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Food for the cities programme

At present more than 50 percent of the world’s population is living in urban areas and it is expected to rise to 70 percent by 2050. This causes an enormous challenge to conventional food production and supply. Food and nutrition security of poor urban populations is and remains at risk as a consequence of the volatility and rapid increases in food prices, natural disasters and climate change effects. This calls for global action.

Building resilient food systems for the future by integrating rural and urban areas and strengthening their linkages – with the involvement of all stakeholders – will benefit both smallholder farmers and the urban poor.

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Many landscape approaches have been developed to address specific needs. This document is an overview of the key practices, which FAO has developed that support integrated approaches in production areas. These approaches relate to restoration, marine and coastal management, reversing land and soil degradation, incentives for ecosystem services, and many other areas which contribute to enhancing the capacity and resilience of productive landscapes. While many of these approaches are not necessarily new, what is unique is that they are centred primarily on addressing the needs of farmers and other resource managers within a broader governance framework, while consistently focused on supporting sustainable food and agricultural systems.
This paper is based on theongoing FAO and RUAF programme of assessing and planning City Region Food Systems, currently implemented in eight city regions in Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Senegal, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, and Zambia. The paper analyses the content, definition and delimitations of the concept of City Region Food Systems by presenting two case studies from Latin America (Quito and Medellín), and discusses first advances in policy uptake and territorial food planning.
This 2 pages factsheet gives a brief overview on how sustainable crop production and food systems with strong rural urban linkages will be needed to achieve food security and nutrition goals by 2030.

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