Comments Off

Destruction of Centuries-Old Gardens in Istanbul, Turkey

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Corn and other crops growing along the historic city walls. Photo by Jennifer Hattam.

“These gardens are not just part of this neighborhood, they belong to everyone in Istanbul, to everyone in Turkey.”

By Jennifer Hattam
The Atlantic Cities
July 15, 2013

Excerpt:

“I don’t know what we’ll do, where we’ll go if our land gets destroyed as well. We don’t have anything else,” says one woman who works a nearby plot along with her husband, scraping out a living selling their chard, corn, radishes, purslane, and herbs at Istanbul’s wholesale fruit and vegetable market.

Like many of the people currently farming along the old city walls, the couple are migrants from Turkey’s Black Sea coast, who have followed in the footsteps of the Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, and Albanians who tended the land before them. The specific gardens currently being razed have been identified on a map dating back to 1786, but historical sources indicate that small-scale agriculture was present in the area not long after the UNESCO-designated city walls were built in the 400s.

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July 23, 2013   Comments Off

Israeli absorption centre is home to about 50 plots of community gardens

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Garden at the Kalisher Absorption Center in Beer Sheva (Photo: JAFI). The Kalisher Absorption Center showcased the colorful fruits and vegetables of its Ethiopian immigrant gardeners.

Greeting visitors was an agricultural oasis of sprawling corn stalks and pumpkin vines

By Sharon Udasin
The Jerusalem
06/02/2013

Excerpt:

At the absorption center, each new immigrant family tends to their own garden plot and can grow fruits and vegetables for their own consumption at home, the Jewish Agency explained. In addition to growing Israeli crops, the families raise a variety of traditional Ethiopian vegetables like gomen (a type of lettuce), ma’ashila (a type of corn), doba (a type of pumpkin), barbery (a type of hot pepper), teff (a traditional grain used to make injera flatbread) and zekagbe (a type of basil).

The goal of the community garden setting is to provide the new immigrants with small-scale agriculture that can connect them to their pasts as well as facilitate their absorption into Israel, according to absorption center director Talia Artzi. The center is home to about 320 immigrants.

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June 6, 2013   Comments Off

The Ancient Urban Food Gardens of Sana’a, Yemen

sanaa1See larger image here. “What is remarkable, in the intensely urban setting of Sana‘a — a walled metropolis crowded with towers today, and the place where the Sabaeans built the 10-story Palace of Ghumdan some two millennia ago — is that not only the words survive: So, too, do the gardens.”

Miqshamah (plural: maqaashim), the garden where they grow their produce, all have an origin just as old but better preserved: qshmt, the Sabaic word for a vegetable plot.

By Tim Mackintosh-Smith
Saudi Aramco World
Jan/Feb 2006
Tim Mackintosh-Smith lives in an ancient tower house off the “Market of the Cows” in the old city of San’a, Yemen. He is the author of the Yemen: Travels in Dictionaryland (1997) and Yemen: The Unknown Arabia (2000). He is one of the foremost scholars of the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battutah. Mackintosh-Smith has published a trilogy recounting his journeys in “the footnotes” of Ibn Battutah; Travels with A Tangerine (2001), The Hall of a Thousand Columns (2005) and Landfalls (2010).

Excerpt:

The Italian writer Alberto Moravia once described Sana‘a as a “Venice of dust.” Since his visit, the streets have been paved with stone, and the dust is less in evidence. But the first impression is still one of sun-dried palazzos, of deep-cut streets flowing with people but devoid of moisture and vegetation. Amid this, it’s easy to overlook the quiet spaces in between. And that is the only way most of the city’s gardens can be seen at all: by overlooking them. Climb to the fifth floor of my house, and two gardens reveal themselves. To the east is Maryam’s, the miqshamah of Khudayr Mosque, a rectangle of green—mostly chives (bay’ah), the dominant garden crop—subdivided by little banks of raised earth. To the west, there is Bustan Na’man.

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April 27, 2013   Comments Off