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Category — Middle East

Egypt Turns to Urban Agriculture to Revive Historically Powerful Sector


An Egyptian farmer collects the cotton harvest at a farm in al-Massara village near the Nile delta city of Mansura, north of Cairo. (Photo: AFP – Khaled Desouki)

Egypt is turning to urban agriculture by establishing its first agriculture city in the southeast part of the Qattara Depression, northwest of the country, as part of efforts aimed at reviving a sector that goes back to the time of the pharaohs.

By Menna A. Farouk
Egyptian Streets
November 6, 2017

Excerpt:

The $US 10 billion agriculture city will span an area of 311,400 acres and will be established under the supervision of the Korean Arab Company for Economic and Cultural Consultancy. The city will host 50,000 smart greenhouses in addition to a number of seawater desalination and solar power plants. It will also include the planting of water-saving strategic crops, the establishment of fish farms and feed factories.

“The city will be a great bellwether [for] the agriculture sector. It will provide thousands of job opportunities for young people and will achieve self-sufficiency from a number of strategic crops,” Hamed Abdel Dayem, spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture, told Egyptian Streets.

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November 12, 2017   No Comments

Rebuilding Iraq: Proposed 3D-Printing ‘Farming Bridges’ To Regenerate War-Torn Mosul

The farms and orchards will be irrigated by water from the Tigris river. All images © Vincent Callebaut architectures

The stacked housing units conceived by Vincent Callebaut are covered with urban farms and agricultural fields.

By Isabel Narea
DesignBoom
Oct 31, 2017

Excerpt:

This would not only guarantee food autonomy to inhabitants, but also excellent thermal inertia to the built environment. the farms and orchards are irrigated by water from the tigris river, and plowed by archimedes screws. Furthermore, gray water from bathrooms and kitchens is recycled and filtered by plants in lagoon waterfalls connected with the river. biomass composters feed the orchards and vegetable gardens suspended in biological fertilizers.

Titled ‘five farming bridges’, the concept puts forward the construction of affordable and adaptable bridges topped with modular housing units. The inhabited bridges are seen as a strategy to rebuild a new city over the ruins of the old one. to address the shortage of affordable housing, the bridges would be 3D printed using debris from war ruins, creating more than 53,000 homes.

Read the complete article here.

November 5, 2017   No Comments

United Arab Emirates (UEA): ‘My Arabian Almanakh’ is the first book to focus on regenerative living and gardening in the Arabian Peninsula


Think about experimenting with fruiting trees, such as citrus, figs and pomegranates, for longer-term food productivity.

My Arabian Almanakh
By: Laura Allais-Maré, founder of Slow Food Dubai and the now-defunct Balcony and Urban Gardening Group on Facebook; Cherida Fernandez, a fine artist; graphic designer Leilani Coughlan; and Prachiti Talathi Gandhi, who took on the responsibility of editing and coordinating the production of the book.

Review by: Melanie Hunt
The National
October 28, 2017

Excerpt:

The leading voice of the work is Allais-Maré, who when she began working on her own garden in the UAE, realised that there was very little information documenting the “how to” of gardening in this climate – and absolutely nothing at all, at that time, on growing using chemical-free and regenerative principles.

The seeds of an idea for a book were planted, and came to fruition four years later in the shape of a beautiful, uniquely informative illustrated journal. The book’s writers are clear that none of them are “professors of botany or qualified horticulturalists”, but that the book is written from the perspective of “leaving the earth better than how we found it”.

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November 4, 2017   Comments Off on United Arab Emirates (UEA): ‘My Arabian Almanakh’ is the first book to focus on regenerative living and gardening in the Arabian Peninsula

Dubai: An Urban Farming Club

The Sustainable City residents are encouraged to grow their own vegetablesImage Credit: XPRESS/Clint Egbert

The 500-villa development located next to Dubai Studio City is a shining example of reducing ecological footprint, protecting the environment and increasing community wellbeing.

By Anjana Kumar
Gulf News
Oct 24, 2017

Excerpt:

As part of the newly-launched Urban Farming Club, residents are given raised garden beds to grow their own herbs, veggies and fruits. “The idea is to make agriculture an integral part of urban life. We just need to pay Dh100 for the garden bed,” said Michael Solvsten who lives here.

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November 1, 2017   Comments Off on Dubai: An Urban Farming Club

Local NGO creates rooftop gardens in Palestinian camps

The rooftop of Jadal for Knowledge and Culture after transforming it into an experimental urban farm (Photo courtesy of Greening The Camps)

When they flee their countries, most refugees lose their connection with their land, and therefore with agricultural production, she explained, noting that Greening The Camps aims to reinstil the practices of growing and harvesting crops.

By Camille Dupire
The Jordan Times
Sept 21, 2017

Excerpt:

Deep-rooted and wide spreading vegetables like pumpkins, courgettes, carrots and rhubarb were planted in large wooden boxes placed on recycled palettes.

“Each box is provided with a self-constructed watering system that maintains efficient irrigation and limits the evaporation of water. This installation ensures easy harvesting and low space occupation as the soil-filled boxes are hung on the wall,” the trio explained on their website.

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September 29, 2017   Comments Off on Local NGO creates rooftop gardens in Palestinian camps

Besieged Gaza People Farming on Rooftops to Resist Blockade

My parents are sick and need treatment. I have to income to provide for the costs of treatment of my parents,” she said adding that she earns money by selling the agricultural products produced on the rooftop of her house. See video with this article.

A Gaza student told Tasnim that his school rooftop is used for agriculture. “At the break time and also during science class, we go to the rooftop farm and practice farming.

Tasmin News Agency
July, 10, 2017
(Must see. Mike)
Excerpt:

Many rooftops in Gaza, in winter, are home to leaf vegetables and in summer, to tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, radishes, herbs and even lemon trees. The vegetables grow without soil and without any chemical fertilizers, thanks to an aquaponics gardening technique that people constantly improves.

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July 11, 2017   Comments Off on Besieged Gaza People Farming on Rooftops to Resist Blockade

Israel: Ultra-Orthodox kids grow a green thumb in ‘mitzvah’ gardens

The gardens, like this one in Modiin Ilit on March 22, 2017, follow the commandment of kilayim, which requires that each species is planted a certain distance from the other. (Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

“We’re in a city, we’re not in a moshav or village where we’re exposed to the ideas of orchards and gardens,” Rivkie added.

By Melanie Lidman
The Times of Israel
June 11, 2017

Excerpt:

Families have also gotten into the spirit of the garden. As a year-end gift, Rivkie gave each student a mint plant to grow at home and use for the end-of-Shabbat Havdalah service, which makes use of a pleasant-smelling herb. Rivkie said one girl’s family grew so much mint they gave cuttings to their relatives, and now the whole extended family uses their own mint.

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June 16, 2017   Comments Off on Israel: Ultra-Orthodox kids grow a green thumb in ‘mitzvah’ gardens

From Rooftop to Salad Bowl: Farming in Tel Aviv’s Urban Jungle


Mendi Falk in Yarok Ba’ir (Green in the City), Dizengoff Center. By Dan Perez

Three enterprising farmers use hydroponic methods ?to grow veggies atop Dizengoff Center in the heart of ?Tel Aviv and offer them freshly picked on a daily basis.

By Ronit Vered
Haaretz
Mar 14, 2017

Excerpt:

The time is 10 A.M. After almost four hours of work in the vegetable garden, the farmers take fresh produce that was picked at dawn – green and red lettuce, celery, spinach and scallions – and descend from the rooftop to the commercial center to sell their wares.

The brigade of farmers – Mendi Falk, Shaked Golan and Niv Maman – make their way quickly via covered walkways, escalators and staircases, carrying crates of green leaves and pails of water. In each of the tiny stalls that have cropped up recently all over Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv, they arrange the produce.

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March 21, 2017   Comments Off on From Rooftop to Salad Bowl: Farming in Tel Aviv’s Urban Jungle

Alternative farming on the rise in besieged Gaza

Said Salim Abu Nasser has grown 3,500 kg of organic produce without any soil. He grows herbs, lettuce and peppers with aquaponic farming [Mersiha Gadzo/Al Jazeera] Click on image for larger file.

As fertile land shrinks and water crisis deepens, Palestinians are searching for different ways to feed their families.

By Mersiha Gadzo
Aljazeera
Jan 28, 2017

Excerpt:

At sunset on a warm January day, Said Salim Abu Nasser’s three grandsons crouched on the ground, using bricks to crush chalk into powder for calcium to help grow vegetables in water.

Abu Nasser, 53, has grown 3,500 kilogrammes of organic produce without any soil, transforming his rooftop and concrete lot in Gaza City into an organic oasis. He grows a dozen different types of vegetables and herbs for his family, including eight children and eight grandchildren.

Using hydroponic techniques, Abu Nasser can grow twice as many crops than with conventional techniques, and he saves 90 percent more water by recycling nutrient-dense water. His broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce and cauliflower float on polystyrene squares with holes cut into them, while their roots absorb nutrients from the water.

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January 29, 2017   Comments Off on Alternative farming on the rise in besieged Gaza

Book: Urban Agriculture for Growing City Regions – Connecting Urban-Rural Spheres in Casablanca

The example of Casablanca, one of the fastest growing cities in North Africa

Edited by Undine Giseke, Maria Gerster-Bentaya, Frank Helten, Matthias Kraume, Dieter Scherer, Guido Spars, Fouad Amraoui, Abdelaziz Adidi, Said Berdouz, Mohemed Chlaida, Majid Mansour, Mohamed Mdafai
Routledge
2015

This book demonstrates how agriculture can play a determining role in sustainable, climate-optimised urban development. Agriculture within urban growth centres today is more than an economic or social left-over or a niche practice. It is instead a complex system that offers multiple potentials for tomorrow’s megacities. Urban open space and agriculture can be connected to productive urban landscapes – this forms new urban-rural linkages in the urban region and helps shape the city. But in order to do this, agriculture has to be seen as an integral part of the urban fabric and it has to be put on the local agenda.

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January 12, 2017   Comments Off on Book: Urban Agriculture for Growing City Regions – Connecting Urban-Rural Spheres in Casablanca

Hydroponic farm for refugees, foreign workers launches on Tel Aviv rooftop


Hydroponic farm for refugees, foreign workers launches on Tel Aviv rooftop. (photo credit:ASSAF OSTROVSKI)

“They don’t have the same language, so they can’t communicate,” urban farming consultant Lavi Kushelevich told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “But they can communicate through food.”

By Sharon Udasin
Jerusalem Post
01/05/2017

Excerpt:

On the toughest street in the toughest neighborhood of south Tel Aviv, Darfurian refugees, Chinese workers and Israelis are working together to make a rooftop blossom.

“They don’t have the same language, so they can’t communicate,” urban farming consultant Lavi Kushelevich told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “But they can communicate through food.”

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January 6, 2017   Comments Off on Hydroponic farm for refugees, foreign workers launches on Tel Aviv rooftop

Syrian refugees find solace in rooftop garden


‘My spirit is relaxed when I’m out here,’ Fatin Kazzi says of her balcony garden [Olivia Alabaster/Al Jazeera]

Of the one million registered Syrian refugees in tiny Lebanon, 10 percent are considered to be food-secure. Photo By Olivia Alabaster.

By Olivia Alabaster
Aljazeera
Sept 6, 2016

Excerpt:

Beirut – Fatin Kazzi’s sun-drenched balcony garden is a cluster of makeshift planters, some fashioned out of crates or the ends of two-litre plastic water bottles.

Already bursting with strawberries, mint, basil, peppers and celery, the garden is just a month old, but Kazzi – who is living in Beirut as a refugee having fled Aleppo five years ago amid Syria’s civil war – eventually hopes to be able to make her own salad from the vegetables here.

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January 5, 2017   Comments Off on Syrian refugees find solace in rooftop garden

Tel Aviv’s rooftop farm grows fresh food for thousands


© Shani Sadicario — A view of the rooftop garden’s education centre.

Located above the Dizengoff shopping center, this urban farm uses hydroponics to grow vegetables rapidly and organically.

By Katherine Martinko (@feistyredhair)
Living / Green Food
Tree Hugger
December 19, 2016

Excerpt:

As part of a project called ‘Green in the City,’ or Yarok Bair in Hebrew, an urban rooftop farm has been established over the past year. It comprises two commercial greenhouses, totaling 750 square meters (over 8,000 square feet) of growing space, as well as an educational area where citizens can learn urban farming techniques and cooking skills relevant to the vegetables they grow. The organization sells hydroponics units for home use and teaches people how to use them.

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December 27, 2016   Comments Off on Tel Aviv’s rooftop farm grows fresh food for thousands

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


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

gazhy

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