Food for the Cities


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Production systems - UPA

Urban and peri urban agriculture (UPA) contributes to food availability, particularly of fresh produce, provides employment and income and can contribute to the food security and nutrition of urban dwellers . It encompasses a complex and diverse mix of food production activities, including fisheries and forestry, in many cities in both developed and developing countries. It contributes to food availability (particularly of fresh produce), provides employment and income and can contribute to the food security and nutrition of urban dwellers.

FAO has established expertise and capacity in providing technical support and policy advice to municipalities in this area. Key issues include: the health and sanitary implications of UPA; the land use dynamics caused by the encroachment of urban areas into agricultural areas; the interdependencies between rural and UPA; the credit and other input constraints of poor urban and periurban farmers; integrated crop and animal production systems; the involvement of women in UPA; and the associated requirements for marketing and distribution.

Selected Documents

Cities and Biodiversity Outlook

The World’s governments agreed to increase funding in support of actions to halt the rate of loss of biodiversity at the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). A parallel summit of Cities and Local Authorities was convened with the support of ICLEI. Participants adopted the Hyderabad Declaration on Subnational Governments, Cities and other Local Authorities for Biodiversity, which supports the work of cities to achieve the Global Strategy for Biodiversity and calls for greater coordination between levels of government (more info here).



The Cities and Biodiversity Outlook was launched. Urban areas are important not only as the home of the majority of the people on this planet but where poverty and the health and nutrition consequences of poverty coexist with dietary transition, changing food systems and the double burden of malnutrition. The effort to address food and nutrition security in rural areas and among small holder agriculture is closely linked to what is going on in urban and peri-urban areas. The KEY MESSAGE #6  is on "Increasing the biodiversity of urban food systems can enhance food and nutrition security” . Link to the publication here.

Hydroponics, as a soil-less technology, is adaptable to urban farmers to increase yield year-round.
©FAO/G. Bizzarri