[Reader-list] A Query on Urban and Peri Urban Agriculture

Gandhi, Valentine Joseph b_vjg at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 9 01:20:41 IST 2008

Dear Colleagues, 
I am in the process of drafting a report for one of the centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) on the state of urban agriculture in India with particular reference to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
    According to the Resource Centre on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF), urban agriculture (includes peri-urban agriculture) can be defined shortly as the growing of plants and the raising of animals within and around the cities. (Home gardens, small plots of vegetables, etc). Some important urban and urban agricultural facts are:
    ·     50% of the world’s population lives in cities. 
  ·  800 million people are involved in urban agriculture world-wide and contribute to feeding urban residents. 
  ·     Low income urban dwellers spend between 40% and 60% of their income on food each year. 
  ·   By 2015, about 26 cities in the world are expected to have a population of 10 million or more. To feed a city of this size – at least 6000 tons of food must be imported each day.
     The most striking feature of urban agriculture, which distinguishes it from rural agriculture, is that it is integrated into the urban economic and ecological system. Urban agriculture is embedded in - and interacting with - the urban ecosystem. Such linkages include the use of urban residents as laborers, use of typical urban resources (like organic waste as compost and urban wastewater for irrigation), direct links with urban consumers, direct impacts on urban ecology (positive and negative), being part of the urban food system, competing for land use with other urban land use requirements, being influenced by urban policies and plans etc. Urban agriculture tends to increase when the city grows. It is an integral part of the urban system. 
    In the above context, I would appreciate inputs/ideas/suggestions and any case studies from members on the following points: 
1.       Role of Urban and Peri Urban Agriculture (UPA) in contributing to food security, and the kind of institutional mechanism required for its promotion 
  2.       Key issues related to UPA in India (with specific experiences if any, from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh)
  3.       What are various policies or laws that could impede/or aid the urban agriculture process in Indian cities and who should be the key stakeholders in promoting Urban and Peri urban agriculture 
Valentine J Gandhi
  Independent Consultant


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