VENEZUELA: CARACAS EMBRACES CITY GARDENING TO BOOST NUTRITION AND CREATE EMPLOYMENT
The south American country of Venezuela is one of the world's largest oil producers yet the majority of its 24 million people lives in poverty. Large sections of the population are crowded into slums around the country's main cities where access to nutritionally rich and varied foods is limited. A recent TCP project to improve nutrition in these areas by increasing supplies of fresh food began in 2004.
"City vegetable gardening may be the next big thing. The timing is right. In 2005, the world's urban population is expected to surpass the rural population. Three billion city dwellers will need safe and affordable food. Yet poverty rates in developing-world cities often exceed 50 percent with chronic joblessness and malnutrition.
Can widespread city gardening - organized with due regard for food quality and safety and economic and environmental sustainability - provide not only on-the-spot fresh produce, but also jobs for the poor and better nutrition for their families?
In 2003, Venezuela, supported by FAO, launched a major experiment in urban agriculture to find out. The government installed 4 000 microgardens in poor neighbourhoods of Caracas and started 20 horticultural cooperatives in and around the city.
In this field report, project participants describe in their own words the initiative's benefits and problems, and how they have come so far so fast."
To read more about this project, click on the link