Contributions to the Discussion

Contributions September 16 - 22, 2000

 

From: Nugent, Rachel (ESAC) 
Sent: 18 September 2000 16:47 
To: 'Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org
Subject: Urban-Food/Summary of Session Two

This message is sent in English, French and Spanish. Ce message est envoyé en anglais, français et espagnol. Este mensaje està enviado en inglès, francès y español.

Dear Participants in UPA and Food Security and Nutrition:

This message provides a summary of Session Two: "Policy choices for UPA and Food Security".

As Session Two began, we were still receiving some contributions on the subjects of session 1, like the case of Montevideo. Conversely, the discussion on session 2 received relatively few contributions. Perhaps the policy choices for this theme are closely related to those for planning, which is another theme of the conference. Therefore, you may wish to review the postings for the other sub-groups which can be found at the Conference website (www.ruaf.org). We will continue to present you summaries of all three sub-groups at the start of each week.

We started the discussion with the following questions:

* Are improved policies needed to support UPA? What information is needed for municipal decision-makers to formulate good policies regarding UPA?

The Israeli case presents examples of regional and national planners joining efforts to formulate integrated solutions, such as recycling of waste water and city garbage, application of IPM methods among others.

Mandiou Gassama in Bamako, Mali argues that different conditions require different solutions and must be handled by policy-makers on a case-by-case basis. He suggests that market gardening alone will not be enough to provide food security for urban poor, so policy measures are needed to enhance other opportunities. He also encourages the use of participatory approaches to finding these solutions.

Oleg Moldakov finds that UPA is not a useful substitute for more productive, rural agriculture in the long-run. He says in times of war and strife it is very useful for survival needs only, but not for long-term marketed output. During other times, he thinks the main benefits of UPA are recreation and relaxation. He sees relatively little potential for high productivity in UPA and concludes that policies should support agriculture and industry with better potential.

Moldakov also commented on the information required to formulate policies. He suggests that policy-makers need information about the financial experiences of market oriented farms, as well as land cadastre and soil and water characteristics. They need sociological information about the motivation of UPA participants.

* What are the constraints on urban and peri-urban producers and how best to mitigate them (regarding land availability and use, water availability and use, credit, time, knowledge gaps, etc.)?

Fiona Knight sent a report which presents community based organising efforts for UPA and Food Security in Canada. Constraints include limited access to land, by-law restrictions, input requirements and restrictive urban planning. Gassama in Bamako added credit aimed at the poor, poor quality or illegitimate inputs, and theft of output as problems faced by urban farmers. Dick Foeken draws on experience in Nairobi and Nakuru to inform us that theft, especially on distant fields, was the main constraint faced by producers, which forced them to harvest their maize early and still green, resulting in lower prices. For livestock keepers main constraints were diseases and lack of feed.

Gisele Yasmeen presents interesting research information from cities in India, especially Delhi. She says post-harvest processing is done in a sophisticated manner by large commercial farms in the peri-urban area and these farms need little policy intervention or support. However, small, marginal farms simultaneously exist in these areas which need land reform and cooperative alliances. Yet it is still unclear how to directly benefit the farmers with these reforms.

Carlos Barrios in Lima, Peru picks up the theme to explain that home gardens can be supported by development of cooperatives which choose a marketing promoter. He also says that marketing can be improved through use of internet and distance learning and credit problems can be overcome by using community banking as a source of working capital.

* What policies are needed to increase employment and income from UPA production and processing? Is this a desirable policy goal?

Instituto CRECIMIENTO brings hydro-culture technology into the discussion. This provides a viable strategy to decrease unemployment, arguing that crops cultivated on substrate solutions do not compete for land-use. However, technical assistance and financial support from government or other agencies will be required to assist the unemployed to start this activity, which is suitable for small home gardens producing for auto-consumption, and for commercial production on larger fields. The technical assistance to promote UPA provides an entry point to integrate promotion of other development related topics, such as nutrition or the environment.

Moustier tells of conclusions from research in Congo, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Cameroon and Guinea Bissau. She says that the marketing chain can be very short, with close relationships between producers and traders. It can also consist of up to three intermediaries, when distance and transportation conditions require. She then argues that improvements in the marketing chain can help reduce fluctuations in price, which in turn will stabilise production.

The contribution on Nairobi/Nakuru brought to our attention that slum dwellers officially do not exist, and are tolerated at best. Since they cultivate land that is not their own, the formulation of policy carries the risk that they will be banned from the land that they are using. This repeats a concern that arose from several participants during Session One.

Oleg Moldakov addressed the question "How do the policy needs of subsistence farmers differ from those of market-oriented farmers?" He said subsistence farmers needs low inputs, free or cheap access to land, to seeds and seedlings, and available transportation to reach their farms. Market-oriented farmers need appropriate credit, spaces in city food markets (in case of direct sale), high quality inputs, producing/processing equipment, a reliable seasonal labour force, and sometimes a good wholesaler.

We would like to acknowledge the contribution by the Food and Nutrition Policy Unit of WHO Europe in Copenhagen, in which they invite you to comment on the draft urban food and nutrition Action Plan available on their website (http://www.who.dk/Nutrition/main.htm).

We hope that you found the discussion interesting and would like to encourage you to continue submitting ideas and experiences on "Policy choices on UPA and food security and nutrition." We are especially interested in receiving information on how food security and nutrition considerations have been / or should be incorporated in urban and peri-urban planning. Also we would like to know your opinions on when and in which contexts UPA should be promoted.

Now we begin our third and final session. The topic is "UPA and Food Security: Ideas for Change, Implementation, and Project Proposals."

Questions we hope you can address are:

1. What actions have really worked to improve the production of UPA and food security contribution of this production? Please offer specific examples of innovations and reasons for success or failure of these actions.

2. Which steps are most important in implementing UPA projects, e.g. participatory process, inclusion of public officials, gender orientation, technical guidance on production, development of farmer cooperatives, others?

3. Do you have project ideas to propose, are you seeking collaborators, do you have research you wish to publish, do you need contact information about individuals, organisations, or donors working in UPA? Let us know what you need and share what you are doing.

4. Which important issues remain undiscussed?

We look forward to the discussion in the final two weeks of the E-conference.

Your moderators

--------------------------------

En Espanol

Estimados participantes en AUP y Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición:

Este mensaje presenta un resumen de la Segunda Sesión: "Elecciones de Políticas para la AUP y la Seguridad Alimentaria".

Cuando comenzó la Segunda Sesión todavía estábamos recibiendo contribuciones sobre los temas de la primera sesión, como el caso de Montevideo. En cambio, la discusión en la segunda sesión recibió relativamente pocas contribuciones. Quizás las elecciones de políticas para este tema están estrechamente relacionadas con las de planificación, que es otro de los temas de esta conferencia. Por lo tanto, le podría interesar revisar las contribuciones de los otros subgrupos que se pueden encontrar en el sitio web de la Conferencia (www.ruaf.org). Le seguiremos enviando los resúmenes de los tres subgrupos al principio de cada semana.

Hemos comenzado la discusión con estas preguntas:

* ¿Se necesitan mejores políticas para apoyar la AUP? ¿Qué información es necesaria para los funcionarios municipales encargados de la toma de decisiones, a fin de formular políticas adecuadas referentes a la agricultura urbana y periurbana?

El caso israelí ofrece ejemplos de planificadores regionales y nacionales unidos en un esfuerzo común para formular soluciones integradas, tales como el reciclaje de aguas residuales y desechos municipales, aplicación de métodos IMP entre otros.

Mandiou Gassama en Bamako, Mali, argumenta que diferentes condiciones requieren diferentes soluciones y deben ser tratadas por los formuladores de políticas en una base individual caso por caso. Sugiere que la horticultura de mercado, por sí misma, no será suficiente para proporcionar seguridad alimentaria para los pobres urbanos, por lo que se necesitan medidas que estimulen otras oportunidades. También apoya el uso de enfoques participativos para encontrar estas soluciones.

Oleg Moldakov considera que la AUP no es un buen sustituto de una agricultura rural, más productiva, a largo plazo. Afirma que en tiempos de guerra y crisis es muy útil para satisfacer las necesidades de sobrevivencia pero no como un medio de producción de largo plazo. Durante otros tiempos, Moldakov considera que el mayor beneficio de la AUP es de relajación y entretenimiento. No ve mucho potencial para una alta productividad en la AUP y concluye que las políticas deberían apoyar a la agricultura y la industria que ofrecen mejores potenciales.

Moldakov comentó también sobre la información necesaria para la formulación de políticas. Sugiere que los funcionarios deben tener información sobre las experiencias financieras de las granjas orientadas al mercado, así como de catastros y características del suelo y agua. Necesitan información sociológica sobre la motivación de los participantes de la AUP.

* ¿Cuáles son las limitaciones que sufren los productores urbanos y periurbanos y cuál es la mejor manera de mitigarlas (con respecto a la disponibilidad y uso de la tierra y del agua, créditos, tiempo, falta de conocimientos, etc.)?

Fiona Knight envió un informe que presenta esfuerzos organizados en base comunitaria en Canadá. Las limitaciones incluyen limitado acceso a la tierra, reglamentos restrictivos, requisitos de insumos y planificación urbana restrictiva. Gassama en Bamako agregó créditos destinados los pobres, baja calidad de los insumos o insumos ilegales y robo de los productos como los problemas que enfrentan los agricultores urbanos. Dick Foeken extrae experiencias en Nairobi y Nakuru para informarnos que el robo, especialmente en los campos distantes, era el mayor problema que enfrentaban los agricultores. Esto les obligaba a cosechar el maíz antes de tiempo, cuando todavía no estaba maduro, lo que resultaba en precios más bajos. Para los criadores de ganado, los problemas principales eran las enfermedades y la falta de forrajes.

Gisele Yasmeen presentó una interesante información de investigaciones en ciudades de la India, especialmente en Delhi. Yasmeen dice que el procesamiento después de la cosecha se realiza con métodos sofisticados en grandes granjas comerciales en el área periurbana, y estas granjas necesitan poca intervención o apoyo estatal. Sin embargo, existen granjas más pequeñas y marginales simultáneamente en estas áreas, y éstas últimas necesitan una reforma agraria y alianzas en cooperativas. Sin embargo, todavía no queda claro cómo se puede beneficiar directamente a los agricultores con estas reformas.

Carlos Barrios en Lima, Perú, aborda el tema explicando que los huertos pueden ser apoyados por el desarrollo de cooperativas que tengan un promotor de mercado. También expresa que el mercadeo se puede mejorar usando internet y cursos a distancia, y que se pueden solucionar los problemas de créditos usando bancos comunitarios como fuente de capital de trabajo.

* ¿Qué políticas se necesitan para incrementar el empleo y los ingresos provenientes de la producción y procesamiento de la agricultura urbana? ¿Es éste un objetivo de política deseable?

El Instituto CRECIMIENTO trae a discusión una tecnología de hidrocultivo que proporciona una estrategia viable para disminuir el desempleo, asegurando que los cultivos producidos sobre soluciones de sustratos no compiten por el uso de la tierra. Sin embargo, se requerirá asistencia técnica y apoyo financiero del gobierno o de otras agencias para ayudar a los desempleados a comenzar esta actividad, que es apropiada para los huertos pequeños que producen para el autoconsumo, y para la producción comercial en campos más extensos. La asistencia técnica para promocionar la AUP provee un punto de entrada para integrar la promoción de otros temas relacionados al desarrollo, como la nutrición o el medio ambiente.

Moustier menciona conclusiones de investigaciones en Congo, la República Africana Central, Madagascar, Camerún y Guinea Bissau. Manifiesta que la cadena de comercialización puede ser muy corta, con estrecha relación entre productores y comerciantes. Puede incluir hasta tres intermediarios cuando lo requieren las condiciones de distancia y transporte. Por ello, argumenta, introducir mejoras en la cadena de mercadeo puede ayudar a reducir las fluctuaciones de precios, lo que a la vez estabiliza la producción.

La contribución sobre Nairobi/Nakuru nos informaba que los habitantes de las zonas marginales y pobres, oficialmente, no existen, y que en el mejor de los casos son tolerados. Dado que cultivan en tierras que no les pertenecen, la formulación de políticas implica el riesgo de que sean expulsados de la tierra que están usando. Esto reitera una preocupación expresada por varios participantes durante la primera Sesión.

Oleg Moldakov abordó la pregunta "¿Cómo difieren las necesidades de políticas de los agricultores de subsistencia, de aquellos orientados al mercado?". Manifestó que los primeros necesitan bajos insumos, acceso gratuito o barato a la tierra, semillas y almácigos, transporte disponible para llegar a sus huertos. Los agricultores orientados al mercado necesitan créditos adecuados, espacios en los mercados de alimentos de la ciudad (en el caso de venta directa), insumos de alta calidad, equipo de producción y procesamiento, una fuerza de trabajo estacional asegurada y, en algunos casos, un mayorista.

Queremos agradecer la contribución de la Unidad de Políticas sobre Alimentos y Nutrición de la OMS Europa en Copenague, en la que se invita a los participantes a comentar el borrador del Plan de Acción para el Alimento y Nutrición Urbanos, disponible en sus páginas de Internet (http://www.who.dk/Nutrition/main.htm).

Esperamos que la discusión le haya resultado interesante, y nos complacemos en invitarle a continuar enviando ideas y experiencias sobre "Elecciones de políticas sobre la AUP y la seguridad alimentaria y la nutrición." Estamos especialmente interesados en recibir e intercambiar información sobre la manera en que las consideraciones sobre seguridad alimentaria y nutrición han sido, o deberían ser incorporadas en la planificación urbana y periurbana. Asimismo nos gustaría conocer sus opiniones sobre las circunstancias y los contextos en que se debería promocionar la AUP.

Ahora comenzamos nuestra tercera y última sesión. El tema es "AUP y Seguridad Alimentaria: Ideas para Cambio, Implementación y Propuestas de Proyectos."

Estas son algunas preguntas que esperamos que puedan contestar:

1. ¿Qué acciones han sido realmente efectivas en el mejoramiento de la producción de la AUP y cuál ha sido la contribución a la seguridad alimentaria de esta producción? Le rogamos que presenten ejemplos específicos de innovaciones y razones del éxito o fracaso de estas acciones.

2. ¿Qué pasos son los más importantes en la implementación de proyectos de AUP, por ejemplo, proceso participativo, inclusión de funcionarios públicos, orientación de género, acompañamiento técnico de la producción, desarrollo de cooperativas agrícolas?

3. ¿Puede proponer ideas para proyectos, está buscando colaboradores, desea publicar resultados de investigaciones, necesita información sobre contactos relacionados con individuos, organizaciones o donantes que trabajan en la AUP?

4. ¿Cuáles son los temas importantes que no hayan sido discutidos?

Esperamos con agrado la discusión en las últimas dos semanas de esta conferencia electrónica.

Sus moderadores

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En Français

Chers Participants au groupe de discussion sur l'AUP, la Sécurité alimentaire et la Nutrition :

Ce message fournit un résumé de la Session 2 sur le thème des : "Choix de politiques pour l'AUP et la Sécurité alimentaire ".

Au début de la Session 2, nous recevions encore des contributions sur des thèmes de la Session 1, comme par exemple le cas de Montevideo. Par conséquent, la discussion sur la session 2 a reçu relativement peu de contributions. Peut être que les choix politiques pour ce thème sont étroitement liés à ceux pour la planification, qui constitue un autre thème de la conférence. Vous souhaitez donc peut être consulter les thèmes des autres groupes de discussion, que vous trouverez sur le site Internet de la Conférence (www.ruaf.org). Nous continuerons de vous présenter les résumés de chacun des trois groupes au début de chaque semaine.

Nous avons démarré la discussion par les questions suivantes :

* De meilleures politiques sont-elles nécessaires pour soutenir l'AUP ? De quelles informations les hommes politiques locaux ont-ils besoin pour formuler de bonnes politiques en matière d'AUP ?

Le cas Israeli présente des exemples de la collaboration entre planificateurs régionaux et nationaux pour formuler des solutions intégrées, telles que notamment le recyclage des eaux usées et des ordures locales, ou l'application de méthodes de gestion intégrée des maladies et des parasites (IPM).

Mandiou Gassama de Bamako (Mali) est persuadé que des conditions différentes nécessitent des solutions différentes et qu'elles nécessitent un traitement au cas par cas par les hommes politiques. Selon lui, la culture maraîchère seule ne suffira pas à assurer la sécurité alimentaire des pauvres urbains, si bien que des mesures politiques s'imposent pour développer d'autres activités. Il préconise également l'utilisation de méthodes participatives pour trouver de telles solutions.

Oleg Moldakov pense que l'AUP n'est pas un substitut utile à une agriculture rurale plus productive à long terme. D'après lui, en période de guerres et de conflits, l'AUP s'avère très utile pour répondre aux besoins de subsistance uniquement, mais n'est pas adaptée à une production de marché à long terme. Pendant d'autres périodes, il pense que le principal avantage de l'AUP consiste à offrir des loisirs et du repos pour ceux qui l'utilisent. Il considère par ailleurs que l'AUP n'est pas à même de fournir une productivité élevée et il conclut que les politiques devraient offrir un meilleur soutien et de meilleures conditions à l'agriculture et à l'industrie.

La contribution de Moldakov porte également sur les informations nécessaires à la formulation de politiques. Selon lui, les hommes politiques ont besoin d'informations sur les bilans financiers des exploitations agricoles commerciales, sur le registre du cadastre terrien et sur les caractéristiques des sols et de l'eau. Ils ont par ailleurs besoin d'informations sociologiques sur les motivations des participants à l'AUP.

* Quelles sont les contraintes qui pèsent sur les producteurs urbains et péri-urbains et quelle est la meilleure façon d'atténuer ces contraintes ? (en terme d'accessibilité et d'utilisation des terres et des ressources hydrauliques, contraintes de crédits, de temps, manques de connaissances, etc.)

Fiona Knight nous fait parvenir un rapport qui présente les efforts communautaires entrepris au Canada en matière d'organisation de l'AUP et de la Sécurité alimentaire. Les contraintes comprennent un accès limité aux terres, des contraintes en terme de restrictions légales, des contraintes en terme d'intrants et une planification urbaine restrictive. Gassama de Bamako ajoute à la liste des problèmes auxquels sont confrontés les agriculteurs urbains, les crédits destinés aux pauvres, les intrants de mauvaise qualité ou illégaux, ainsi que le vol de la production. Dick Foeken tire de l'expérience à Nairobi et à Nakuru l'enseignement suivant lequel le vol, particulièrement dans des champs éloignés, est la principale contrainte des producteurs qui les force à récolter leur maïs précocement et encore vert, ce qui fait baisser les prix. Pour les éleveurs de bétail, les contraintes principales sont les maladies et le manque de nourriture.

Gisele Yasmeen présente une étude intéressante menée dans les villes indiennes, en particulier à Delhi. Selon elle, le traitement après récolte est réalisé de manière sophistiquée en zone péri-urbaine par de grosses exploitations agricoles commerciales, lesquelles ne requièrent qu'un minimum d'intervention ou de soutien politiques. Cependant, de petites exploitations marginales coexistent également sur ces zones, qui ont besoin de réformes agraires et du soutien de groupes de coopératives agricoles. Cependant, le moyen de faire bénéficier directement les agriculteurs de ces réformes n'a pas encore été éclairci.

Carlos Barrios de Lima (Pérou) revient sur ce thème afin d'expliquer que les activités maraîchères peuvent bénéficier du soutien des coopératives de développement chargées de choisir un promoteur des ventes. Il pense aussi que le marketing peut être amélioré par l'utilisation d'Internet et de l'apprentissage à distance, et que les problèmes de financement peuvent être surmontés en utilisant le financement des banques communautaires comme source de capital d'exploitation.

* Quelles politiques pourraient-elles favoriser l'emploi et les revenus dans le cadre de la production et de la gestion de l'AUP ? Ces objectifs politiques sont-ils souhaitables ?

La contribution de l'Institut Crecimiento porte sur la technologie de l'hydroculture, qui fournit une stratégie durable pour réduire le chômage, en se basant sur le fait que les cultures cultivées sur des solutions de substrat n'entrent pas dans le cadre de la compétition pour l'exploitation des terres. Cependant, le gouvernement ou un autre organisme devront fournir une assistance technique et une aide financière pour aider les chômeurs à démarrer cette activité, qui est adaptée à la petite production maraîchère d'autosubsistance ainsi qu'à la production commerciale sur de plus grandes surfaces. L'assistance technique destinée à promouvoir l'AUP fournit une bonne entrée en matière pour intégrer la promotion d'autres thèmes liés au développement, tels que la nutrition ou l'environnement.

Moustier fait état des conclusions des recherches menées au Congo, en Centrafrique, à Madagascar, au Cameroun et en Guinée Bissau. Selon elle, la chaîne du marketing peut être très courte, avec des relations étroites entre les producteurs et les commerçants. Cette chaîne peut comporter trois intermédiaires tout au plus, lorsque la distance et les conditions de transport le nécessitent. Elle ajoute par ailleurs que des améliorations intervenant dans la chaîne du marketing devraient permettre de réduire les fluctuations des prix, ce qui devrait ainsi stabiliser la production.

La contribution sur Nairobi/Nakuru a attiré notre attention sur le fait qu'officiellement les habitants des bidonvilles n'existent pas et sont juste tolérés dans le meilleur des cas. Etant donné qu'ils cultivent une terre qui ne leur appartient pas, la formulation de politiques risque d'entraîner leur expulsion des terres qu'ils cultivent. Cette préoccupation fait écho à des nombreuses contributions au cours de la Session Une.

Oleg Moldakov a posé la question suivante : "En quoi les besoins en politiques formulés par les agriculteurs de subsistance diffèrent-ils de ceux des agriculteurs tournés vers le marché ? «. Selon lui, les agriculteurs de subsistance ont besoin de peu d'intrants, d'un libre accès ou d'un accès abordable aux terres / aux semences et semis, de facilités de transport pour se rendre sur leur lieu d'exploitation. Les agriculteurs tournés vers le marché, quant à eux, ont besoin de financements appropriés, d'espaces dans les marchés alimentaires urbains (dans le cas de la vente directe), d'intrants de très bonne qualité, d'équipement de production / de traitement, d'une force de travail saisonnière fiable, et parfois d'un bon grossiste.

Nous aimerions saluer la contribution de la Section Politique sur l'Alimentation et la Nutrition de l'OMS de la zone Europe à Copenhague, dans laquelle ils vous invitent à commenter le projet d'action sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition disponible sur leur site Internet : (http://www.who.dk/Nutrition/main.htm).

Nous espérons que vous avez trouvé la discussion intéressante et nous aimerions vous encourager à continuer à apporter vos contributions et expériences diverses sur le thème des "Choix de politiques en matière d'AUP, de Sécurité alimentaire et de Nutrition." Nous sommes tout particulièrement intéressés au cours de cette session par les contributions portant sur la façon dont les préoccupations en terme de sécurité alimentaire et de nutrition ont été / ou devraient être intégrées dans la planification urbaine et péri-urbaine. Nous aimerions également connaître vos opinions sur la période à laquelle, et le contexte dans lequel, il conviendrait de promouvoir l'AUP.

Nous allons maintenant aborder notre troisième et dernière session. Le thème de cette session est le suivant : "L'AUP et la Sécurité alimentaire : suggestions en matière de mise en oeuvre des changements et propositions de projets."

Nous vous proposons les questions suivantes :

1. Quelles actions ont-elles vraiment contribué à améliorer la production de l'AUP et la sécurité alimentaire qui en découle ? Veuillez fournir des exemples précis d'innovations et les raisons du succès ou de l'échec de ces actions.

2. Quelles sont les étapes les plus importantes dans la mise en oeuvre de projets concernant l'AUP, notamment en terme de processus participatifs, d'intégration de représentants du Gouvernement, d'intégration des questions de genre, de conseils techniques sur la production, et de développement de coopératives agricoles ?

3. Avez-vous des propositions de projets à faire, cherchez-vous des collaborateurs, souhaitez-vous faire publier vos recherches, avez-vous besoin d'information sur les personnes, les organisations ou les bailleurs de fonds impliqués dans l 'AUP ?

4. Quels thèmes importants n'ont toujours pas fait l'objet d'une discussion ?

Nous espérons que vous serez encore nombreux à participer à la discussion au cours des deux dernières semaines de cette Conférence électronique.

Vos modérateurs.

***********************************************************

From: Paul Calvert [paulc@vsnl.com
Sent: 16 September 2000 12:00 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: Urban food security and health

Urban Food-L/Session 2/Contribution from Paul Calvert

I am developing, testing and demonstrating ecological sanitation in India having worked many years here in development work and ten years with the Intermediate Technology Development Group.

Dear discussion group

I wonder why you do not appear to be considering the tremendous potential of ecological sanitation in these debates. (Much of the debate centers around mosquito menace, this approach can have a significant effect of reducing mosquito breeding sites - see below)

Half of the problem we are dealing with stems from the wrong approach to sanitation. Current approaches to sanitation create sewage. Engineers and public health authorities, agriculturalists etc are then faced with what to do with this less than ideal product that did not need to be made in the first place. Why take good nutrients and contaminate water with them and add industrial effluent to spoil them....? In many cases the nutrients in urine are transported to where they need to be by the people who need to use them!

With urine diversion at source and composting of faeces on site at a family scale there are huge benefits to urban agriculture. Much of the urine can be piped subsurface to growing beds on site or to local growing areas and is an excellent fertilizer. The composted faecal matter is safe and a good soil improver. Urine and faeces are kept out of industrial waste water so the contamination of urine and compost with chemicals and heavy metals is avoided and the contamination of industrial effluent with pathogens is avoided. The products of ecological sanitation are infinitely better than septic tank and pit latrine sludge, aesthetically, nutritionally, and from a health standpoint. The families themselves do the processing (no sewage and therefore no sewerage installation and maintenance costs, or leaks to pollute and contaminate water bodies, groundwater or water pipes).

Emptying a compost toilet for the compost is not an unpleasant or dangerous task - the same cannot be said of septic tanks and pit latrines.

Large volumes of water that would have been used for flushing are saved for much more useful (and sensible) purposes. Families can derive nutritional and or economic benefit from these products (urine - ie liquid fertiliser, compost, the products they grow with them, and the savings they make from not purchasing commercial fetiliser) The urine from one person can be adequate to fertilise 50 to 200 sq m of cultivated land.

There are other benefits too such as the energy savings in reduced commercial fertiliser production and transport of that product and its constituents to/from the centres of production and use.

Another benefit is that unlike septic tanks and pit latrines which very often are a significant source of mosquito breeding compost and dessicating toilets do not provide sites for this.

There are clearly different scales that this reuse of ecological sanitation products can be developed on. In Sweden urine is now being used on trials by farmers to fertilise their fields after being collected from eco-communities and stored. There are numerous examples of ecological sanitation now working successfully in the world, China, Vietnam, Mexico, India - where I am working, Sweden, Bolivia, parts of Africa, etc.

Reuse close to home by families themselves can surely be a significant benefit to famuily and community health and well being, saving expenditure on commercial fertilisers, preventing pollution of water bodies and ground water with pathogens and placing nutrients in the wrong place, saving water, improving soils, providing income and nutrition. All this being done right in the families and homes that the most need these benefits...

Paul Calvert 

EcoSolutions,

 India

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From: Nugent, Rachel (ESAC) 
Sent: 16 September 2000 12:42 
To: 'urban-food-l@mailserv.fao.org
Subject: Contribution from Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo

Urban-Food-L/Session Two/Contribution from Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo

The following is from a paper sent to the List from Dr. Akinbamijo. The complete paper (5 pages) will soon be posted at the Conference website (www.ruaf.org) 

Dr Yemi Akinbamijo is research scientist at the International Trypanotolerance Centre in Banjul. He co-ordinates the IDRC-funded programme on Urban Agriculture.

INTEGRATED CROP-LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS IN WEST AFRICAN CITIES Yemi Akinbamijo

Preamble The document presents a synthesis of the findings from a recent appraisal of the peri-urban agricultural activities in two West African countries - Senegal and The Gambia. These two countries can be ecologically described as semi-arid especially given the rainfall pattern and accessibility to water. The analysis of the situation shows a multi-factorial complex system that mediates the peri-urban agricultural systems in both countries. However, in order to guide our thoughts within the frame work of the conference, I will refrain my contribution to address the current questions on the floor - from the Senegambia situation analyses.

The problems of food security for urban dwellers in both countries continue to mount with increasing influx of rural-urban migrants due to economic, political and climatic reasons among others. Thus, urbanisation is an imperative process in both Senegal and The Gambia as with most West African countries. Consequently, there has been a sharp response to the food need to avoid the incidence of an overwhelming food crisis. In both countries, reasonable growth and gains have been reported in the agricultural sector relative to their respective economies in the very recent past. Unfortunately, these gains are not commensurate with emerging demographic trends as a result of continuous influx of national and international migrants within the sub-region.

In general, the size of the country/land tenure systems, competition for land, population density, gender-related affairs and availability of capital are major contributory factors to the overall urban food supply pattern in both countries.

Given the ecology of these two countries, rain-fed short cycle crops are the key elements of the agricultural systems. Although significant differences in magnitude exist in the production systems between both countries, these differences are viewed as a privilege reinforcing the concerted efforts towards the alleviation of food shortages and poverty. Although the horticultural sector is a growing venture in both countries, the scope of inputs and production differ between them. In Senegal, production is more specialized requiring substantial financial and human resources compared with the Gambian situation where a low input system exists.

Dr Yemi Akinbamijo 
International Trypanotolerance Centre P. M. B. 14 Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa. Tel +220 461587 (Residence) +220 462931 (Office Direct line) +220 462928 (messages only) +220 462924 (Fax) yemi.akinbamijo@commit.gm (email)
Make the difference today!
 
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From: Nugent, Rachel (ESAC) 
Sent: 16 September 2000 13:30 
To: 'urban-food-L@mailserv.fao.org
Subject: Book on Peri-Urban Agriculture Available to Participants

This offer from Dr. Brook is made to the Urban-Food List. Please respond directly to him at r.m.brook@bangor.ac.uk

I have been following the e-conference with interest. Here's an offer which won't be repeated often - a free book on the peri-urban interface! I and a colleague did a review of DFID's peri-urban research funded by the Natural Resource Systems Programme, and they asked us to turn the final report into a book for wider dissemination. DFID are paying for the dissemination. It mostly covers the areas of natural resource management and its livelihoods consequences for the two case study cities, Kumasi in Ghana and Hubli-Dharwad in India. Projects reviewed have also touched upon planning and health issues, so there will probably be something of interest to subscribers in all three sections of this e-conference.

If anyone subscribing to the e-conference (all three sections) is interested in receiving it, please e-mail me, using 'Peri Urban Book' as the subject line, as soon as possible, please. Eventually we'll put it on our web site, too. It should be back from the printers late September or early October.

Please post this at/on/to the conference.

Rob Brook

 Dr Robert M Brook,
 Lecturer (tropical crops, agroforestry), School of Agricultural & Forest Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)1248 382517 (direct line) or 382281 (office) Fax: +44 (0) 1248 354997 E-mail: r.m.brook@bangor.ac.uk

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From: Oleg Moldakov moldakov@mailbox.alkor.ru
Sent: 16 September 2000 14:49 To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: Food and Nutrition /Session 2/contributions from Oleg Moldakov

My name is Oleg Moldakov. I am a soil scientist and I’ve been involved in one of Central and Western Europe Countries UA project from 1999 till now. I ‘d like to answer on some questions of food nutrition section/session 2

Are improved policies needed to support UPA? Improved policies needed to support main economical sectors of big Russian industrial cities in cold climate area (risk agriculture zone). We need to invest in new working places inside city, create job opportunities for experienced mid age persons in competitive sectors of city economy. We need organize well our tax collection system and improve income positions of retired, increase disability pension and old-age pension.

Lot of self-subsistence and additional income-oriented UPA farms with mid age and retired as key players are result of city economy’ weakness, some stagnation or even depression in main economic sectors of cities and country Even fresh & healthy motives of small plot UPA household farming are often a sign of untruth to agricultural professionals.

Yes, we need supporting policy for strong agricultural professionals, producers and processors by means of tax and land lease’ good options, by means of encouraging credits. But allocation/establishing/organizing of billion small plots on open spaces or wherever in and around 90 miles from city, on bad soils with spade as only tool for retired and low-income category is the bad idea and the bad policy to solve a food and nutrition problems. It can be temporary, it can be in war and disastrous time.

May be southern cities of Russia have better market-oriented small plots UPA farming position because of good soils and good climate. But I still hear nothing about good marketing perspectives of small scale UPA in South. All reports of mass media are talking/pointed/emphasized on UPA as means of self-surviving

Can policies be adjusted to improve the access of urban residents to UPA?

Yes, everyone must have access to land, but not access to 12-14 hours hard Saturday-Sunday work on plot with location 90 miles from apartment , and not access to self-made food producing on self-made soil on day-off after 5 days of hard work on main job. We need access to land plots and gardening as place and means of relaxation, socializing, some nature training program for our children. Changing basic motives of urban population from self-subsistence UPA farming to hobby on nice place for rest must be one of the goals of UPA policy. But Russian city authorities have to spent budget money on self-subsistence farming (travel subsidizing, training and consultation for free) and declare about such sort of direct and undirected support through all possible channels, because retired persons and mid age urban subsistence farmers are most active part of electorate. In other case Mayor of city will be in trouble on next Election Day.

What information is needed for municipal decision makers to formulate good policies regarding UPA?

They need information about market oriented farms, about their professionalism and experience, their efficiency, their business plans, credit history, market behavior. They need land cadastre/ soil melioration zoning city and peri-urban area maps with such characteristic as level of organic matter, ground water level, and so on to choose better option. They need sociological questionnaire information about percentage of UPA basic motives

What are the constraints on urban and per-urban producers and how best to mitigate them? Most important in Russia is 1) for market oriented producers- bad credit policy. If today I have taken 1 dollar as credit, in one half-year I should return to bank 2 dollars. To mitigate we need stability in finance on federal level

2)for self subsistence/ supplementary/additional income-oriented “farmers”- bad quality of soil, theft of agricultural products and insecurity of summer homes, vandalism, arsons. Thieving of non-ferric things, and all saleable things from summer homes and shed-like constructions. Authorities are trying to mitigate this by means of additional police patrol in peri-urban garden plots and near community gardening.

What policies are needed to increase employment and income from UPA production and processing? - The policy of targeting those who most efficient to undertake UA and most perspective in terms of new working place creation and encouraging them land lease and tax special soft approach by-law

and giving them security of title, strong ownership status, help in searching for available credit options and all property guaranty and assisting in strategies to minimize theft Is this a desirable policy goal? -Yes, Russia has human and natural resources enough to change basic motives and needs of UPA How do the policy needs of subsistence farmers differ from those of market-orientated farmers? - subsistence farmers needs low inputs, free or cheap access to land / to seeds and seedlings, appropriate transportation expenses

-market oriented farmers needs appropriate credit, good position on city food markets (in case of direct sale), high quality inputs, producing/processing equipment, reliable season workers, sometimes they search good wholesaler

How food security and nutrition considerations have been / or should be incorporated in urban and peri-urban planning ?

We need a policy for supporting of agricultural professionals with their commercial farms and high-industrialized and sophisticated agricultural technology and we must leave super soil land for them without any attempts to build up-conversion. But the policy of encouraging and facilitating such sort of citizens’ activity as self-made-food-supplement is a bad policy in non-war times. Urban and peri-urban planning must allocated high quality soil inside and outskirts and peri-urban for agricultural use only. But we need use super soil efficiently, keep in mind sustainability, of course. If we allocate good soil to wrong management of non-professionals (even if they most needs) we lost soils in 5-10 years.

From a food security perspective, on when and in which contexts UPA should be promoted would be appreciated? UPA should be always promoted and would be appreciated in context of good soil and water management and investments in UPA area ruled by strong agricultural professionals. Other urban citizens should be promoted by good job opportunities within other sectors of city economy and by good tax collection system for good old-age pensions for retired people. Only then they can spent extra money for self made soils in their small land plots with summer house for relaxation and hobby.

Do you know of any measure that is having a positive or negative impact on ensuring that UPA 1/ contributes to appropriate urban food supply (from production to consumption) 2/ contributes to improved diets of poor households?

1/ UPA contributes positive impact to food supply of retired and temporary unemployed in summer period because of their extremely low income Those categories spent 5-6 days on suburban plots and they able to harvest more or less good yields. City administration subsidizes suburban train expenses for retired persons in growing season. Non-pensioners have no subsidized and for them total travel expenses often higher then output in autumn. For no-pensioners such activity is often waste of time and money. They also have no time enough for cultivating, irrigation, weeding and their harvest much less and thus they have bad harvest as a rule .

2/ Really poor households can’t afford themselves land plot maintenance.. Actually it depends what we mean when we talk about poor households. UPA can improve diets in July-September and for some extend in winter use (conserved/preserved fruits and vegetables)

Reaction on Arine Valstar questions:

1) It is generally assumed that the contribution of UPA increases the supply and therefore decreases the cost of (and facilitates access to) fresh products in cities, is this true in your experience?

Better to say about season decrease of prices and facilitate access accordingly then relation with UPA. UPA market oriented small plot farmers often ask higher price, emphasized on “domestic, healthy, fresh, one minute ago it was on rising bed, “and so on.

2) We understand that there is limited information on the links between UPA and changes in nutritional status. Have any studies been done to see if UPA led to changes in food consumption patterns of urban consumers/producers?

Unfortunately I can not find reports and papers you are interesting in our National library and Runet (Russian language internet sites) Generally there are very few of Russia -UPA related research materials.

Regards

Oleg Moldakov

Researcher on Urban Agriculture
St-Petersburg Urban Gardening Club, Russia
moldakov@mailbox.alkor.ru

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From: Centro de Investigacion y Capacitacion Rural A.C. [farroyo@laneta.apc.org
Sent: 18 September 2000 03:25 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: Contribution 2.Food and Nutrition /Session 3/Francisco Arroyo

I´m Francisco Arroyo, Agronomist and Master in Rural Development. I have worked for six years in a project of urban agriculture in the metropolitan area of Mexico city. Also, I´m the coordinator of the national net of urban agriculture, " Aguila-Mexicana", section of Latin American "AGiULA.

To feed the debate I want to tell the following things: The case of Cuba is a clear example of what it´s possible achieve when a government adopts policy to favor the development of the urban agriculture. In Cuba we can see very important achievements for the alimentary security. In the cities where there are not policy, like Mexico city, the traditional agriculture fight to survive and the urban agriculture of small spaces is limited to small experiences. Also exist some modern agriculture very contaminant. Excuse me for not translating the following thing. I don't have a lot of time and the information of the conference is very good but very long too.

Escibe Francisco Arroyo, Ingeniero Agrónomo y Maestro en Desarrollo Rural. He trabajado desde hace seis años trabajo en un proyectos de agricultura urbana en la zona metropolitana de la ciudad de México, desde la asociación civil (ONG) denominada Centro de Investigación y Capacitación Rural (CEDICAR A.C.). Actualmente coordino la red nacional de agricultura urbana, "Aguila-mexicana", sección de "AGUILA" Latinoamericana.

Para alimentar el debate quisiera decir lo siguiente: El caso de Cuba es un claro ejemplo de lo que se puede lograr cuando un gobierno adopta políticas para favorecer el desarrollo de la agricultura urbana. Existen grandes y muy importantes logros para la seguridad alimentaria. En las ciudades donde no hay políticas, la agricultura tradicional lucha por sobrevivir y la agricultura urbana de pequeños espacios se limita a pequeñas experiencias. Existe también algo de agricultura moderna al estilo de la revolución verde, la cual resulta muy contaminante. Disculpenme por no traducir lo siguiente. No tengo mucho tiempo y la información de la conferencia mucha y buena.

Respuestas para el debate.

1. ¿Se necesitan mejores políticas para apoyar al AUP? ¿Qué información se necesita para que los niveles municipales de decisión formulen políticas adecuadas en relación con el PAU? Muchas veces se necesita crear las políticas pues en la mayoría de los casos o existen como tales. La información inicial es un diagnóstico o censo de las actividades agrícolas y ganaderas que se realizan dentro de las ciudades y/o en la periferia, quienes las realizan, cuánto se produce y de que manera se produce. Los mapas, encuestas, entrevistas y quizás los mismos censos oficiales, si es que se realizan, pudieran incluir preguntas sobre estas actividades. La pregunta de Marielle Dubbeling puede responderse con esto. Sería muy deseable una revisión histórica que muestre gráficamente el avance de las ciudades y el desplazamiento de la agricultura y ganadería hacia el interior de la misma cuando éstas logran subsistir. Por ejemplo, mapas de cada 5 o 10 años. El aspecto ambiental es importante también. ¿Se trata de una agricultura contaminante? El caso de Alemania es muy interesante en el sentido de que se requiere de una agricultura ecológica, sin insecticidas, herbicidas ni fertilizantes químicos que puedan contaminar las fuentes de agua, la tierra ni el aire. Pero también el cómo las ciudades afectan el ambiente de la producción agrícola es importante para tomar en cuenta como políticas públicas municipales: - Un adecuado manejo de los desechos sólidos. - El tratamiento de las aguas residuales hasta un nivel sanitariamente adecuado para aprovechar esta agua en la agricultura. - El ordenamiento terrirorial. Esto es, la definición de hacia dónde es mejor que crezca la ciudad y lograr que pueda equilibrarse con la actividad agrícola y ganadera. Aquí está un gran problema en cuanto a la valorización de la tierra, puers la tierra urbana vale más que la agrícola y es por esto que históricamente los agricultores venden sus tierras a los fraccionadores urbanos. Se requieren subsidios y estímulos a las actividades agrícolas y pecuarias que subsistan dentro de las ciudades en reconocimiento de sus beneficios ambientales: biodiversidad, áreas verdes, plantas para reforestar y embellecer la ciudad, reciclaje de los materiales orgánicos, reuso del agua, y provisión de alimentos sanos, frescos y económicos.

2. ¿Cuáles son las limitaciones que pesan sobre los productores urbanos y periurbanos y cuál es la mejor forma de mitigarlas (en relación con la disponibilidad y uso de suelos, disponibilidad y uso de agua, crédito, tiempo, brechas de conocimiento, etc.)? Para el caso de los urbanos, las limitaciones están en el no reconocimiento de la importancia de sus prácticas productivas dentro de la ciudad. Algunos, sobre todo ganaderos con cria de cerdos o vacas para leche se ven presionados por los vecinos debido a problemas de olores. Antes de sacar a estos productores de áreas urbanas hay soluciones técnicas suficientes para reducir al mínimo esa problemática. Sin duda, desde otro punto de vista, una unidad habitacional resulta mucho más contaminate que un establo lechero o una granja de cerdos. Par el caso de los Periurbanos, en México el principal problema es el de la presión por la tierra y el agua. El crecimiento no planificado de las ciudades desplaza totalmente a la agricultura y con esto se pierden áreas de recarga de mantos acuíferos, disponibildad de alimentos y empleos.

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From:  Giulia Abbate
Sent: 19 September 2000 09:01 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org Subject: Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Giulia Abbate
Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from

Dear all, 

I have been reading contributions to this conference with much interest, as the subject is quite stimulating and has a direct impact on life of people in all types of countries, from very poor to very developed. Due to my job background, I agree with suggestion of using Geographical Information System (GIS), remote sensing and GPS (Global Positioning System) to collect accurate and geo-referenced information about main cities in the world. This should include socio-economic and health information (so this approach is of interest for all three groups in this E-conference). This would help epidemiological studies on particular diseases or understanding issues regarding uneven distribution of food, social services, etc. As for UPA itself, I believe that aim of such a geographical data base should not be "planning", but rather "promotion" of activities which are half way between recreation-education-health care and food production. Promotion of these activities is promotion of human being, is caring ourselves, our relationship with Mother Earth, with cycles of Nature. Growing our own food is source of deep satisfaction; following rhythms of vegetal life helps understanding what really counts in life. I have to say that technical knowledge should go together with love and respect to land. I think that practical courses covering technical and operational aspects of vegetable and fruit growing for children and adults should be very appropriate. Otherwise costs may be much higher than product income. To save values of local traditions and experience, instructors should be local professionals in agriculture (i.e. retired or part-time), together with experts in new techniques ( national and/or international). But also internet and/or TV courses could be useful, at least in developed countries. Contribution for poor people/areas should be considered (i.e give them seeds/plants, little equipment, plant medicines, free training, help in digging wells, commercialize extra product, .... ). I myself spend most of my week-ends enjoying agriculture hobby, but without gaining a more technical expertise I could not survive out of it. Thank you for this opportunity of reading so many qualified interventions and sharing views. 

Best regards. 

Giulia Abbate

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From: moustier moustier@cirad.fr
Sent: 19 September 2000 10:27 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org Subject: actions/policies
Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Dr Paule Moustier

To contribute to Rachel Nugent's questioning, the experience of AGRISUD is outlined below. AGRISUD is an NGO working in collaboration with CIRAD ion urban/periurban agriculture in Congo, Gabon and Cambodia. This NGO has achieved substantial results in increasing the availability of output from urban/PU areas, e.g. leafy vegetables.

- Making urban agriculture more sustainable on a long-term basis Targeting the major constraint for long-term UA sustainability = making access to land more secure; for this, AGRISUD has induced the government to protect from urbanization a major production area, to indemnize the customary land-owners, and to have the farmers rent the plots to public authorities (ministry of agriculture + livestock). - Making urban agriculture more profitable and less risky on a short term basis Targeting the major constraint for short-term UA sustainability = production risks, resulting in marketing risks; this involved diminishing production vagaries due to unfavourable climatic conditions, pests, water surplus or deficits...This was achieved through different measures, at technical and marketing stages : testing new varieties adapted to the climatic conditions; testing new crop rotations/associations; disseminating shelters; providing low-cost irrigation; organizing a market information and concertation system to inform producers on the times of the year with market shortages/deficits.

From a strict economic point of view I agree with Moldakov that support to UA should be balanced against support to rural agriculture when targeting urban food provisioning. The question raised by some policy -makers is as follows : What is more economically rational : investing in transport structures to develop rural agriculture, or investing in land protection to support urban agriculture? Certainly the first option is the most cost-efficient relative to the total potential food output. Hence the importance of bringing to the fore non economic challenges : access to food and income for deprived urban dwellers, landscape purposes, etc. Yet I believe there is economic rationale in protecting UA/UPA, in addition to social and environment rationales. Even in developed countries with optimal transport structures there will always be a comparative advantage for U/PA production as regards the production of good-quality fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs, as consumers attach high importance on short channels, with possibility of checking the origin of product (trace ability). In the outskirts of Montpellier French town, the fruit growers have given up the production of apples because of the competition from Holland large-scale production. Yet they have not given up farming and they now specialize in peach production, which is a fragile fruit, with high quality variability. - two characteristics giving a comparative advantage to short channels.

The debate on urban agriculture sustainability brings us to the debate on globalization. Even in global economies, niches exist for short channel production, because it corresponds to consumer preferences. But these niches have to get some level of protection from competition forces.

I will try to answer the other questions in another message!

Dr Paule Moustier 

CIRAD-FLHOR TA 50/04 Avenue Agropolis 34 398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France Tel : 04 67 61 56 35 Fax : 04 67 61 59 80 moustier@cirad.fr

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From: Berg, dr. L.M. van den [L.M.vandenBerg@Alterra.wag-ur.nl
Sent: 19 September 2000 12:07 
To: 'paule.moustier@cirad.fr'; Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: RE: actions/policies

Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Dr. Leo M. Van den Berg

The experience of AGRISUD, as presented by Paule Moustier, raised the following questions with me: 1. (on long-term sustainability of UA:)"AGRISUD has induced the government to protect from urbanization a major production area, to indemnize the customary land-owners, and to have the farmers rent the plots to public authorities". How strong (irreversible?) do you think this 'inducement' was? How many producers have benefited from it? And what happens when the urban authorities decide in 5 or 10 years time that they really need (part of) such areas for urban growth (or for, e.g. a golf course)? I think that in such instance UA is still sustainable if it the normal practice for urban authorities to provide the UAgriculturalists with new (preferably even better) sites to carry on their activity. This requires a strong UA association or pressure group. Has AGRISUD been successful in creating or strengthening such organizations in the 3 countries mentioned? 2. (on the short-term risks in UA:) You did not mention the risks in UA of using polluted irrigation water or dubious urban waste for composting. Is that because these were not considered serious issues by AGRISUD in the 3 countries? Or could you tell us more about it? 3. (on the economic rationale of supporting UA:) I don't think it is 'either-or': you need to invest in all three: access to productive rural areas, a thriving peri-urban agriculture (intensive and dynamic) and as much green urban space as you can (partly for farming/UA, partly for other functions). I agree with Moldakov that it is a matter of finding a good balance. Anyway, such investments are made by different agencies, so there is no real competition. From this economic viewpoint we should also note, that urban real estate on the edges of parks, lakes and agricultural land tends to be worth much more than the same buildings elsewhere in the city. UA can thus play a role in maintaining such valuable edges. 4. (on globalization:) I don't think UA and PUA need much protection against fair global trade. With their direct access to the local urban consumers they should have substantial advantages with 'niche' products. And once they developed their economies of scale and specialized skills in this it would be relatively easy for them (compared with 'rural farming') to access outside markets for these as well. Greetings, 

Leo van den Berg 

dr. L.M. van den Berg ALTERRA, Wageningen-UR P.O. Box 47 6700 AA WAGENINGEN NL (tel: 31-317-474435) e-mail: l.m.vandenberg@alterra.wag-ur.nl

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From: Arturo Perez-Vazquez pah98ap@wye.ac.uk
Sent: 19 September 2000 12:52 To: Nugent, Rachel (ESAC) 
Subject: Mi contribucion a la conference virtual de UA Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Arturo Perez

++++++++++++++++

Introduccion

La agricultura urbana es obvio que no podra suplir la totalidad de alimentos que se consumen en la ciudad, pero si puede contribuir a reducir la demanda de alimentos del exterior (sea de las ciudades o del pais). En Inglaterra la produccion de alimentos en ciudades y pueblos durante la primera y segunda guerra mundial fue asegurada en parte por la produccion en huertos familiares y en los allotments (terrenos de agricultura en ciudades y pequellos pueblos dedicados para la produccion de verduras y frutas para auto- consumo). Se indica que alrededor del 10 % de los alimentos producidos en esa fecha provenian de estos dos sistemas agricolas.

Cabria aclarar que grandes nucleos de poblacion que viven ahora en la periferia de las grandes y medianas ciudades de los paises en desarrollo son gente que hasta hace algunos 10 o 15 anos habitaban en pequenos poblados y que tenian un espacio para hacer agricultura o estaban mas relacionados a las actividades agricolas. Sin embargo, las politicas impulsadas en muchos paises pobres durante las ultimas decadas ha sido la falta de un apoyo decidido y comprometido con las actividades del sector agricola, esto ha motivado la emigracion de un gran numero de gente rural a las ciudades y/o al extranjero en busca de un “mejor futuro”. Seguramente algunos lo encontraron, pero seguramente tambien fueron muy pocos. Los otros –la gran mayoria- viven en esos cinturones de miseria tratando de sobrevivir y sin servicio alguno. Por otro lado el gran impulso que ha tenido la AU y APU en Cuba se debe no tanto a que el gobierno tuviera esa conviccion sino mas bien debido a el cerco impuesto (lease EUA) a este pais y al recorte de subsidios por parte de la ex-URSS (Rusia). Por otro lado si estas politicas han funcionado tambien es debido al tipo de gobierno predominante. Seguramente hoy dia la gente esta convencida de las bondades que esto le brinda. Pero me pregunto se hubiera dado si las condiciones socio-economico- politicas hubieran sido diferentes? Tal vez no.

Ciertamente se requiere de un esquema o una estrategia de promocion de “Huertos Urbanos”que debiera de empezar en crear conciencia de la necesidad de producir alimentos en las ciudades, no importa en que escala. Si la gente esta convencida de las bondades que ello le puede brindar y redituar, seguramente idearan las formas y crearan los espacios necesarios para desarrollarla. Ya sea en el patio, en la azotea, corredor, en macetas o intercaladas con plantas hornamentales del jardin, en el estanque.

Los espacios de agricultura urbana no debieran tener un proposito selectivo sino mas bien de intencion “mutuo propio”. En otras palabras los espacios para desarrollar AU no necesariamente debe ser elitistas y asignados unicamente para los pobres. Aqui habria que diferenciar el contexto social y economico de cada pais. Pero obviamnete asi como la gente pobre necesita espacios para producir alimentos y cubrir su demanda familiar o de ingresos economicos, de la misma manera personas de clases medias (altas o bajas) demandan espacios para llevar agricultura urbana, Probablemnte no como una necesidad urgente para satisfacer la demanda de alimentos o ingresos sino como una necesidad urgente de salud fisica y mental y aun de alimentos frescos para el/ella y su familia.

Mas abajo doy mi particular punto de vista sobre algunas preguntas que se han hecho como parte de este evento.

Se necesitan mejores politicas para apoyar la APU (Agricultura peri-urbana)?

Coincido con Francisco Arroyo, que en muchos de los casos (paises) no existen politicas que pretendan apoyar la AU en su conjunto. Y en otros paises aunque existen se requiere actualizarlas a las condiciones presentes y en algunos otros casos –en donde ya existen- se ha empezado ya su analisis para determinar el futuro de este tipo de agricultura. Este es el caso de los allotments en Inglaterra que en el ano de 1998 se llevaron a cabo intensas sesiones para plantear el futuro de los allotments y actualizar la legislacion al respecto. Ademas los allotments esta incluido en las politicas municipales como parte de la Agenda Local 21 (Local Agenda 21).

Seguramente en tanto no exista un movimiento fuerte y consistente de agricultores o productores urbanos las autoridades municipales poco o nada se preocuparan por legislar aspectos referentes a esta actividad. Cuando existan organizaciones de productores urbanos, cabalmente organizados, que presionen por mas espacios y por una legislacional al respecto y que contribuyan con ideas y planteamientos para la legislacion, entonces sera el momento adecuado para ello. Aqui coincido con Olivier Ginsberg, de que tal vez el papel que debieramos jugar algunos de nosostros (quienes tengan los conocimientos, en mi caso caresco de ellos para ser honestos) es la de dar los elementos necesarios para contribuir a la organizacion de los productores urbanos actuales o potenciales.

Que informacion se requiere para que las autoridades locales formulen politicas adecuadas en relacion a la APU?

Ademas de la informacion que bien senala Francisco Arroyo (dinamica espacial y temporal de la AU y APU, ordenamiento territorial, tenencia de tierra, censos, propositos, etc..) , considero conveniente agregar los siguientes:

Cual es la poblacion local y relacion con personas involucradas en alguna actividad de AU o APU Cual es la relacion entre espacios verdes: espacios no verdes (casas, pavimento, etc..) Niveles de contaminacion ambiental (aire, agua, suelos) Nivel educativo de los productores urbanos Numero de organizacions, afiliados, propositos, propustas y prioridades Demanda local de alimentos y cadenas de comercializacion Instituciones(investigacion, servicio y/o ensenanza) que puedan contribuir con propuestas

Ademas se debera de determinar y de asignar una area minima de terreno que permita al productor urbano producir los alimentos suficientes para una familia promedio, dependiendo del pais de que se trate, y que le permita a la vez tener excedentes para obtener ingresos ($$) extras. Si es que esta persigue objetivos de mejora de la dieta e ingreso familiar. Ademas se debera de legislar en el sentido de que cultivos se debieran de sembrar, considerando las condiciones agroclimaticas y que respondan a subsanar un minimo los diferentes requerimientos alimenticios humanos (proteina, vitaminas y carbohidratos). De otra manera podria ser que estos espacios de agricultura se destinaran solo a producir productos para el mercado, desvirtuandose su proposito original.

Cuales son las principales perocupaciones en AU y APU y cual es la mejor forma para mitigar esto?

Una de las principales preocupaciones y ya senalados por otros participantes es la tenencia de la tierra. Me parece que hasta que no se mejoren aspectos de seguridad en la tenencia de tierra en muchos paises y los niveles economicos de la poblacion, la designacion de espacios por parte de los municipios para AU puede tener dos vertientes, una riesgosa y otra de mayor seguridad. Es bien sabido que cuando en las ciudades existen areas municipales y aun de particulares –practicamente abandonadas- la invasion de esos predios es casi inminente. Porque mucha de la gente carece de casa y aun de empleo para poder acceder a financiamiento de vivienda. Para ellos espacios practicamente abandonados y con propositos que consideren “no importantes” (bosque, AU, etc..) pueden ser un buen pretexto para invadir y establecerse. El,aspecto de seguridad de esos predios puede fortalecerse por el hecho de que esos espacios baldios se convierten en espacios verdes para produccion de alimentos para la comunidad.

Otro aspecto que seguramente se enfrenta –en las condiciones socio-economicas prevalecientes en paises en desarrollo- es el vandalismo y robo. Aspectos que no estan excentos en los paises desarrollados obviamente, pero que se dan con menor incistencia. El robo de herramienta y de productos de los huertos es algo dificil de evitar, aun intra (dentro del mismo huerto comunitario) como de externos. El robo interno puede evitarse a traves del establecimiento de un “codigo de conducta interno” o en el mejor de los casos con una reglamentacion” pero para los casos externos solo a traves de una difusion de la importancia de estos huertos a nivel comunidad y en casos exepcionales solo a traves de la aplicacion de la reglamentacion local/municipal. Parte de ello es confirmado por Mandiou Gassama cuando senala que los casos de robo son cada vez mas frecuentes y la gente tiene que cuidar sus cultivos aun por la noche para evitar el robo.

En los paises pobres, particularmente en aquellos en donde el recurso hidrico es escaso, se debera de legislar sobre el uso del agua. Es conocido que la demanda del recurso hidrico esta creciendo aceleradamente a nivel mundial y aunque es un recurso natural renovable en muchas partes del mundo se esta convirtiendo en un recurso no renovable. Particularmente debido a las altas tasas de deforestacion, y a la contaminacion del recurso. Por otro lado el uso de aguas residuales conllevan el riesgo de contaminacion de alimentos. De ahi la necesidad de capacitar a los productores urbanos en tecnicas de cosecha de agua de lluvia, tecnicas de tratamiento de aguas jabonosas y/o residuales, practicas que reduscan la evaporacion (coberteras, pajas, grava, abonos organicos, etc..) y aun en sistemas de produccion inovativos (sub-irrigacion, capsulas porosas, riego por goteo, etc..) de un mejor uso del recurso.

Respecto al composteo o al producto organico resultado de este proceso bioquimico, no hay duda de sus bondades. Sin embargo, muchos agricultores urbanos carecen de los conocimientos basicos y adecuados para llevar un adecuado composteo de los residuos organicos, que permita eliminar patogenos y a la vez producir un producto rico en nitrogeno, fosforo y potasio principalmente. Estoy hablando practicamente de los niveles de humedad, de pH, tamano de particula, aireado, relacion C:N y otros factores que contribuyen a llevar un efectivo proceso de composteo. De otra manera lo que se estaria produciendo seria un material parcialmente composteado, de baja calidad nutrimental y con riesgos de contener patogenos.

Respecto a la preocupacion de agroquimicos en los alimentos y su relacion con la agricultura organica permitanme mencionar lo siguiente: La agricultura organica en espacios urbanos de agricultura puede ser instruida pero lo mas importante es que la gente por si misma reconosca la importancia y beneficios que le puede aportar producir alimentos organicos. No solo en terminos de salud para el y su familia, pero de obtener ingresos extras. Pero es bien sabido que aun en muchos paises pobres o en desarrollo el precio entre productos organicos y convencionales no hay una gran diferencia. Ademas la demanda interna de productos organicos no es tan fuerte ni esta creciendo tan aceleradamente como si sucede en algunos paises ricos.

Los factores que impulsan el desarrollo de la agricultura urbana en los diferentes paises del mundo pueden responder a diferentes necesidades sociales. En paises ricos la necesidad de desarrollar la agicultura urbana no es tanto la produccion de alimentos para comercializar (entiendase para generar un ingreso extra) sino como una actividad meramente de entretenimiento y de relax, dando un valor importante obviamente a la produccion de alimentos frescos y libres de residuos de agroquimicos y aun de contaminacion transgenica. Pero en los paises pobres mas que “safety food” lo que se busca es tener una mayor seguridad alimentaria (“food security”). Por ejemplo, la agricultura organica en los allotments en Inglaterra esta incrementandose cada vez mas en respuesta a los temores de alimentos transgenicos, de agroquimicos, preservantes y colorantes en los alimentos. La agricultura organica en los allotments es practicada principalmente por las nuevas generaciones y con una inclinacion mayor entre las mujeres. Sin embargo, muchos productores de allotments debido a su edad (debo de mencionar que la edad promedio de la gente que trabaja en los allotments es de 58 anos) y a lo pesado que resulta controlar lo que se denomina como “malezas” hacen uso de herbicidas y del rotocultor para roturar el suelo como una forma de aligerar el trabajo. Pero ademas para muchos de ellos el uso de agroquimicos en la agricultura es visto como algo normal. Lo mas importante para ellos es saber que producto quimico estan usando, usar la cantidad menos posible y ademas cuando fue aplicado el producto.

Saludos y muchos exitos!!

APV

Arturo Perez Vazquez Research Student at Imperial College
8 East Street Ashford, Kent TN 23 1JZ Tel 01233 63 42 11
Arturo Perez Vazquez Research Student at Wye College The University of London 8 East Street Ashford, Kent TN 23 1JZ Tel 01233 63 42 11

 

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From: Kunze, Dagmar (FAORAF) 
Sent: 19 September 2000 17:13 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: RE: actions/policies Urban-Food-L/Session Three/ Contribution from Dagmar Kunze

Dear Participants,

my name is Dagmar Kunze and I am working in Farming Systems Development for the Regional Office of FAO for Africa in Accra;

since working in the field of PUA, I keep thinking that a look at the history of PUA in Europe can help us to understand the development of this field in developing countries today and answer the question where best to support PUA.

In Europe, rural farmers in the vicinity of growing cities turned their production into specialised mostly horticultural products until transport costs became cheap and import tax was reduced and allowed southern European products, which could be produced comparatively cheaper (no heating of greenhouses, low labour costs etc.), access the market. Besides this commercial type of agriculture, homegardens where always important for subsistence (especially after the 2 wars) and later for recreation. Some examples are given under http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~garten/gartenkonferenzEnglisch.html a conference on small gardens. Here, papers discuss the economic importance of homegardens AT PRESENT for Eastern Germany (E. Meyer-Renschhausen, V. Benholdt-Thomsen), the eastern parts of Europe and the Balkans (Nigel Swain), Poland (W. Kniec) etc.

I find PUA in the developing world has many equal features (except the leisure aspect). Urbanisation changes consumption patterns, the demand for fruits (as gifts - the imported apple on streets in Western Africa is a good example) and vegetables (flowers in francophone Western Africa) is increasing with increasing purchasing power. Unless transport systems are improved, PUA will be competitive with rural agriculture in perishable goods, especially at rising energy prices. (Some inputs such as water might be more expensive in PUA in the longer run).

This means that even if no public support is given to PUA, people will take it up as an income earning activity, as long as they have access to land and it "pays better than other jobs", even if return to labour is low (as mentioned by on participant). In most places, unemployment is high (bringing down opportunity costs), which makes PUA attractive.

Homegardening and commercial production is not so much separated as in Europe it seems, but the former certainly has economic impact, even if it serves subsistence and social exchange purposes (can be counted as "income" in kind). It will improve the diet in nutrients as well.

Export production is another field, which is developing in some countries such as Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, (Nigeria?). Although plantations are often involved, some small and medium scale production is taking place as well, in Ghana in form of an established "outgrower system", mainly in the peri-urban areas.

Let us not forget that in some places fisheries are considered the largest percentage of PUA farmers (Accra, Abidjan(?)) and that livestock plays an important role, of course.

In the frame of field work undertaken in Accra, we tried to identify issues where farmers invest their time in improving their own situation. Preference was given to: - formalising of associations to improve the handling of common issues such as insecure tenure and marketing; - input requirements, especially safe water and seeds; - contacting government or NGOs for advice and support in the often very specialized fields of PUA production (training and extension from government, NGOs and private sector such as retailers).

Trying to answer Rachel's 2nd question, which steps are most important: Depending on our objectives and which "group" should be targeted, PUA can be supported in various ways: the consumer side, with low cost, safe products by food control mechanisms; marketing infrastructure; the producer side, with development of farmer associations, capacity building of individuals and groups, low cost inputs, distribution systems establishment, tenure arrangements, marketing and market information support (export), specialised extension, business planning; the governmental side in agricultural policy planning, town planning, legal support, extension, marketing (infrastructure);

With Leo van den Berg, I agree that as government (or a government supporting agency) you would support the various fields and try to maintain some balance, in which tenure is probably the most sensitive one and since PUA farmers are rather not supported at all (we read about it being illegal in Harare from Tanja, in Accra the use of sewerage water is illegal, which rules out a lot of farmers), the propensity of governments to solve any tenure problem is low. PUA could be supported and viewed as "maintaining open space" which would otherwise become waste dumping sites (ornamental plants producers along river banks of Bamako). Consumer health is rated important in public perspective (+ tourism). Of course, governments have to balance PUA with rural agriculture. PUA would be viewed as specialized, perishable and high value production. Farmers could be supported (most likely by NGOs) in building farmers association to better lobby for their issues, specialized extension in crop choice, farm management and planning, input acquirement, veterinary services (already privatised in many places), marketing etc.

Last issue is a question to other participants: do you know of any "water certification scheme" to certify the use of clean water for production in any country? How this can be set up? Accra tourism board and farmers are worried with the safety of products by the use of polluted water. We have a request to look into this issue by introducing a "certificate". In fact, clean water products can be bought at a comparatively high price (typical expats shops), but the farmer association and ministry are rather looking at a certification program for "all" farmers. Any ideas on this issue are welcome.

______________________________ 

Dr. Dagmar KUNZE 

Farming Systems Development Officer FAO - Regional Office for Africa POB 16 28 Accra, GHANA Tel.: 00233-21-701 09 30 or 675 000 ext. 3137 (operator) email: dagmar.kunze@fao.org Visit our website: http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/agricult/ags/AGSP/

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From: irene tinker newepoch@igc.org
Sent: 22 September 2000 00:10 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: street food policy Urban-Food-L/Session Three/ Contribution from Irene Tinker

In 1997 I published "Street Foods: Urban Food and Employment in Developing Countries" [Oxford U Press] that reviewed year long studies in seven provincial cities and discussed the impact over time of policy recommendations resulting from this action research that was initiated by the Equity Policy Center [EPOC] under my direction. --Irene Tinker

You ask for comment: "We are interested to know from you how food security and nutrition considerations have been / or should be incorporated in urban and peri-urban planning."

Without a question the most important contribution to food safety, according to the EPOC study, is the availability of clean water to wash hands and utensils. Municipal governments in most countries increased water points and required greater attention to washing.

To reduce congestion on major streets yet provide access to street foods for their customers, alleys or courtyards were provided with water and even electrical connections. Some cities created food courts with chairs and tables.

Water at bus stops is also an important planning issue.

Overall the conclusion is that street foods are too important for both vendor and customer for governments to eradicate. Working with the vendors has been much more fruitful. FAO has itself support training programs for vendors in many countries. Still the most important single planning issue is the provision of clean water!

Irene Tinker 

Professor Emerita 
University of California, Berkeley
2759 NW Pettygrove Street Portland OR 97210 tinker@socrates.berkeley.edu

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