Sunday, April 13, 2008

Urban farming

I'm blogging this link sent to me by Muna because my team is very involved in Urban Agriculture and we are the local branch of RUAF for the Arab Countries. I always thought that Urban Agriculture was an oxymoron, but then I started working more on it and it can be really interesting. It wont resolve the world food crisis, but there is something to be said for the fact that 50% of humanity is now urban and that this is expected to rise to 70% in a couple of decades. Who will produce for all those people? What infrastructure is needed for producing their food, for getting rid of their wastes?

Stimulating innovation in urban agriculture

Authors: van Veenhuizen,R.
Produced by: RUAF Urban Agriculture Magazine (2008)

Urban farming systems are in constant development as urban farmers adapt their existing practices or come up with new ones, yet are rarely given formal support for their innovations. This issue of looks at how urban farmers can be supported in their efforts to improve their livelihoods.

The issue is a collaborative effort of the RUAF, the Prolinnova (Promoting Local Innovation) network and Urban Harvest, an initiative of CGIAR and draws on experiences of urban farming from around the world. Some articles merely promote innovations, while others discuss ways to stimulate the innovation capacity of the farmers themselves. Titles include the following:

  • Promoting Local Innovation in Rural Agriculture: experience and lessons for urban settings
  • Innovative Wastewater Recycling in an Indian Village: linking the rural with the urban
  • Innovations in Greenhouse Rainwater Harvesting system in Beijing, China
  • Cleaning, Greening and Feeding Cities: Local initiatives in recycling waste in Kampala, Uganda
  • Urban Agriculture in Msunduzi Municipality, South Africa
  • Innovations in Producer-Market Linkages: Urban field schools and organic markets in Lima
  • Urban Agriculture as Social Justice Change Agent and Economic Engine
  • Innovations in Urban Livestock Keeping in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Available online at:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What has held back urban agriculture has been the lack of a replicable, economically viable business model. SPIN-Farming provides one, and an article on it is included in RUAF Urban Agriculture Magazine. Developed by Canadian farmer Wally Satzewich, SPIN-Farming is an organic-based, non-technical, easy-to-learn, inexpensive-to-implement farming system that makes it possible to earn significant income from land under an acre in size. Minimal infrastructure, reliance on hand labor to accomplish most farming tasks, utilization of existing water sources to meet irrigation needs, and situating close to markets all keep investment and overhead costs low. SPIN therefore removes the 2 big barriers to entry for new farmers – land and money, and is as close to a franchise-ready farming system as you can get while still respecting the creative and place-based nature of farming. Throughout the U.S. and Canada, SPIN is helping to make farming an integral part of urban and suburban economies, rather than something a part from them. There is no reason the SPIN system could not be implemented in Arab countries. You can see the growing corps of SPIN farmers in action at