Contributions to the Discussion

Contributions September 23 - 30, 2000

From: Nugent, Rachel (ESAC) 
Sent: 26 September 2000 05:01 
To: 'urban-food-l@mailserv.fao.org
Subject: Summary of Session Three/Week One
 
This message is sent in English, French and Spanish. 
Ce message est envoyé en anglais, français et espagnol. 
Esta mensaje està enviado en inglès, francès y español.

UPA-FOOD SUMMARY SESSION 3, WEEK 1

In this session, we are seeking ideas and experiences that can inform us all how to make UPA more effective in reducing food insecurity and advancing nutrition goals. Further, this discussion group has raised many issues of immediate importance to urban and peri-urban farmers, such as the constraints they face and ways to address them.

In the first week of our final session, contributors continued earlier discussion about the purposes of UPA and relative advantages compared to rural agriculture. There is general agreement that UPA provides perishables close to consumer markets, even though it is not likely to provide the large quantities of food that rural agriculture can do. Abbate argues that UPA should be actively promoted, not simply planned for, because of the many benefits it offers, including recreational. Perez points out that the middle class should also be involved. Others agree that multiple benefits are provided at whatever scale UPA is done and UPA will continue to be accomplished by people who can acquire access to some land - even if official support does not arrive. Kunze points out that fisheries and livestock exist in most cities and should be remembered in the discussion.

Many participants offered ideas and experiences that could be implemented to improve the efficiency of UPA. A select sample follows:

* Practical courses in farming for adults and children, perhaps using the Internet and television * Government provision of selected land and rental to farmers * Reduction of production risks through seed varieties, small scale irrigation, and marketing approaches that include farmer cooperatives * Steps for producer and consumer aspects such as food safety measures, capacity building for individuals and groups, business planning, and specialised extension * Training for preparation of organic material * Using NGOs to bring small credit opportunities and training and support for women

In this final week, we again invite specific suggestions and experiences that will help UPA achieve its potential under varying conditions. We especially seek ways in which UPA has contributed to the food security needs of certain populations, and to nutritious food availability. We invite ideas about the ranking of priorities for policy-makers and others, and specifics about relative costs of interventions suggested above or still to come.

As this is the final week of the E-conference, we also invite comments on any related issues that have not been adequately addressed. We appreciate your excellent inputs and also recognise the involvement of many hundreds of other participants who have joined the conference as observers.

Best wishes,

Your Moderators

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En Français

Résumé Semaine 1 / Session 3 / Groupe AUP et Sécurité alimentaire

Dans cette session, nous sommes à la recherche d'idées et d'expériences qui nous informent sur la façon de permettre à l'AUP de réduire l'insécurité alimentaire et d'améliorer les objectifs nutritionnels. Par ailleurs, ce groupe de discussion a soulevé de nombreux thèmes d'importance immédiate pour les agriculteurs urbains et péri-urbains tels que les contraintes auxquelles ils sont confrontés et les façons de les résoudre.

Au cours de la première semaine de notre session finale, les contributions ont poursuivi le débat précédent sur les objectifs de l'AUP et ses avantages relatifs par rapport à ceux de l'agriculture rurale. On observe un consensus général sur le fait que l'AUP fournit des denrées périssables à proximité des marchés de consommation, même si les quantités produites sont largement inférieures aux volumes produits par l'agriculture rurale. Abbate pense que l'on ne doit pas se contenter de planifier l'AUP, mais au contraire la promouvoir activement, en raison des nombreux avantages qu'elle engendre, notamment en terme de loisirs. Perez souligne que les classes moyennes devraient également participer. D'autres sont d'accord sur le fait que l'AUP génère des avantages multiples à tous les niveaux et qu'elle sera toujours mise en oeuvre par ceux qui pourront acquérir l'accès à certaines terres - même en l'absence d'aide officielle. Kunze fait remarquer que les pêcheries et les exploitations d'éleveurs de bétail existent dans la plupart des villes et que l'on devrait le mentionner dans la discussion.

De nombreux participants ont formulé des idées et des expériences dont la mise en oeuvre pourrait contribuer à l'amélioration de l'AUP. Nous en avons sélectionné quelques unes :

* Des formations agricoles pratiques destinées aux adultes et aux jeunes, par exemple grâce à Internet et à la télévision ; * La mise à disposition par le Gouvernement d'une sélection de terres et de fermages aux agriculteurs ; * La réduction des risques liés à la production par l'intermédiaire d'un choix de variétés de semences, de méthodes d'irrigation à petite échelle et d'approches de marketing concernant les coopératives agricoles ; * Des mesures pour les producteurs et les consommateurs telles que des mesures de sûreté alimentaire, le renforcement des capacités des individus et des groupes, un processus de planification commerciale et de développement spécialisé ; * Des formations pour la préparation des matières organiques ; * L'utilisation des ONG pour créer des possibilités de financement, de formation et d'aide destinées aux femmes.

Au cours de cette dernière semaine, nous vous prions à nouveau de nous envoyer des suggestions et des expériences spécifiques qui pourront contribuer à la réalisation des objectifs de l'AUP dans des conditions diverses. Nous recherchons particulièrement des informations sur les méthodes de l'AUP ayant contribué à l'amélioration des besoins en terme de sécurité alimentaire de certaines populations et à la disponibilité d'une alimentation nutritionnelle. Nous accueillons par ailleurs des contributions sur les objectifs prioritaires pour les hommes politiques et autres, ainsi que des informations sur les coûts relatifs des interventions mentionnées ci-dessus ou à venir.

Etant donné qu'il s'agit de la dernière semaine de notre conférence électronique, vous pouvez également formuler des observations sur des thèmes connexes qui n'ont pas été correctement abordés. Nous vous remercions pour vos excellentes contributions et nous remercions également les centaines d'autres intervenants qui ont participé à la conférence en tant qu'observateurs.

Salutations,

Vos modérateurs

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En Espagnol

RESUMEN DE LA SESIÓN TRES/PRIMERA SEMANA/ DISCUSIÓN SOBRE UPA -ALIMENTOS

En esta sesión estamos buscando ideas y experiencias que nos puedan informar a todos sobre la manera de incrementar el rendimiento de la AUP en la reducción de la inseguridad alimentaria y en la consecución de los objetivos nutricionales. Además, este grupo de discusión ha planteado muchos temas de directa importancia para los agricultores urbanos y periurbanos, como ser las limitaciones que enfrentan y las maneras de abordarlas.

En la primera semana de nuestra sesión final, los contribuyentes prosiguieron con la discusión anterior sobre los objetivos de la AUP y sus ventajas relativas comparada con la agricultura rural. Existe un consenso general de que la AUP proporciona productos perecederos cerca de los mercados de consumidores, aún cuando no sea posible producir grandes cantidades de alimentos como es posible en la agricultura rural. Abbate argumenta que la AUP debería ser activamente promocionada, y no simplemente planeada, considerando los numerosos beneficios que ofrece, incluyendo los recreativos. Pérez señala que también se debería involucrar a los grupos de clase media. Otros coinciden en la opinión de que la AUP ofrece múltiples beneficios, en cualquier escala que se practique, y que la AUP seguirá siendo practicada por aquellos que puedan obtener acceso a un terreno - aún cuando no se haya otorgado apoyo oficial. Kunze señala que en la mayoría de las ciudades se practica la pesca y la cría de animales y que este dato debería ser tenido presente en la discusión.

Muchos participantes ofrecieron ideas y experiencias que podrían ser puestas en práctica para mejorar el rendimiento de la AUP. Una selección de ejemplos: * Cursos prácticos en agricultura para adultos y niños, usando eventualmente Internet y la televisión * Provisión por parte del gobierno de terrenos seleccionados y arriendo a los agricultores * Reducción de los riesgos de producción usando variedades de semillas, riego de pequeña escala y modos de comercialización que incluyan cooperativas agrícolas * Adopción de medidas para los asuntos que atañen al productor y al consumidor como seguridad alimentaria, aumento de la capacitación para individuos y grupos, planificación comercial y servicios de extensión especializados * Capacitación en técnicas de preparación de materiales orgánicos * Emplear ONGs para crear oportunidades de pequeños créditos y capacitación y apoyo para las mujeres

En esta última semana, les invitamos nuevamente a enviar sugerencias y experiencias específicas que ayuden a la AUP a concretar su potencial en diferentes condiciones. Buscamos, en particular, maneras en las que la AUP haya contribuido a las necesidades de seguridad alimentaria de determinadas poblaciones y a la disponibilidad de alimentos nutritivos. Les invitamos a enviar ideas sobre la clasificación de prioridades para los responsables de formular las políticas y otros, y también ideas específicas sobre los costos relativos involucrados en las intervenciones sugeridas aquí o en otras futuras.

Como estamos entrando en la semana final de la e-conferencia, también les invitamos a enviar comentarios sobre cualquier tema relacionado que no haya sido suficientemente tratado. Apreciamos sus excelentes aportes, y agradecemos igualmente la participación de cientos de otros participantes que se sumaron a la conferencia en calidad de observadores.

Atentamente,

Sus Moderadores

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From: Mirtha G. Paz Castro  [pazbazan@chavin.rcp.net.pe
Sent: 23 September 2000 03:54 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 

Urban-Food-L/Session 2 and3/Contribution from Mirtha Paz Castro

Estimados Participantes: Quisiera agradecer a los responsables de la conferencia virtual por permitir compartir experiencias todas muy interesantes como enriquecedoras. Aprovecho para solicitar la recepcion de mi aporte a la segunda seccion disculpando el atrazo Segunda seccion: Elecciones de medidas politicas y potencial de produccion De la agricultura depende el mayor numero de familias en el Peru,sin embargo eso no se encuentra reflejada en disposiciones politicas, es asi como en las ultimas disposiciones del actual gobierno solo seran beneficiadas aproximadamente unas 100 mil hectareas de las 2 millones de hectareas de tierras agricolas. Coincido con lo manifestado por Arturo Perez - Vasquez a no tener posibilidades de mejor su calidad de vida muchos agricultores y campesinos migraron a ciudades medianas y grandes formando los cinturones de pobreza. Los principales problemas de la agricultura peruana son tierras, produccion, educacion, credito, mercado y comercializacion. A continuacion formulo las respuestas al cuestionario: 1. Las principales limitaciones de los productores en AUP son a.. Falta de continuidad de programas, proyectos desarrollados con excelentes resultados. b.. Falta de capacitacion y apoyo tecnico para continuar como por ejemplo es posible la produccion de semillas en pequenha escala, comercializacion de productos c.. La AUP debe ser compartida con especialidades como la medica, legal. d.. El agua no debe ser un limite basta ver las alternativas desarrolladas en diferentes partes del mundo, mi experiencia asi me lo confima. Algunos medios que pueden mejorar la situacion de AUP pueden ser los siguientes: a.. Promover la AUP como unidades autogestionarias b.. Labor municipalidad: A diferencia de otros paises como Inglaterra , Cuba en Peru la labor municipal es limitada aunque se cuenta con algunas experiencias muy buenas con algunos municipios. c.. Colegios: primarios, secundarios d.. Apoyo Tecnico :ONGs, Intitutos, Universidades e.. Promover la AUP complementarla con la produccion y uso de plantas medicinales como aromaticas su aplicacion en medicina preventiva , uso de abonos organicos. 2.y 3. En mi opinion en Peru la AUP debe ser promovida o creada basandose en experiencias desarrolladas por difrentes organismos,asi creo importante la participacion de todos los sectores formados por la sociedad peruana, siendo mas urgente en sectores medios y bajos por todas las razones ya expuestas. 4. En mi experiencia el uso de agua reciclada usada sin contenido de detergentes, desinfectantes, lo mas importante es el maximizar el agua con sistema sencillos y baratos. Tercera seccion: Implementacion de cambios en la politica AUP - seguridad alimentaria 1. Estrategias en la promocion de AUP en un pais como Peru, desde una experiencia de agricultura organica, considero que propuestas como la agricultura hidroponica es muy costosa y en condiciones como la peruana no la encuentro necesaria. Las aplicaciones de AUP son importantes desde la mejora en la dieta alimenticia hasta la prevencion de enfermedades con el uso de plantas medicinales producidas en los propios huertos, a diferencia de otros paises los productos organicos cuentan con precios mas altos que los provenientes de agricultores tradicionales. 2. La asistencia mas importante es el apoyo tecnico y economico que convierte en una brillante alternativa a la AUP si se obtendria una produccion en pequenha escala brindando una posibilidad de comercializacion de productos organicos que puedan generar ingresos y ocupacion.

Agradeciendo su atencion

Ing. M.Sc. Mirtha G. Paz Castro 

Fono: 051-4-493269 
Movil 883-0325 
E-mail: pazbazan@chavin.rcp.net.pe
 
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From: Paul Muwowo [pmuwowo@coppernet.zm
Sent: 23 September 2000 11:03 
To: urban-planning-l@mailserv.fao.org
Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Paul Muwowo

Dear All,

I must say I have been following the discussions on all the topics. I would like to state that I had some technical problem with my service provider. Hence the silence.

Urban agriculture in Lusaka dates back to the to the mid 1930s when the first plan for Lusaka was done. In this plan Lusaka was intended to be a garden city with small cities linked with good transport network. As years past by, as the councils argues, squatters started settling in these areas.

A great deal of research has been done in the area of Urban and Peri-urban agriculture in Lusaka. Some of the topic include:

· Bowa et al 1979 The Gardening in the city. · Jaeger et al (1986) The Garden city of Lusaka: · Rakodi Carol (1985) Self reliance or survival? Food production in African cities with particular reference to Lusaka · Sanyal B (1987) Urban Agriculture: A strategy for survival · Drescher A. W. (1994) Urban agriculture in the seasonal tropics of central Africa - A case study of Lusaka/Zambia · Drescher A. W. (1997) Management Strategies in African Home gardens and the need for new extension approaches. · Drescher A. W. (1998) Urban Microfarming Southern Africa - Opportunities and Constraints. · Drescher A. W. and P Muwowo (1999) Environmental Problems and Gardening in Urban and Peri-Urban areas of Lusaka In Insight-Lusaka city News. · Drescher A W (1999) Gardening on Garbage Opportunity or Threat?

Note: I cannot write more details because I am using Dial up network.

These and many more have been done to illustrate the magnitude of this activity in Lusaka. Needless to say that many people look at this activity differently. Some Politicians have been trying to facilitate change in the federal laws which prohibit this activity (Urban agriculture). Although this is so growing of maize is done with fears as the councils throughout the country threaten to cut down the maize because it is believed that Maize create an enabling environment for mosquitoes breeding.

Last year there was an interesting event. For those who have been to Lusaka will recall that the area between Chainama College and NRDC along Great East road was an open space. This is now a Presidential Housing Initiative (PHI) site. When The Project was commissioned, The areas had maize crops. This ment that if the project had to takeoff, they had to start by clearing/destroying the maize. A crop damage assessment was done and the owners of the fields were compensated. This to me was an indication that the Politicians acknowledged the importance the urban farmers attached to this activity and the investment they had put in in terms of inputs.

As I indicated earlier, People view this activity differently. The rich or the well to do have little or no regard for Urban and Peri-Urban activities because the buy all the vegetable and fruits from the Supermarkets. On the other hand, The poor do gardening as a survival strategy.

This activity contributes very much to the nutrition of the families. Apart from the vitamins for the vegetables, most women buy Milk, Eggs, Milk and other things like medicines and clothes after their sales. Some people in Lusaka keep up to 500 Chickens in their backyards while some keep Goats and Sheep (Small livestock) as income generating activities. As a result of the laws and policies in place, The District Veterinary Office does not have statistics of small livestock in Lusaka.

The Papers/Case studies cover a wide range of topics (Health, Solid Waste management, Planning, Extension Dynamics, Nutrition, Household Food security, Marketing and many more) and provide a number of possible recommendations and solutions. There has been no opportunity to bring together all the stake-holder to discuss these issues of Urban Agriculture. I am therefore requesting from anyone who has information about Organisation or Institution who can assist to bring the stake-holder together.

A gathering like this will, in my view, bring together people with different views, backgrounds and professions who will in turn share ideas and plan how to include urban agriculture in the cities of Zambia. I believe that this could be the only way in which people attitude towards urban agriculture can be changed.

Paul Muwowo 

Tel: +260-1-312058 (Home) 
Extension Methodologist 
Tel: +260-1-311148 (Fax) 
Department of Field Services 
E-mail: pmuwowo@coppernet.zm Ministry Of Agric., Food and Fisheries. 
Box 370189 Kafue Lusaka Province Zambia
 
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From: Mike Levenston [cityfarm@interchange.ubc.ca
Sent: 24 September 2000 18:18 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: City's Best Food Garden Contest

Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Michael Levenston

Dear Participants in the discussion group on UPA, Household Food Security and Nutrition,

Our non-profit organization, City Farmer in Vancouver, Canada, has just completed our first "Best Food Garden in the City Contest". The idea came late in the season but still captured the imagination of the public and the media. I have included below an article from a local paper which touches on some of the issues this group has been discussing such as "contributing to urban food supply", "nutrition considerations" and "promoting UPA".

sincerely 

Michael Levenston 
http://www.cityfarmer.org

GARDENERS WHO GET IT RIPE

By Angela Murrills The Georgia Straight Sept 21-28, 2000

Lawns are yawns. Grass is passé. That's the message coming out of a recent contest masterminded by City Farmer, a nonprofit urban agriculture group that set out this summer to uncover the best food gardens in Vancouver. The contest attracted only 26 entrants, but, organizers say, the idea came late in the season evolving from earlier efforts to organize a food-garden tour. Entries revealed that gardeners are modest folk: many competitors (including all the winners) were nominated by their neighbours. Gardeners are also proud folk: arriving unannounced, with only a street number to guide them, the City Farmer judges soon found themselves being guided through the greenery, says program coordinator Spring Gillard, and in one case they were even fed chicory, harvested on the spot, rushed to the kitchen, cooked, and drizzled with oil and vinegar.

How space was utilized, crop diversity, whether or not there was a composting system, overall health of the vegetation, and visual appeal, plus "an emotional response that's hard to grade", all influenced the marks allotted. Only the narrowest of margins separated the three winners: Rocco Calogero, Manuel Arruda, and Tarcisio Pasetto.

Filled with, at different times, chicory, radicchio, basil, tomatoes, kiwis, figs, grapes, prunes, pears, and corn, Calogero's garden occupies two back yards and much of the front yard. It produces something different every week, says his daughter Lucy: "[My father] has been growing vegetables since he moved from Italy over 30 years ago. My mother makes enough tomato sauce for the family year-round, and sends some to my sister in Victoria."

In second place was Manuel Arruda, whose garden includes an orangery with oranges, lemons, tangerines, and guavas all flourishing; three different pear varieties on one tree (many food gardeners graft); and a thicket of densely planted beans. The Pasetto garden includes, according to Gillard, "what looked like a field of radicchio. He eats salad twice a day, and says, 'Some people watch TV 16 hours a day. I garden.' " An honourable mention went to graduate student, farm activist, and UBC Farm caretaker Derek Masselin for his personal garden on the UBC campus. (Tours of his garden are available weekdays. Organizers hope winner's gardens will form a larger tour next year.)

Entrants spanned socioeconomic, ethnic, and geographic boundaries. A new Canadian family on the East Side raises the "three sisters" - beans, squash, and corn - all ripening companionably together. A doctor in Shaughnessy grows salsify, Jerusalem artichokes, and a guerrilla squash that climbs from his compost bin and clambers over the garage roof. A Kitsilano roof garden rewards its owner with cucumbers, chard, arugula, basil, and heirloom tomatoes, all grown in containers.

For many, moving away from the traditional grass lawn is a health issue; for some, it's a way of socializing. "A lot of gardeners use their front yards [for food gardens]," Gillard says. "They're not hidden away at the back." And a front yard bursting with tomatoes is a topic ripe for conversation.

Vancouver's food gardeners also get marks for environmental awareness. All entrants practise composting and organic growing, and many have water-collection systems. Conscious of the ongoing wheel of the seasons, all routinely save their own vegetable seeds for the following year.

 Michael Levenston, 

Executive Director 
City Farmer - Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture #801-318 
Homer Street, 
Vancouver, BC V6B 2V3 
Canada Phone: (604) 685-5832 F
ax: (604) 685-0431 http://www.cityfarmer.org 

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From: Isabel Madaleno [isabel-madaleno@clix.pt
Sent: 25 September 2000 12:51 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org Subject: Session Three
Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Isabel Madaleno

Dear All, Fantástico el trabajo de CEDICAR en ciudad de México, divulgado por Francisco Arroyo. Gracias!

Gracias a ti también, Carlos Barrios, por tu aclarada contribución e a Alain Santandreu por tu lucida sistematización de este tema, así como por tus referencias a la AU en Montevideo.

My name is Isabel Maria Madaleno, a Ph. D. in Geography and a research scientist with the Portuguese Tropical Institute. Previously I’ve been involved in two Brazilian UA projects, from 1998 onwards. For the last three weeks I was in Mozambique starting a 3rd project on UPA and urban poverty. That’s why I didn’t participate in the second session. So Sorry!

The answer to the questions of our third and final session, are:

1.What actions have really worked to improve production of UPA and food security contribution of this production?
i)A positive attitude towards UPA from local governments, in legal terms, especially regarding land tenure;
ii)Creation of extension services engaged with helping/teaching urban gardeners and farmers ;
iii)Promotion of cooperatives of producers and/or commercialisation of UA food produce, especially if it’s an action taken by the national government rather than by municipal authorities.

<Please offer specific examples of innovations and reasons for success or failure of these actions>

i)and ii)In Brazil, the municipality of Belém and the Pará state government sponsor and strongly support a green belt development area, on public land located in the Northern islands of Outeiro and Mosqueiro, where vegetables, fruits and the raising of chickens and ducks are widely stimulated. The municipal government has resettled entire families on public land (not many, I should say), they gave them inputs, technical assistance and they keep monitoring their work.

That’s may be the reason why it’s working.

I have, though, a negative example:

An agronomist (?) from Belém Wholesalers Market, located in a peripheral neighbourhood, proposed, in the early nineties, that idle land existent close to the market should be used by the “Carapirãs”, meaning the garbage collectors that daily wander around the installations, anxious to get refuse they eat (or even sell). That’s rotten tomatoes, old lettuce leaves, cassava improper to more wealthy consumers, etc.

Market director “lent him” the land, tools, even suitable clothes and hats for the “newly elected farmers”, and the brave heart agronomist taught them how to grow vegetables. In a very few months, all of them, kids, adults, old people, male and female, had fled from the “farm”.

The reasons were several: the job was heavy; they were not used to agriculture (they were “urban people”); results of that activity were slow; they didn’t like to work for others, they preferred their independence, etc.

Moral of this story:

(Please Marielle Dubbeling, don’t show this short story to your boss, nice Yves Cabannes, he, and you of course, is (are) doing an excellent job on UPA promotion in Latin America, with the PGU. We don´t want him unhappy, right?)

In the S.Paulo state town of Presidente Prudente, the municipality has been engaged with a project called “Feed Prudente”. Agriculture related municipal services stimulate non-built plots occupation with vegetable gardens by low-income families, especially because the municipality lacks funds to clean and maintain those public areas. They also give legal advice to the families that want to farm private land, securing rent contracts with the owners. I found that job a remarkable one. Additionally, extension services lend or give away inputs like ploughing machines, seeds and water pumps.

In my survey, strolling around peripheral neighbourhoods, talking to people with my tediously inquisitive mood, I found several examples of urban farmers that started being sponsored by the local authorities and now are on their own and doing (apparently) well.

In my poor judgment I consider that the real success.

As to Mozambique:

iii)In 1974, after the Carnage Revolution in Portugal, white farmers fled from their “quintas” in the outskirts of Maputo. Independence of Mozambique came soon after.

Poor African women then occupied the farms and started growing food.

(Why only women? In Central and Southern Mozambique, agriculture is a female task/activity, just like raising kids or cooking and washing. Males are fishermen, they can raise cattle, built up houses and go to RSA to the gold mines. But they would never grow food. We miss an anthropologist in this debate, don’t we Rachel Nugent?)

Well, these women were not very successful.

So, in the early eighties, the Mozambican government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, created a cabinet to assist the women farmers from Maputo’s green belt. They gave them inputs and technical assistance. And they stimulated them to organize themselves in cooperatives of production, growing food in common land, through communitarian work (that was very natural because we are talking about a communist regime, those days).

Cooperatives grew around Maputo.
Then they were united in one General Cooperatives Union.
An Italian Catholic priest took the lead of the movement. And it started working…

Nowadays they are no longer sponsored or receive any sort of help from the government. Neo-liberalism imperates. Mozambican government lets the market function. They have no intervention on it (apparently).

Of course competition is stiff. Supermarkets, restaurants and hotels in Maputo prefer to import everything from South Africa, rather than buying from cooperatives or national farmers of any sort. Especially from rural areas, because roads are so lousy, that one saves money from getting produce from Jo-burg instead of travelling something like 50Km to Marracuene district (North of Maputo) to get the food. So, they say, South African goods are safer, cheaper, they taste better, they are cleaner and the supply is far more regular.

In spite of all this, the cooperatives of Maputo can still be considered a success:
They have around 6 200 members, they occupy 2 100 ha around Maputo (and now the land belongs to the UA women farmer families, not to the government, nor the GCU). See how small the plots are?
They raise chickens, they grow vegetables, fruit trees (especially cashew and citrus), corn, beans, cassava, and other subsistence crops together with market-orientated ones.
 
Dear participants, please do not get the wrong impression. They are a success, yes! But for how long? Sometimes they receive funds from the EU, NGO’s, etc. They need them. The nice thing about the cooperatives was that unlike the rest of the people I found elsewhere in Mozambique (forgive me Mozambicans) they did not beg for money. They are proud of their achievements.
In the February/March floods, everybody saw on T.V., some associates living in lower areas lost their houses and their land was flooded. The GCU took the matter as a priority. They are all resettled now. And they are all working. All well fed. That Italian priest deserves a statue! I wonder why the media never talk about him…
(Please do not use this data. I’m writing a paper on Mozambique. I just need some more time. I need to look upon my notes; to give the country and its lovely people some distance; and to give myself some rest too. Then I might be able to write something useful using my head and not my heart. Otherwise it wouldn’t be Science, don’t you agree?)

2.Which steps are most important in implementing UPA projects?

I believe I answered this question already. But I have a theory:

Regarding developing countries, instead of giving away food through UN organizations and NGO’s, might be more suitable to give away land (first), then seeds, technical advice, subsidies to farmer cooperatives, groups of women, unemployed people, in order to stimulate self-respect, give the poor people some aim in life and hence give them dignity.

We know it’s easier to canalise our food surplus to poor countries, because we feel good and altruistic, and may be our accountancy in God’s books will improve. Reality is we are changing developing countries diet, as Drakakis-Smith very well pointed out in his papers, and Tanya Bower-Bower also emphasised about Fiji (1/9/2000 e-mail).

In reality we are perpetuating urban poverty, their dependency from us, more developed ones (I’m including Portugal. It’s amazing!), we wealthy producers of processed foods, and in general keeping food prices up, so that our EU, USA, etc farmers get the right profit (they are, I do not discuss that, entitled to profit, once they are so productive and so good in the agro-business).

Remember you people from FAO, when highly nutritious biscuits were thrown from planes on East-Timor mountain forests, last year? The people was hungry, so we all tried to help. Result was they all got sick. They were not used to such heavy meals. Why is that we western culture individuals keep trying to impose our standards and our ways? We must observe more, listen more, register more, think much more about poverty and UPA issues, when we aren’t working in our own countries.

Might be we would learn, not teach…

3.Do you have project ideas to propose?
Oh, YES!
<Are you seeking collaborators?>
Wherever I go, I always find wonderful collaborators. I consider it a God’s gift, once I’m so lousy in human relations. So, it must be a miracle (I’m not kidding).
Still, it doesn’t hurt if somebody out there from Africa, particularly, wants to work with me.
Remember this: people never work for me. They work with me.

<Do you have research you want to publish?>

I´m writing a paper called “Alleviating Poverty in Maputo, Mozambique”.
I would love if some editor out there feels courageous enough to give that paper a chance…
Ah! I’m also finishing the candidature to funds from our Science Ministry to publish a book called: “Saberes e Sabores da Amazónia Brasileira: Agricultura Urbana em Belém do Pará”
something like “Knowledge and tastes from Brazilian Amazonia: Urban Agriculture in Belém, Pará State”.
If I fail to get the funds, it will remain unpublished material, because it has far too many colour pictures and maps, and the editor told me it would be too expensive for him.

<Do you need contact information about individuals, organisations or donors working in UPA?>

You are far too generous to us.
Organizing this conference was already a big help. A big jump ahead.
But I wouldn´t mind to know a bit more about Africa, with your help.
I’ve lived there for 17 years (and I never had a farm…)
But I’m still so ignorant about that fantastic continent!

<Let us know what you need and share what you’re doing>

Again, you shouldn’t ask.
All I need is money for my Mozambican project!
And I’ve at least seven more projects in my mind.
They all lack money.
But, don’t we all?

4.Which important issues remain undiscussed?

The heavy constrains market orientated UPA faces in an era of globalization. Several colleagues have written about that, but one should discuss more openly why some national governments and a wide number of corporations are against UPA, vis a vis the demands of a very competitive market, making them appalled with such a minor business, uninterested with small scale production, particularly when and because the stubborn producers are so close to the consumers with the best acquisitive power, the urban populations.

This is not an anti-globalization statement nor a persecution complex. This is a macroeconomic issue. I welcome feedback to this contribution.

Isabel Maria Madaleno 

Ph:351-21-8126329 Fax:351-21-3150235 
e-mail:Isabel-Madaleno@clix.pt

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From: Cheikh Mohamed El Hafed Ould Dehah [dehah@univ-nkc.mr
Sent: 26 September 2000 12:33 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 

Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Cheikh Mohamed El Hafed Ould Dehah

Chers Participants 

Je m'excuse de ce silence dû à des impératifs de dernières minutes  m'ayant conduit à l'intérieur du pays.  De la lecture des deux résumés de session je me rend compte de  l'intensité et de la profondeur des discussions et je m'en félicite  surtout que pour ma part j'ai beaucoup appris.   1. J'aimerai revenir encore une fois sur l'impact de l'AUP en terme de  sécurité alimentaire des ménages. En effet l'expérience montre qu'en  Mauritanie l'AUP a été pour beaucoup dans ce que l'on pourrait  désigner de "Déviation Positive" en terme d'habitude alimentaire et  que personnellement je mettrais sur le compte de l'introduction de  l'AUP comme activité de routine au sein d'une certaine tranche de la  population localisée dans les zones urbaines, péri-urbaines et  semi-rurales du pays (autours des oasis et des ceintures vertes)  De par sa nature nomade (pour une grande majorité de la population  mauritanienne) l'Homos mauritanis sur le plan nutrition etait pendant  une longue période des plus suffisant se limitant à une alimentation  monotone à base de viande, lait, datte, orge et mil et plus récemment  riz et blé (conditionnement aide alimentaire faisant pour ce  dernier durant sécheresse 1973) avec généralement le même type de plat  au déjeuner (céréale + viande) et le même au dinner (céréale + lait).  A y voir de prés aucune trace de produits maraîchers ou fruitiers. Et  même jusqu'aprés introduction de l'AUP rare était ceux qui en  consommaient en terme de suffisance. Par exemple il y'a juste une  décennie les services du Ministère de la santé furent appréhendés pour  une forte prévalence de la xérophtalmie au sein d'une population en  zone semi-rurale.Cependant que ne fut leur surprise que pour la même  période cette même zone enregistrait une production record de  carotte.Aprés une petite enquète ils se sont rendu compte que pour la  majorioté de la production c'était destiné au bétail question  d'habitude alimentaire.  En fait l'AUP comme je l'ai rappelé dans une contribution précédente  (malgrés toutes les imperfections que l'on puisse relever en terme  d'hygiène, de problèmes fonciers, de la fluctuation des revenus...)  est pour beaucoup dans cette déviance positive des habitudes  culinaires en Mauritanie.Et rien que pour celà devrait bénéficier de  plus d'attention de la part des bailleurs de fond et des partenaires  au développement.Elle représente aussi un crénaux porteur en terme de  lutte contre la pauvreté dans nos pays du sahel car à incidence  directe sur les conditions de vie de nos populations.   2. J'ai eu à participer à la mise en place d'un projet de nutrition  communautaire en Mauritanie sur financement IDA avec comme  alternative- test pour une réduction de la prévalence de la  malnutrition au sein de la tranche de 0 à 3 ans en milieu péri-urbain  de Nouakchott et Nouadhibou l'utilisation du réseau coopératives  féminines (les femmes étant dans nos coutimes les plus concernées par  tout ce qui touche à la nutrition au sein du ménage. D'une part le  projet leur finance un micro-projet généralement ayant un impact sur  l'amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire des ménages et d'autre part  les femmes des coopérative s'engagent sous la supervision des  structures sanitaires et avec l'appui d'une ONG à suivre un programme  d'éducation nutritionnelle, de suivi régulier de la croissance des  enfants et autres activités du même ordre. Et lors d'une enquète pour  déterminer les crénaux porteur il s'est avéré que pour une grande part  elles solicitaient le financement d'activités de maraîchage car  génératrice de revenus mais surtout améliorant pour beaucoup la valeur  nutritionnelle des plats familiaux donc impact sur sécurité  alimentaire des ménages garantie.

3. Je pense que pour nous en tout cas pays du sahel l'AUP doit bénéficier de plus d'attention de la part des décideurs et en faire une véritable stratégie de développement ceci sur plusieurs plans :-le financement -l'amélioration des techniques de culture et de conservation -l'aspect foncier -la commercialisation -l'encadrement -les taxes et autres frais du même genre -l'hygiène des produits et la salubrité des zones de culture

Cheikh Mohamed El hafed Ould Dehah 

Professeur de Nutrition 
Université de Nouakchott 
E-mail : dehah@univ-nkc.mr

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From: Lena Jarlov [lena.jarlov@dfr.se
Sent: 27 September 2000 00:44 
To: Nugent, Rachel (ESAC) 
Subject: Permaculture

Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Lena Jarlov

Dear participants! 

Now. when this interesting conference soon will come to the end, I will take the chance and recommend "Permaculture" as a fruitful way of thinking, designing and acting for food production in urban and peri-urban areas (as well as in the countryside). For those who do not know "Permaculture", I will shortly tell you a little about it: The concept of "Permaculture" was evolved by Bill Molison and David Holmgren at the University of Tasmania in the 1970'es. It is a framework for a sustainable agricultural system based on a multi-crop of perennial trees, shrubs, herbs (vegetables and weeds), fungi and root systems. It developed as a design system which combined architecture with biology, agriculture with forestry, and forestry with animal husbandry wwhere the priciples from natural, ecological systems are used. From the beginning "Permaculture" meant a beneficial assembly of plants and animals in relation to human settlements, mostly aimed towards household and community self-reliance. Succesively it has developed as a design method, which includes as well appropriate legal and financial strategies, including strategies for land access, business structures, and regional self-financing. It is a whole human design system. Today there is a global network of people, organised in the Permaculture Association. The activities of the local and regional groups around the world differ according to the economical and biological conditions of the country and wether it is working in rural or urban areas. One of the most interesting activities based on the "Permaculture" philosophy, which I have met, is in the district of Teyateyaneng in Lesotho. It is food production on the schoolyards, both in peri-urban and rural areas. The activity started about eight years ago by a teacher, Molly Lethela, who realised that many of the children who came to the school could not concentrate and do well because of bad nutrition. So she decided to try to achieve a meal of food for them every day. To afford that, she had to start growing vegetables on the schoolyard. Then she came into contact with the "Permaculture" ideas from a person in Botswana, who inspired her to developed an integrated food producing system with chickens, pigs, vegetables and fruits and to use water saving systems and constructions to collect rainwater. Many parents became involved and they even helped the school to keep some cows. The idea spread to other schools in the district, and Molly Lethela and her group travelled around and teached other school people how to do. Even the government of Lesotho started to become interested. I first met Molly on a "Permaculture" conference in Copenhagen in Denmark in 1994, and in 1998 I visited her in Lesotho. Then it had not rained for three months and most of the fields in the countryside were brown. But the schoolyards and Mollys own garden were green because of the watersaving methods and the integrated growing systems. In Port Elizabeth in South Africa, were I worked for a short time in 1998 with urban agriculture in connection to a comprehensive urban plan, I saw many schoolyards were the parents were growing vegetables. The schoolyards often have fences and lots of space, which the schools cannot afford to use as sports fields even if they would like to, so the parents can have it. I also met some people there who had heard about "Permaculture" and were interested to learn more about it. In Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries, "Permaculture" mostly is a sort of ideology for people who want to change the prevailing wasteful lifestyle into a more responsible and sustainable one by reducing the use of energy and other resources by local ecological food producction in urbans areas as well as in the countryside. In Copenhagen in Denmark, the local "Permaculture Association" has designed a food garden on a rented piece of land outside the city, and has organised a group of unemployed urban dwellers, who go there regularly by a common bus and grow vegetables. This association also works with design ideas to develop cooperation between cities and the countryside, as a city alone never can be sustainable in itself. Specially for people in developing countries, I think "Permaculture" really can mean a lot for bettering the living conditions and in the long run for survival as it combines very practical ecological methods of intensive growing, collecting and saving water etc with a deep conciousness oflong-term responsibility of life on earth. Those who do not already know about "Permaculture" can read "Introduction to Permaculture" by Bill Mollison, Tagari Publications, PO Box !, Tyalgum NSW 2484, Australia. Tel (066)79-3442, Fax (066) 79-3567. You can also look for permaculture at Internet, and you will find lots of information.

Best wishes Lena Jarlöv 

Dalarna Research Institute 
PO Box 743, 
79129 Falun, 
Sweden. 
e-mail lena.jarlov@dfr.se

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From: Oleg Moldakov [moldakov@mailbox.alkor.ru
Sent: 28 September 2000 21:49 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
 
Subject: Urban-Food/ session three/ contribution from Oleg Moldakov

I 'd like to answer last questions of a conference and say my words of thanks to all participants and moderators for their contribution and work

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.

The majority of the urban farmers are united in gardening companies and dacha cooperative societies. The infrastructure (transmission line, roads. shops) is created in territories of these associations.

There are special routes of buses and suburban trains organized on time of summer agricultural works. Free-of-charge travel for the pensioners exists due to urban budget special line. The city agricultural wholesaler centers are organized and they are ready to buy production from gardeners if he/she don’t want to sale or pressed with time. 5 % of territories of all food markets/marketplace are given up under trade zones only for the urban farmers,

In the House of the Gardener the urban farmers can receive the following free-of-charge advices/consultations:

a.. On technologies of cultivation of vegetables and fruit, b.. On fire-prevention safety, c.. Legal advices related to land issues, d.. Advices for the chairmen of community gardens and bookkeepers on the financial reporting Positive actions of urban administration for urban farmers is connected with attempts to weaken social intensity, compensate the low income of the pensioners and mid generations, which could not adapt themselves to the new economic system. City authorities and legislative assembly’ participants try to reach positive image before any level election and get support of urban agriculture practitioners as most active voters

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?

In Russia modern reality it is most important for the urban farmers to find influential federal level political or non-government organization or movement, where associations / the unions of the urban farmers could have the status of the associated members. We need more units as organized urban farmers to enter into such organization, for more substantial. political weight and level of influence on this Party or movements and on city/ regional policy and politics. City and regional level Associations / Unions of the urban farmers invite VIPs from city authorities to their congresses / a conference. At such meetings/congreesses the basic problems of the urban farmers are stated , the programs of support of the gardeners are offered, the plans of development and ways how to solve problems presented to city administration and administration presents yes or no arguments . Then appropriate policy and administrative decisions might release by means of action plan and development programs preparation of City O fice on Development of Gardening .

Warm regards

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

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

From: Mike Levenston [cityfarm@interchange.ubc.ca
Sent: 28 September 2000 23:38 
To: Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: 3 stories from Canada

Urban Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Mike Levenston

Dear Participants in the discussion group on UPA, Household Food Security and Nutrition,

First of all: This has been a wonderful Virtual Conference on UPA and congratulations must go to the Conference moderation team including Axel Drescher (University of Freiburg/FAO), Rachel Nugent (FAO), Henk de Zeeuw (ETC). Three cheers!!!

Secondly: City Farmer (http://www.cityfarmer.org) would like to share with you three interesting Canadian stories we are following. The first takes place in Inuvik, a tiny town north of the Arctic Circle, where residents have built a community greenhouse to grow hard-to-get fresh vegetables; the second looks at urban farming with native plant species that were traditionally used by Canadian aboriginal peoples as food sources; and the third concentrates on Urban Agriculture in Winnipeg, a prairie city surrounded by farmland.

1. Community Garden Society of Inuvik, North West Territories

Inivik, which means "Living Place" in Inuvialuktun, is a town of 3200 in the upper corner of our North West Territories. It enjoys 56 days of twenty-four hours of daylight (late June, July and part of August) and has 30 days without sunlight mostly in the month of December. Native languages spoken include Inuvialuktun, Gwich'in, North Slavey.

"We have a very large community greenhouse that houses over 75 raised planters for local gardeners to rent for the season. We also have a commercial greenhouse attached where we grow bedding plants for sale and hydroponic veggies. Produce is very expensive up here and usually of poor quality so this gives residents the option to grow their own in the summer months. This is our first year of operation and we've had good results. Pretty cool for being above the Arctic Circle, don't you think?"

***This story will be up on our web site in the coming weeks.***

2. Native Crops Project, Greater Victoria, British Columbia

"The Native Crops Project proposes that unique and value-added products can be realized by farming with native plant species that were traditionally used by First Nations as food sources. With the added implementation of a Demonstration/Ethnobotanical Garden, educational and interpretive sessions can discuss the benefits, agricultural uses, and cultural history of native site-adapted plants.

"Traditional food plants of this region were once used extensively by First Nations people and to a lesser degree by early settlers. However, their use quickly declined with the rapid influx of non-native species from the Old World and South and Central America. This current lack of representation in the food market is by no means due to any natural deficiency, on the contrary, there is a wealth of healthy, flavourful, and unique food items waiting to realize their potential once again. Indeed, it is surprising that of the herbaceous plant species native to North America, historically, very few have been considered for widespread consumption-with the notable exception of the sunflower. The question remains as to why there has never been a systematic, large-scale search for crop plants within Canada.

"This trend has been changing of recent, as see with the popularity of the eastern cranberry and blueberry, and now is an opportune time for some forward thinking and fresh ideas."

***The complete story by Tatiana Montgomery can be found here:*** http://cityfarmer.org/nativecrops.html#native

3. Winnipeg Urban Agriculture - Case Studies

"Four case studies were chosen to investigate different forms of Urban Agriculture - rooftop gardens, greenhouse/hydroponics, allotment gardens and community gardens.

"Growing Prospects Inc.(GPI) is an excellent case study to demonstrate the potential for greenhouse/hydroponics systems within the city. ... by growing one product, people's lives can be improved through learning and employment. Urban Agriculture activity in 3,000 square feet of growing space is changing the lives of inner-city unemployed youth with training and future job potential. The profits of GPI contribute to youth projects in the inner city, furthering its importance as a business and as a way to improve the situations of many."

***This report will be up on our web site in the coming weeks. "Manifestations of Community Based Agriculture in the Urban Landscape: A Canadian Compendium and Four Winnipeg Case Studies" By Emma Hall Paper submitted for degree of Master of Landscape Architect, 2000***

sincerely,

Mike

Michael Levenston, 

Executive Director City Farmer - Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture 
#801-318 Homer Street, Vancouver, 
BC V6B 2V3 Canada 
Phone: (604) 685-5832 
Fax: (604) 685-0431
 http://www.cityfarmer.org

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

From: Gez Cornish <gac@hrwallingford.co.uk>
Sent: 29 September 2000 05:01 
To: 'urban-food-l@mailserv.fao.org' 

Urban-Food-L/Session Three/ Contribution from Gez Cornish

In response to item 3 of the third session "share what you are doing", I have only just signed on to the conference and this contribution might have been more useful in the first session when basic facts and data were being shared - who is involved, primary purpose, extent of activity etc. However, better late than never.

As far as I am aware (and I invite correction from other participants) very little has been said about the contribution of irrigation in enhancing the levels of production seen in peri-urban agriculture. HR Wallingford, with funding from the British Government's Dept for International Development, has been carrying out research to quantify the nature, and extent of and constraints to irrigated peri-urban agriculture in Nairobi, Kenya and Kumasi, Ghana. Our partners in Nairobi have been the Smallholder Irrigation Scheme Development Organisation; in Kumasi, the Institute of Land Management and Development at the University of Science and Technology.

The following three reports (summarised below) describe the findings of the work so far. The full reports can be downloaded from:

http://www.hrwallingford.co.uk/dissemination/reports/catchments.html#DFI Drep orts

The reports are:

1. INFORMAL IRRIGATION IN THE PERI-URBAN ZONE OF KUMASI, GHANA. FINDINGS FROM AN INITIAL QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY

OD/TN 97 March 2000

Describes the findings from a questionnaire survey conducted in 64 villages and urban sites within a 40km radius of Kumasi. Information is presented on:

The role and extent of informal irrigation 11,500 ha under irrigation in the study area with a large increase in activity in the last 10 years.

Irrigation characteristics A range of irrigation practices exists. Perennial rivers are the most widely used single source but the use of shallow dug outs and water from stream pools are almost equally widespread. There is no evidence of gravity irrigation. For the majority of farmers (73%) water must be carried from source to field. 24% of farmers make regular or occasional use of a motorised pump.

The total numbers of men and women providing labour for watering are approximately equal but a much higher percentage of the women are paid for their labour. Women are often paid to carry water over a considerable distance from source to field-side where the water is temporarily stored in a 200 litre oil drum. The farmer himself will then fill a bucket, tin or watering can from the oil drum and apply water to the crop.

Equipment hire of high value items such as motorised pumps and sprayer and knapsack sprayers is relatively widespread, confirming that DSVP is a remunerative activity, well established in the cash economy of the region.

Water cost The price for water paid by pump owners, and those paying labourers on a daily basis are roughly equal at about $US 125 over a 4 month season. Those hiring pumps pay approximately 2 ½ times more. Those paying for water per barrel may pay $US 480 over a season, almost 4 times that paid by those hiring day labour or by pump owners.

Constraints The shortage or unavailability of credit is the outstanding constraint identified by all farmers, irrespective of their irrigation method. For the majority of farmers reliant on manually carried water, access to water ranks as the second greatest constraint after credit. Amongst farmers reporting water as a constraint 72% identified the effort or cost involved in obtaining water as being the limiting factor. Only 28% referred to scarcity of water at the source.

2. INFORMAL IRRIGATION IN THE PERI-URBAN ZONE OF NAIROBI, KENYA FINDINGS FROM AN INITIAL QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY

OD/TN 98 MARCH 2000

Describes the findings from a questionnaire survey conducted within a 20km radius of Nairobi. In summary:

Over 3,700 farmers carry out irrigation within a 20 km radius of Nairobi cultivating over 2,000 ha in more than 55 separate locations.

For 86% of the farmers, irrigation provides the main source of income for the household and for two-thirds it is the sole source of income. Nearly two-thirds of the farmers questioned were women. Incomes are lower in the more urban locations where land holdings tend to be smaller and land tenure is less secure.

Three-quarters of farmers rely on a single plot with an average size of 0.5 ha. Plots are owned by 31% of farmers and rented by 19% whilst 39% of the farmers questioned admitted to being squatters on government or Nairobi City Council land. Despite the high proportion of people having no right to the land they are farming, only one farmer reported harassment.

Over 50 different crops are grown ranging from local subsistence crops such as maize and kales, through to exotic vegetables such as celery and Chinese cabbage. The most widely grown crops are kales, tomatoes, cabbage and spinach. Average total gross income from crops is $883 per farm. It is estimated that irrigated production within the 20 km radius produces crops worth over $3.2 million per year. Yields are generally low compared to what can be expected for irrigated production.

A wide variety of water sources are used. 56% use rivers and streams, 36% raw sewage water and 6% piped city council water. Availability of water and poor water quality is ranked as the primary constraint to irrigation. The most common method used to convey water to farmers' fields is by gravity channel. Pumps are used by 38% of farmers whilst 26% carry water manually to their plots. Water is applied using furrows and basins by 39% of farmers, watering cans and buckets by 31%, hoses by 25% and fixed sprinklers by 8%.

3. WATER QUALITY AND PERI-URBAN IRRIGATION AN ASSESSMENT OF SURFACE WATER QUALITY FOR IRRIGATION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMAN HEALTH IN THE PERI-URBAN ZONE OF KUMASI, GHANA

OD / TN 95 SEPTEMBER 1999

Peri-urban farmers using water from streams downstream of urban centres are re-using urban wastewater. As this water is often polluted with untreated municipal and industrial effluents there is a potential threat to health of both consumers and irrigators. The study brings together knowledge relating to wastewater reuse for agriculture, and applies it in the context of uncontrolled, informal, smallholder irrigation in the peri-urban zone of Kumasi, Ghana.

Work was carried out in two phases:

A literature review on wastewater re-use, particularly as it relates to uncontrolled use of polluted water for informal irrigation in the peri-urban zone of African cities. A review of water quality data obtained from past studies carried out in the Kumasi peri-urban zone, supplemented by a targeted water quality sampling programme to give a first indication of the physical, chemical and microbiological quality of waters used for irrigation.

The report draws the following conclusions:

  i) The Engelberg Guidelines for microbiological quality of wastewater use for irrigation are intended as a guide for the design of treatment plants, not as quality surveillance norms.
ii) Monitoring for the presence of intestinal nematode eggs is too complex and time consuming to be adopted as a routine procedure where resources are limited.
iii) Levels of microbiological pollution at all sites monitored downstream of Kumasi exceed FAO guidelines for unrestricted irrigation. Rivers upstream are relatively clean.
iv) There is no evidence of significant pollution with heavy metals or other chemical pollutants that pose a threat to irrigated cropping.
v) Water salinity does not pose a threat to crop production in this area.
vi) Shallow wells do not always offer a cleaner water source than surface streams and rivers.
vii) It may be possible to show that with simple precautions shallow wells provide water of a much higher quality than river water in the Sisa and Oda downstream of Kumasi. (This is a practical area of intervention but one requiring further study before firm recommendations can be made.)
vii) The relative risk to consumers resulting from wastewater irrigation and the misuse of agrochemicals remains unclear.
viii) The data set brought together by this study provides a baseline against which future trends can be compared.

The present phase of the project is concluding in March 2001 when a 3 day regional workshop on irrigation and peri-urban agriculture is taking place in Kumasi, Ghana. If conference participants are interested in receiving more details of that workshop or wish to receive the proceedings, please contact me.

Gez Cornish

HR Wallingford, Howbery Park, Wallingford, Oxon,UK, OX10 8BA tel: +44 (0)1491-822441 fax: +44 (0)1491 826352 email: gac@hrwallingford.co.uk http://www.hrwallingford.co.uk

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From: Silvana Mariani <smariani@inta.gov.ar
Sent: 29 September 2000 05:28 
To: 'urban-food-l@mailserv.fao.org

Urban-Food-L/Session Three/ Contribution from Silvana Mariani

Estimados compañeros: Por diversas razones he estado siguiendo la conferencia de manera interrumpida, pero no quisiera que finalice sin brindar un pequeño comentario acerca de las experiencias en las que he trabajado. Mi nombre es Silvana Mariani, soy Ingeniera Agrónoma y trabajo en AUP en 6 localidades pequeñas de la región centro de Argentina, de las cuales, la más poblada tiene 25.000 habitantes, el resto menos de 8.000, y en otro proyecto de reciclado de residuos sólidos urbanos que se lleva a cabo en 55 municipios de diversas provincias del país, abarcando en este caso una población mucho mayor. En particular en AUP, nuestro trabajo consiste en el apoyo de familias desempleadas o sub-ocupadas que se encuentran en riesgo económico y social, pero además también a otros grupos de minoridad en riesgo o jubilados que en nuestro país están pasando por malos momentos. No otorgamos subsidios sino herramientas de trabajo como son las semillas para huertas. Generalmente estos grupos padecen no sólo carencias económico-sociales-afectivas sino también problemas nutricionales debidos al exceso de consumo de carnes rojas fundamentalmente por una cuestión cultural. Realizamos la entrega de semillas de especies hortícolas para ser sembradas en terrenos baldíos o en los patios de las mismas familias. En principio se realiza un relevamiento de los posibles terrenos a utilizar que estén en condiciones de ser prestados y luego se convoca a quienes están interesados en trabajarlos. Cabe aclarar que en algunos municipios se prevé la exención del pago de la tasa por baldíos a aquellos propietarios que cedan sus terrenos para AU. Se realizan jornadas de capacitación en centros de jubilados, centros barriales, escuelas, etc. En algunos de estos centros se implementan huertas comunitarias demostrativas. En estas localidades se complementa con el reciclado de los residuos sólidos orgánicos domiciliarios, con selección en origen de los mismos. Con ellos se elabora compost que se entrega a las familias para fertilizar sus huertas (a cambio de papeles y cartones para reciclar). Se trabaja permanentemente con grupos de jóvenes (Ecoclubes) que realizan la sensibilización de la población en la separación de sus residuos y en la importancia de una vida sana Durante las capacitaciones también se preparan trampas y remedios caseros para el control de enfermedades y plagas ya que el manejo de los cultivos es orgánico. En general, las verduras así obtenidas se utilizan para autoconsumo o trueque pero ya en algunos municipios se han organizado ferias semanales para la comercialización, para evitar que compitan comercialmente con aquellos que están instalados y pagan sus impuestos. Se realizan talleres para enseñar a utilizar los alimentos frescos y también a preparar conservas con los excedentes. .Se articulan las acciones con organizaciones no gubernamentales que atienden la temática de los carenciados y con grupos de jóvenes de diferentes cultos que realizan trabajos comunitarios. Se trabaja con gran cantidad de voluntarios, en general líderes barriales que colaboran en forma desinteresada en la entrega de semillas y otras actividades.

Personalmente creo que contamos con ciertas ventajas respecto a otras zonas del país y aun del planeta, ya que habitualmente no existe demasiada competencia por el espacio, ni condiciones climáticas extremas, ni problemas nutricionales infranqueables todavía; pero, aún así el problema de la pobreza se agrava día a día, por razones que escapan a la acción de los técnicos y orbitan a un nivel bastante más elevado que la política interna. Se ha debatido mucho sobre el tema, frecuentemente desde detrás de los escritorios como alguien de esta conferencia mencionó, pero si aquellos países que determinan "quienes comen dentro del mundo" no observan el fenómeno de la pobreza en su justa dimensión, no hay soluciones reales sino meros parches a una situación que es por demás de preocupante. Para la pobreza y el hambre no existen vacunas La AUP ha contribuido, en nuestro caso, a mejorar el nivel nutricional y la seguridad alimentaria e incluso en muchos casos ha servido de terapia, para ancianos, deficientes mentales, etc., pero si no se generan otras medidas estructurales seguiremos "tratando de alcanzar la seguridad alimentaria" del sector que ya conocemos y de otros que con seguridad se irán sumando.

P/D: Pido disculpas por no escribir inglés o francés.

Ing. Silvana Mariani 

smariani@inta.gov.ar 
Ruta Prov. Nº 12 54-3472-425001 interno 113

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From: "rmc m corbin" <agrologic@eudoramail.com 
To: <urban-food-l@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: UPA session three/ tools for the trade Date: 29 September 2000 06:03

Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from Michael Corbin

FAO session three on Urban and Peri-urban agriculture. Greetings participants and thank-you moderators for presenting such an informative platform from which to network. I hope that you will continue to offer them in the future. I have been involved in Agronomical research (academic, field work and community based projects) for the past five years specifically focusing on urban agriculture and the productive means of transferring knowledge and tools into remote and city-core locations. Allow me to share a discovery that might contribute towards enhancing the capacity and sustainability of urban agriculture. While addressing the real issues of agricultural limitations such as space, resources, labor, food security, social environments etc. I find that there is a need to look at agriculture from a slightly different perspective. I categorized crop productivity according to the plants root masses, basic nutritive content and year-round productivity and capacity in conjunction with human factors and knowledge base. Additionally, I have taken into account the economical and ecological footprint that impacts this productivity. An innovative tool called the Bio-rope. has the capability of bringing agriculture into the households of the urban landscape. It redefines how we look at agriculture and how we participate in our own sustainable food supply. The bio-rope is an organic, tubular design made from natural fibers. It is approximately eight to ten centimeters diameter and can be made of most any manageable length,60cm-10m). It has a core of soil and seed wrapped around a casing of organic, re-usable fabric. Irrigation is supplied to the soil core by a 0.3cm duct with micropores distributing water droplets directly to the root zone from a gravity or low pressure source. The bio-rope is a self-contained micro-environment that can sustain a wide variety of plants to harvest. It is made from a simple one-step jig and takes only minutes to assemble from a table top or ground level. Once complete, the flexible biorope can be suspended from fences, deck railings, tree limbs or wrapped around a post, on a flat roof the uses are nu

It is with great anticipation that this method will become accessible and adopted into urban and peri-urban locations around the world especially in degraded areas, flood zones, river banks etc. The biorope technology is primarily being made available to non-profit and emergency relief situations as a community based initiative with priority to developing countries. Biorope Kits are available through mail order for those that have access to e-mail and internet. For biorope projects, please submit details and funding sources for materials and consulting. Projects are directed on a seasonal and geographic designation. 

Details on the Bio-Rope kit are available through: agrologic@eudoramail.com Michael Corbin, agronomist Director, Biorope Research, Paine Horticultural Center, Malaspina University, Nanaimo Mail: RR2 site 55 #68, Gabriola, B.C. Canada V0R 1X0

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From: "Laura Saldivar" <laura_st@LatinMail.com 
To: <urban-food-l@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: Thirth Secssion Date: 29 September 2000 05:58
Urban-food-l/Session Three/Contribution from Laura Saldivar

Hi Urban and periurban agriculturalist, advocates, promoters, etc.

Here I am again, I missed my collaboration to the 2nd session due to a conference but, believe me, I was following all your interesting emails.

To the question: What actions have really worked to improve production of UPA and food security contribution of this production?

I am afraid I am not sure of what had worked, I have not much experience jet, but I thing it is very important to point out to the decision makers and to the consumers that the produce from UPA can be of great benefit to the local economy, and the local and global environment (if using the correct techniques and practices). As many already mentioned UPA can be a great way of revitalizing the economy and health of communities. I also think is a great way of cultivating Culture and sense of belonging, therefore to raise the critical thinking and consciousness of the population. I agree with the point Francisco Arroyo maid about the fact that many times the pollution generated in the cities gets to the agricultural production, even if they are far. The ironical part is that very often this pollution is generated by our high levels of consumption and the "need" of importing food form other regions, in the worse cases from other countries. Form other countries were, almost always crash crops are produced under highly subsidized systems, that in the long term are sucking the natural and social resources of the area were they have being established. I acknowledge that certain regions on the planet can't handle a year round production, but for that we need another discussion).

If we, as urban dwellers start seeing, talking and thinking more about the way our food is produced, then we will realized that the pollution we generate can end in our back yard. And then as we noticed it, we will start looking for cleaner ways of doing everything, not only our food production (like alternative agriculture) but also our transportation, industrial production, etc.

My conclusive answer to the first question will be that we have to get everybody -but maybe first the decision makers that they have to think more holistically, that they have to asses the international and food production and consumption situation, from different approaches and see how something that seams so small can have such a potential. For this I think Lena's suggestion is helpful, I am a Permaculture instructor my self, and I think its perspective is very, very comprehensive.

There is a Chinese Proverb that said something like this: In order to be healthy you should eat only that food that is produced in whiting 50 kilometers. (If there is any Chinese in this email conference please tell if this is OK).

2.Which steps are most important in implementing UPA projects? I think is difficult to assign order but I think it is of main importance to be working with people that are really convinced or at least that have not being co-opted, I believe that real Participatory approaches are important. I also agree with Isabel Madaleno when she mention that more than giving temporal assistance, it might be better to give away or loan under the premises that the land is going to be used only for food production. (Yes, is not only about teaching to fish but also to give them the opportunity to access and even own the pound). It seam to me that we will need also some sort of incentives as well as protection, opposite to Leo Van den Berg, I have seen, here in Ithaca (upper NY State, USA) that local farmers (we can call them semi-urban) can't compete against the low prices of the imported produces in the chain supermarkets, and certain farmers' markets are almost disappearing. And finally, for the moment, we need to work with the UPA producers in looking and implementing the systems, technologies (I advocate for low technologies, environmentally friendly) and practices that are best for each situation.

Laura Saldivar-Tanaka 

Master Student Natural Resources 
Cornell University, Ithaca NY. ls85@cornell.edu
Lets all go Green Cities!!

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From: "Alejandra Lozano y Gustavo Castro" <mailto:aleloz@adinet.com.uy>
 To: <Urban-Food-L@mailserv.fao.org 
Subject: Sobre la cria de cerdos en las ciudades 
Date: 01 October 2000 01:01

Urban-Food-L/Session Three/Contribution from 

Estimados conlistados y moderadores:

Ya terminando la conferencia queremos realizar nuestro aporte. En realidad la temática que desarrollamos interesa a los tres grupos de discusión, pero creemos que es sobre la seguridad alimentaria donde más repercute. Trabajamos en AUP en nuestra ciudad (Montevideo) realizando un diagnóstico de la misma. Hemos encontrado una gran variación de las actividades, muy relacionadas al grupo social, a aspectos culturales y a la zona de la ciudad donde se ubican los grupos humanos. En algunos asentamientos nuevos de la ciudad hay más tendencia a la cría de pequeños animales (aves) y al cultivo de árboles frutales y hortalizas. Sus habitantes son personas de clase media-baja que han tenido problemas de vivienda y han optado por ocupar terrenos que hacía tiempo estaban vacíos. En otras barriadas pobres (llamadas por nosotros "cantegriles"), donde viven personas que se dedican a la recolección de residuos domiciciliarios y su posterior reciclaje, se observa el fenómeno de la cría de cerdos con los residuos orgánicos. A esta última experiencia es que hemos apuntado, por ser veterinarios y por las consecuencias que podría traer su desconocimiento. Hemos escrito un pequeño trabajo que adjuntamos, donde nos extendemos en la temática. Este ha sido gentilmente traducido por los amigos de la RUAF para ser publicado en su revista digital. (a ver en el InfoMarket) Allí hablamos más sobre las causas y consecuencias de este fenómeno y hacemos algunas propuestas de desarrollo tratando de contemplar todos los actores que están en juego. Para estos casos pensamos que las universidades y los gobiernos deben tomar partido, a fin de viabilizar estas experiencias, proteger a los potenciales consumidores y minimizar los impactos ambientales. No queremos extendernos mucho, ya que todo está en ese artículo y, al que le interese, puede leerlo y darnos su opinión.

De nuestra parte queda agradecer a todos estas semanas de intercambio de información y experiencias.

Reciban cordiales saludos.

Alejandra Lozano. Gustavo Castro. 

Departamento de Salud Ambiental - Facultad de Veterinaria. 
Universidad de la República. Montevideo, Uruguay. 
Teléfono/fax: + 598 2 622 17 40 
Correo electrónico: aleloz@adinet.com.uy <mailto:aleloz@adinet.com.uy>

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