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Category — Middle East

One Palestinian man’s mission to make urban agriculture more sustainable

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This video was produced, filmed and edited by Yasser Abu Wazna, a freelance filmmaker based in the Palestinian Territory.

He produces approximately 3,500 kilograms (7,716 pounds) of food — enough to feed 30 people.

By Todd Reubold
Ensia
Nov 22, 2016
(Must see. Mike.)

Around the world, urban agriculture is playing a role in feeding a growing global population from mid-America to the Middle East. This video introduces Said Salim Abu Naser, a proponent of sustainable agriculture living and working in Gaza City, Palestine along the Mediterranean Coast.

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November 23, 2016   Comments Off on One Palestinian man’s mission to make urban agriculture more sustainable

Webinar: Aquaponics In Gaza – 28th of October, 2016

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Improving food security and nutrition in resource limited urban areas

The presenter is Christopher Somerville, who has been working for FAO projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2012.
Friday 28 October 2016
2:00 – 3:00 pm (Rome time),
FAO HQ – AGD Meeting Room (B640)

Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing soil-less plants). Both practices mutually benefit from each other’s presence in one production unit. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in.

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October 26, 2016   Comments Off on Webinar: Aquaponics In Gaza – 28th of October, 2016

Can urban agriculture help to save east Aleppo, Syria?

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‘There’s still the problem of not enough fuel or farm hands,’ says farmer Salim Atrache [Mahmoud Shehabi. Aljazeera]

As conditions worsen, one local farm is trying to feed besieged residents, one crop at a time.

Adam Lucente and Zouhir Al Shimale
Aljazeera
Oct 17, 2016

Excerpt:

Although some Aleppo residents have already been raising animals and growing food in the city, what makes Atrache’s project unique is the size of the plot and the intent to provide food for the masses.

“We’ll sell the crops so we can cover our expenses,” explained Abu Brain, who works on the farm. He said that the farm would go out of its way to ensure that none of its crops ended up in the hands of the government, aiming only to provide food for rebel areas.

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October 17, 2016   Comments Off on Can urban agriculture help to save east Aleppo, Syria?

Dubai’s Sustainable City Includes Urban Farming

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There is a 3 hectare farm running across the City’s central spine. This community farm accommodates 38,000 sqft (3,500 sqm) of Biodome Greenhouses dedicated to the growing of fruits, herbs and vegetables.

By Nick Webster
The National AE
Sept 4, 2016

Excerpts:

The city’s urban farm produces more than 20 kinds of herbs and will soon start growing fruit and vegetables once the productive landscape matures. About 2,000 date palms are on the property. Green compost is used on everything grown.

“We are also looking into composting our food waste, turning it into a resource that will improve our soils.

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September 10, 2016   Comments Off on Dubai’s Sustainable City Includes Urban Farming

A Terrace Kitchen garden in Kuwait

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Last year they were able to get around 900 grams of Green Chilly in a single day from their terrace.

Indiansinkuwait
Apr 27, 2016

Excerpt:

The climates in Kuwait are so extreme that forget about growing plants in balconies and maintaining them, we often don’t even come to our balconies for spending few minutes together. But that doesn’t stop this couple from spending their leisure time together with a good cause. Their tryst with growing vegetables started around seven years at their balcony. The unimaginable pleasure from this later made them to convert the building terrace into an organic vegetable garden, thanks to the support of his building caretaker. Today in his building terrace, you can see variety of fully ripe vegetables, such as Brinjal, Chillies, Snake Gourd, Bitter Gourd, Beans, Capsicum, Lady’s finger, Yellow Cucumber (Vellarikkai) etc. Cabbage, Cauliflower, Onions are on the early stages.

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September 5, 2016   Comments Off on A Terrace Kitchen garden in Kuwait

Pleasures of Roof top Gardening in Bangladesh

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The person, who will make a garden in his /her roof, will get a 10 percent holding tax rebate, and it is promised by Sayeed Khokon, Mayor, DSCC.

By Nilima Jahan
The Daily Star
July 22, 2016

Excerpt:

“If a person grows only vegetables in a 600-700 square feet roof, it is enough to meet the yearly demand of a family having 6-7 members”, believes Ehteshamul Haque Mallik, President, Urban Roof Gardeners Society (URGS), and Deputy Director, Bangladesh Bank. Mallik has a 1500 square feet garden on his roof, where he has been growing a number of vegetables and local fruits for the past 15 years. After his amazing success, he founded the organisation URGS, two and a half years ago and through this, he is helping more than 500 registered members.

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July 26, 2016   Comments Off on Pleasures of Roof top Gardening in Bangladesh

Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

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Environmental activists suggest residents and local administration should come together to turn abandoned spaces into community orchards.

“The few trees we have in Karachi are because of the endeavours of the citizens, not the government and they should surely get together to plant fruit trees in their neighbourhood parks,”

By Ferya Ilyas
The Express Tribune
July 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Horticulturist Mooraj says parks in Karachi in the 60s and the 70s had many fruit bearing trees such as jujubes, java plums and mangoes. “KMC would issue contracts annually to picks fruits from these parks and use the income generated from this activity for maintenance,” he recalls.

With scores of people living below the poverty line in the city, Mooraj says fruit trees can provide food to the needy. “People should keep the greater good in mind. The trees will continue to give fruit and shade to many even after they are long gone,” he stresses.

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July 19, 2016   Comments Off on Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

Sudan: Urban Agriculture Facing Land Pressure in Greater Khartoum – The Case of New Real Estate Projects in Tuti and Abu Se ‘id

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Dr Alice Franck’s Presentation On Urban Agriculture At The Sudanese Institute Of Architects (SIA)’S 4Th Scientific And Professional Conference

On 23rd May, 2016, Dr Alice Franck, Geographer and Coordinator of CEDEJ Khartoum, presented her paper at the Sudanese Institute of Architects (SIA)’s 4th Scientific and Professional conference.

Excerpt from Abstract:

My initial research into this location of intense speculation examined the future of the central areas that remained under agricultural activity and how they were gradually being transformed into urban areas (Franck 2007). The approach adopted analysed the resistance of agriculture and farmers to the spread of real estate and the pressure of competition over land ownership. Five years later, the action in favour of urban plan renewal has been drastically intensified and the capacity for resistance severely diminished; three of the five market gardening areas (Tuti, Shambat, Abu Se’id, Abu Rof and Mogran) observed during fieldwork in 2001–5 are subject to huge real estate projects (Mogran, Abu Se’id and Tuti). In this chapter, I focus my analysis on how landowners and the entire agricultural sector can both adapt to and confront the transformation.

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May 26, 2016   Comments Off on Sudan: Urban Agriculture Facing Land Pressure in Greater Khartoum – The Case of New Real Estate Projects in Tuti and Abu Se ‘id

Urban Farming in Syria Saves Lives During Sieges

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Irrigation systems in place and planting begins in Yarmouk.

The 15th garden, it’s an urban gardening project that provides food for people living in Syrian cities that are under siege. Currently there are 30 of the gardens in 17 different besieged cities throughout Syria.

By Bezdomny
Shareable
Apr 29, 2016
(Must see! Mike)

Excerpt:

The project started with a group of Zabadani women who needed seeds to grow food, yet nothing was allowed to enter or exit the city. At that time, Zabadani was still under siege by both Assad forces and Hezbollah. Siege warfare is brutal and turns a city into a prison. To give an example of how severe the blockade was, Abdallah says, not even the UN was able to retrieve dying patients from the city in order to give them proper care. And there is no shortage of patients in Syria, just this week the Assad regime attacked the rebel held side of Aleppo which destroyed a vital hospital and resulted in at least 50 deaths.

In response to the Zabadani Women’s call for support, a network of German farmers collected heritage seeds and money in a show of solidarity with Syrian farmers, and sent the seeds to Lebanon (which is just across the border from Zabadani). From Lebanon the supplies made their way to Zabadani through an underground network of activists who risked their lives to get the seeds through the blockade.

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May 1, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Farming in Syria Saves Lives During Sieges

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