Urban and peri-urban horticulture in Luanda helps social reintegration
A form of Family Farming to reduce malnutrition and poverty
15 December 2014, Luanda, Angola -- The International Year of Family Farming comes to a close but has had a good harvest of new initiatives and programmes that can guaranty sustainable food and nutrition security at family and community levels.
In partnership with the Government of Angola, FAO, the UNDP and other partners including the Spanish International Cooperation (AECID) have launched ‘Family Micro-gardens’, a Manual on urban and peri-urban horticulture that promotes good practices against malnutrition and poverty in a simple and practical way that is accessible to families and communities.
‘The author, Colombian agronomist César Herman Marulanda, shares experiences of the most recent years in fast growing cities of most Latin American countries; many cities in Africa and in the world are facing what seems to be an irreversible phenomenon of urbanization’, explained FAO Representative in Angola, Mr. Mamoudou Diallo, presenting the book to official and diplomatic delegations in Luanda, among them Angolan Secretary of State for Agriculture, Mr. José Amaro Tati and UNDP Director in Angola, Mr. Samuel Harbor.
‘FAO is proposing to integrate Urban Horticulture development as a means to combat urban poverty and malnutrition. In Angola, Urban agriculture is assessed as a key activity for the survival of the population of Luanda in the context of the post-conflict situation’, added Diallo.
Mr. Tati announced the intention of the Government to disseminate a Portuguese version of the Manual, for a wider use by the decision-makers, the extension workers, and in Provinces.
Political commitment and decentralized governance
With the population of Luanda reaching nearly 6 million people, the demand for safe and quality fruit and vegetables is extremely high. The Government of Angola is well aware of the potential for urban agriculture and has been encouraged pilot projects of horticulture by the Provincial Ministry of the Province of Luanda to improve food and nutrition security of the resource-poor, urban population of Luanda.
Originally funded by the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) – Government of Spain, a USD 999 930 worth project for “Access to quality water for irrigated urban and peri-urban agriculture in Luanda” provided in three years (2009-2012) evidence-based results that motivated partners to extend it.
An additional AECID worth-USD 608,000 allowed UNDP and FAO to add value and consolidate impact with urban and peri-urban horticulture and create opportunities to train youth and their parents on urban horticulture technologies, water quality and health, and nutrition education for improving diets.
The overall approach of the assistance is to create technical capacity at different levels, which will engender income generating activities.
‘Subsequently, to-date, the project has created the conditions for sustainable intensification of small scale horticulture production units for commercial purposes and at homestead level, with the objective of increasing the availability and facilitating the access to fresh fruits and vegetables’, commented UNDP Country Director in Angola, Samuel Harbor.
Youth find solid ground in rural agri-business
FAO has assisted the creation and implementation of a Reintegration Center for school leavers- “Ciudade Jovens de Sucesso” -at Cabiri County, Luanda Province.
‘The initiative has created home-garden production units through south-south technology transfer, milk and poultry production for the consumption by youth centers and family and for sale in the neighborhood’, reports Mamoudou Diallo.
The technical capacity in farming and post-harvest techniques, food processing and small-scale technologies of originally-unskilled teenagers is diversified through a three year-vocational training at this Don Bosco Centre, “Ciudade Jovens de Sucesso”.
FAO has made a collaboration agreement with the provincial government of Luanda, which as part of its decentralization process, has earmarked resources to the municipal programme for poverty reduction as part of its 2013-2014 allocation. This will allow financing continued support to the project beneficiaries by facilitating access to microcredit as an essential component to the sustainability of the Urban and Peri-urban Horticulture programme.
The interventions will benefit approximately 2 000 direct beneficiaries reaching 8 000 to 12 000 family members. The micro-garden scheme for homestead gardening could reach about 1000 women over a period of nine months. The support to the youth vocational school at Cabiri is to directly benefit some 220 teenagers, future Angolan agri-entrepreneurs.
Next action, the blue algae/spirulina value chain
While horticulture will be extended to other provincial governments, FAO and the Angolan Government have also committed to develop the spirulina value chain in 2015, to boost the nutrition intake of the most vulnerable rural people and create more entrepreneurship in areas where the plant is produced.
‘In 2011, we started a first ever pilot project that convinced the authorities in this country to send young Angolan agricultural experts for training in Cuba’, informed the FAO Representative.
Angola, an MDG1 Champion and a contributor to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund, is one of the four focus countries – with Malawi, Niger and Ethiopia - of the FAO African Regional Initiative on Ending Hunger in 2015.
video interview with Mamoudou Diallo (FAO-Angola)
2010 Progress on Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG1) – Hunger Target ... Uruguay. Viet Nam. On track toward achieving MDG1*. Angola. Benin. Brazil.
23 set 2014 - The State of Food Insecurity 2014: Will The World Achieve MDG1? ... Cameroon, Djibouti and Angola reaching reductions of around 70% and ...
1. The creation of an Africa Solidarity Trust Fund for Food Security was endorsed at the 27th FAO Regional Conference for Africa ...
Spirulina in Chad: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/44388/icode/