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Category — Policy

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

Colorado Springs: New ‘TinyFarm’ in town wants zoning change to sell veggies from home

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yourmyYour neighbourhood is my neighbourhood – Tanja Esch | Urban Art Now

Pikes Peak Small Farms PBC estimates the city has more than 18,000 acres of farmable infill. And if, as the group’s prospectus claims, a half-acre can eventually feed 60 people, the tiny farm model is ripe to do big things.

By Nat Stein
Colorado Springs Independent
May 18, 2016

Excerpt:

As it stands, that would be considered a garage sale under current land-use definitions. Per zoning regulations, citizens can have two garage sales a year with combined sales over $300 subject to tax.

Lonna Thelen in the city’s land use division told the Indy that urban agriculture has different designations for those that have a retail component and those that don’t. Community gardens without on-site sales are permitted in residential zones, but adding that sales component makes it crop production, zoned only for agricultural districts. Certain home occupations are permitted by the land use division as long as hours of operation, number of employees, volume of customers, exterior signage and off-street parking fit the city’s parameters.

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May 23, 2016   No Comments

Boston’s Mayor Walsh Announces Funding to Support Urban Farming Re-Entry Jobs

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During the program’s first year, 25 participants will be trained in urban agriculture practices and will grow and distribute 5,000 pounds of healthy produce to 1,000 residents through five farmers’ markets in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.

Released By:
Mayor’s Office
May 11, 2016

BOSTON – Wednesday, May 11, 2016 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced $100,000 in funding for an innovative urban agriculture re-entry jobs training program. The Urban Farming Pathways Initiative will create approximately 25 green jobs and provide local healthy food for underserved communities.

“In Boston we believe in second chances, and this grant will give young people in our community a unique skill set that will allow them to pursue meaning careers that positively impact our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh.

The Urban Farming Pathways Initiative will be housed on a city-owned parcel in either Dorchester or Roxbury. During the program’s first year, 25 participants will be trained in urban agriculture practices and will grow and distribute 5,000 pounds of healthy produce to 1,000 residents through five farmers’ markets in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan. Pending a successful first year, the program aims to create a long-term partnership between re-entry workforce development, sustainable urban agriculture and increased food access to jointly address the missions of all partnering organizations.

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May 18, 2016   No Comments

Food And The Cities

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fopol

Food policies for sustainable cities

By Andrea Calori and Andrea Magarini
Edizioni Ambiente
October 2015
Pages 200

Food systems sustainability is strongly influenced by world urbanization: since 2008, more than half of the world’s population lives in a city, which is an ecosystem that depends on other resources to acquire what is needed (energy, water, soil, food, etc.) and to dispose of what is not metabolized (waste, scrap, emissions, etc.). Besides, world urbanization also shapes the imbalances between global wealth production as measured in GDP and the many facets of well-being, sustainability, and the resilience of social and environmental systems against external shocks.

The first part of the book examines the fundamental elements of agro-food cycles, that represent crucial factors of the urban metabolism and its social, economic, and environmental dimensions; these elements constitute the “urban infrastructure,” along with social services, public transportation, health care, education, waste and water management. They are a fundamental component of in the urban life that is inseparable from citizens’ basic rights and needs, individual lifestyles and cultures, the socio-economic structure, and the city’s relationship with the surrounding environment.

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May 15, 2016   No Comments

The Community’s Garden – Which should own the community’s garden?

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This conflict between the owner of the land and those who live with the land leads us to ask…

Food Chain Radio Show – May 14, 2016

Tune for the syndicated Food Chain Radio Show #1056 May 14, 2016 Saturday 9AM Pacific
Food Chain Radio Show #1056
Michael Olson, Author & Urban Farming Agriculturalist

Excerpt:

Guest: University of California Pre-Doctoral Student Monika Egerer

When I asked Food Chain Radio’s intern producer Sara Rezaie about her university classes, she mentioned one called “Environmental Justice.”

“What is environmental justice?” I asked, thinking if there was justice there would likely be injustice as well, and thus a story or two.

“Environmental justice,” she said, “is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all the people in the development of the environment.”

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May 13, 2016   No Comments

Beekeeping all the buzz in Regina, Saskatchewan

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regvSee video news story.

Unlike chickens or other livestock, there aren’t any bylaws regulating beekeeping in Regina’s city limits.

By Jamie Fischer
CTV News
Mat 4, 2016

Excerpt:

Walking by Yens Pederson’s yard, it’s easy to miss the approximately 8,000 bees that call it home.

His hive is small and inconspicuous. Last year it produced more than 60 pounds of honey.

“It’s just been really exploding the number of people interested in beekeeping in the last few years,” Pederson, president of the Regina Bee Club, said.

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May 11, 2016   No Comments

A Review Of The Benefits And Limitations Of Urban Agriculture

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vibrt

Vacant Lots To Vibrant Plot

By Raychel Santo Anne Palmer Brent Kim
John Hopkins Centre for Liveable Future
May 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Recommendations for framing the merits of urban agriculture.

Urban agriculture should be evaluated for the multifaceted nature of its outcomes – social, health, environmental, and economic – and not merely for its potential outputs in terms of food production or economic development measures.

The list below offers a number of evidence-based talking points for advocates seeking to advance urban agriculture policy and programs:

1) Urban agriculture’s most significant benefits center around its ability to increase social capital, community well-being, and civic engagement with the food system.

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May 9, 2016   Comments Off on A Review Of The Benefits And Limitations Of Urban Agriculture

Philadelphia City Council introduced resolutions calling for the expansion of vertical and urban farming in Philadelphia.

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phils
Will Philly’s skyscrapers be home to urban farms? Vertical farms, which use height to maximize growth space in cities, have been proposed as a way to help bring jobs and local, sustainable food to city dwellers. Photo credit: Flickr

A second resolution calls for expanding urban farming. The city already has several urban farms, which cultivate produce for local communities, in East Kensington, North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and Germantown.

By Julia Terruso,
The Inquirer
Apr 29, 2016

Excerpt:

But learning such a specific business and how to make it profitable can be difficult. Councilman Al Taubenberger said he introduced the resolution in an effort to drum up conversation and interest in the industry.

“The most noble thing a human being can do is produce food for others,” Taubenberger said at a news conference, complete with a display of basil and micro-greens grown at Metropolis. “Vertical farming is something very special indeed, and fits like a glove in Philadelphia.”

The resolution calls for hearings that will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

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May 7, 2016   Comments Off on Philadelphia City Council introduced resolutions calling for the expansion of vertical and urban farming in Philadelphia.

Vancouver farmers’ land growth being limited by mansion owners

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sothlHome in the Southlands, City of Vancouver. Photo by Stephen Rees.

“There are so many farmers who want to get into this kind of land. It would be nice if [the owners] had an incentive.”

By Francis Bula
Globe and Mail
May 5, 2016

Excerpt:

That kind of standoff throughout the region has Metro Vancouver exploring ways to change the tax system so that people who own agricultural land will be encouraged to use it for farming. The region is also looking at ways to take away the benefits from people who make it look like they are farming when they really aren’t.

All of that matters because Metro Vancouver has more farmland within its boundaries than any other North American city and because the region’s 2,600 farms produce the highest revenues in the province. It’s estimated that a hectare of land can produce at least $36,000 worth of vegetables in a year.

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May 6, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver farmers’ land growth being limited by mansion owners

USDA Unveils New ‘Urban Agriculture Toolkit’ for Urban Farmers and Agri-business Entrepreneurs

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know

Online Resource Draws on USDA’s and Partners’ Experience with Launching and Sustaining Urban Agriculture Operations Points Producers to Helpful Financial and Technical Resources

USDA
April 29, 2016

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled the USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit, a new resource created by USDA’s Know Your Farmer team to help entrepreneurs and community leaders successfully create jobs and increase access to healthy food through urban agriculture. From neighborhood gardens grown on repurposed lots, to innovative mobile markets and intensive hydroponic and aquaculture operations, urban food production is rapidly growing into a mature business sector in cities across the country.

“Urban agriculture helps strengthen the health and social fabric of communities while creating economic opportunities for farmers and neighborhoods,” Vilsack said. “USDA’s Urban Agriculture Toolkit compiles guidance from our Know Your Farmer team and many private partners into one comprehensive resource to help small-scale producers manage all aspects of their business. From protecting soil health to marketing to schools and grocery store chains, USDA has tools to meet the needs of this new breed of innovative urban farmer and small business owner.”

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April 29, 2016   Comments Off on USDA Unveils New ‘Urban Agriculture Toolkit’ for Urban Farmers and Agri-business Entrepreneurs

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

An Urban Grower’s Guide: Selling the Food You Grow in Pittsburgh

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pit

The goal of the guide is to encourage city residents to grow and sell produce by providing resources that explain the relevant rules and regulations.

By Grow Pittsburgh, Penn State Extension, and Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
April 2016

Excerpt:

Writing a Business Plan

Writing a business plan can be a long process, but these resources will help you out:

Penn State Extension provides many resources from an agriculture perspective. Visit the Creating a Business Plan page, or Start Farming, which is a comprehensive resource hub that covers the entire scope of production, business and state/federal regulations for those new to growing for profit.

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April 26, 2016   Comments Off on An Urban Grower’s Guide: Selling the Food You Grow in Pittsburgh

Korea helps urban dwellers start small rural farms

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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

Canada: Ottawa’s urban farmers cross the fowl line, as hobby comes home to roost

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outlKeeping backyard chickens is against the law in Canada’s capital city. Photo by Bruce Deachman.

McGregor thinks the city should amend By-law 2003-77 to allow backyard hens, joining Vancouver, Victoria, Kingston, Red Deer, Montreal, Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Cornerbrook, Brampton, Guelph and numerous other Canadian municipalities that permit backyard chickens.

By Bruce Deachman
Ottawa Citizen
Apr 16, 2016

Excerpt:

She first got the idea more than a decade ago when she and her husband toured an off-the-grid house where the owners kept chickens. “They were all what I’d call funky chickens — heritage breeds — and after that I decided I wanted chickens.”

They made the leap four years ago, when they attended a bird auction and paid about $20 each for two hens: a Barred Rock and a Polish hen — Polly — the latter most notable for its showy crest of feathers.

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April 20, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: Ottawa’s urban farmers cross the fowl line, as hobby comes home to roost

Empty soccer field in Thunder Bay, Ontario, being turned into urban agricultural site

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thubde
The City, along with Roots to Harvest, unveiled a new program and site plan lastnight that will transform the former soccer fields adjacent to Volunteer Pool into a productive urban agriculture site.

“This partnership with Roots to Harvest is a great opportunity to explore how urban parks can become more productive environments,” said Werner Schwar, the city’s supervistor of parks and open-space planning.

By Leith Dunick
NewsWatch
April 12, 2016

Excerpt:

The goal of the project, to be paid for with more than $300,000 supplied by several different organizations, is to provide a place for young adults to learn about leadership and employment skills in a variety of ways, including bee keeping, gardening and raising rabbits.

“Nothing instills a strong work ethic in young people better than agricultural work,” said Julie Rosenthal, a former farmer from Murillo and now the lead facilitator with Roots to Harvest, who has partnered with the City of Thunder Bay to launch the ambitious project.

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April 16, 2016   Comments Off on Empty soccer field in Thunder Bay, Ontario, being turned into urban agricultural site