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III. Selected issues


What is urban agriculture?

Urban agriculture and the poor

Conditions of urban agriculture among the poor

Benefits of urban farming

Obstacles to urban farming

Policy support for urban agriculture


Situation and emerging developments



Policy issues

The role of government and international organizations in promoting the use of information technology


Extent and causes of desertification

Policies to prevent and combat desertification


Agricultural support services in development

The development of agricultural support services


World Commission on Environment and Development. 1987. Our common future. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press.

UN. 1994. World Urbanization Prospects, 1994. New York.

L. Mougeot. 1994. Cities feeding people: an examination of urban agriculture in East Africa. International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Ottowa, Canada.

I. Wade. 1987. Community food production in cities of the developing nations. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 9(2).

Y. Yeung. 1988. Examples of urban agriculture in Asia. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 9(2).

G.W. Skinner. 1981. Vegetable supply and marketing in Chinese cities. In Plucknett and Beemer, eds. Vegetable farming systems in China. Boulder, Col., USA, Westview Press.

IDRC. 1995. Agriculture technology notes. Ottawa, Canada.

P. Gutman. 1987. Urban agriculture: the potential and limitations of an urban self-reliance strategy. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 9(2).

10 See cases in Mougeot, op. cit., footnote 4, p. 45.

11 J. Smit and A. Ratta. 1995. Urban agriculture: neglected resource for food, jobs and sustainable cities. UNDP Urban Agriculture Network. (Unpublished manuscript)

12 K. Helmore and A. Ratta. 1995. The surprising yields of urban agriculture. In UNDP. Choices. New York.

13 Gutman, op. cit., footnote 9, p. 47.

14 Smit and Ratta, op. cit., footnote 11, p. 47.

15 IDRC, op. cit., footnote 8, p. 47.

16 E.J. Carter. 1994. The potential of urban forestry in developing countries: a concept paper. Rome, FAO Forestry Department.

17 Information technology refers to the advanced information and communications carriers of electronic data, including cable and satellite television, digital and traditional airwave radio, CD- ROMs, broadband, narrow-band and wireless (e.g. cellular) telephone and local-area (LANs) and wide-area (WANs) computer networks, including the Internet.

18 Applications of information technology refer to the software and the data, text and audiovisual information provided by the technology.

18 Increased efficiency or productivity enhancement through information technology come from an increase in availability, quality and timeliness of information combined with enhanced two-way communications that permit organizational changes throughout the business or economic activity and increase the output using the same or fewer resources.

19 The lowest-income countries had, on average, only three telephone lines available per 1 000 residents and even the moderately developed countries had only 45 lines (1990 data). In comparison, the developed countries had 442 lines per 1 000 inhabitants. At the same time, there were five times as many faults reported for each main-line telephone in the lowest-income countries as in the highest-income countries. See World Bank. 1994. Infrastructure for development, Table 32. In World Bank, World Development Report 1994. Washington, DC.

20 World Bank. 1994. World Development Report 1994. p. 63. Washington, DC.

21 The term was first used by A. Aubreville in A. Aubreville. 1949. Climats, forêts et désertification de l'Afrique tropicale. Paris, Société d'Editions Géographiques, Maritimes et Coloniales. Generally the term does not refer to the movement of mobile sand bodies, which does occur but is estimated to be no more than 10 percent of the entire process. The southern limit of the Sahara, for example, has been expanding or contracting depending on annual variations in rainfall; longer time-series of data are necessary to determine the tendency.

22 In 1990, a UN-hosted ad hoc consultative meeting of experts concluded that there is no point in distinguishing desertification from land degradation in the dryland regions, since to do so only confuses the whole problem. In this chapter the two terms are used interchangeably; UNCED's denotation is used as a working definition.

23 See the work of E.P. Stebbing, for example, E.P. Stebbing. 1938. The man-made desert in Africa. Journal of the Royal African Society, 36.

24 At 1990 prices, see H. Dregne, M. Kassas and B. Rozanov. 1991. A new assessment of the world status of desertification. Desertification Control Bulletin, 20: 6-18; UNCED (1992) estimated the cost of a worldwide programme from 1993 to 2000 at a total of US$8 730 million per year (excluding the national development programmes, of which it should really form a part).

25 P.F. Drucker. 1990. The new realities. London, Mandarin.

26 A. Salehuddin and R. Shafiqur. 1991. Organization and management of agricultural services for small farmers in Asia. Rome, FAO and Dhaka, Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP).

27 R.A.J. Roberts. 1995. Agricultural services: their role in development. Paper presented at the Agricultural Economics Society Conference, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 1995.

28 R.J. Dancey. 1993. The evolution of agricultural extension in England and Wales. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 44(3), 375-393.

29 Roberts, op. cit., footnote 27.

30 S. Wanmali. 1993. Service provision and rural development in India: a study of Miryalguda Taluka. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Research Report No. 37. Washington, DC, IFPRI.

31 The bank originated as an action-research project in 1976 to provide credit to the rural poor. It is now a financial institution established by government order, with an excellent loan recovery rate and a clear focus on the poorest groups in society. An explanation of its special approach and philosophy is given in M. Hossain. 1988. Credit for alleviation of rural poverty: the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. IFPRI Research Report No. 65. IFPRI and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies; P.S. Jain. 1996. Managing credit for the rural poor: lessons from the Grameen Bank. World Development, 24(1): 79-89.

32 F. Sandiford and G.E. Rossmiller. 1996. Many a slip: studying policy delivery systems. Paper presented at the Agricultural Economics Society Conference, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom, 27 to 30 March 1996.

33 D.L. Umali and L. Schwartz. 1994. Public and private agricultural extension: beyond traditional frontiers. World Bank Discussion Paper No. 236. Washington, DC, World Bank.

34 Ibid.

35 Ibid.

36 Ibid.

37 A framework for such a performance evaluation of policy delivery systems is given in Sandiford and Rossmiller, op. cit., footnote 32.

38 ISNAR. 1995. A framework to strengthen the role of universities in national agricultural research systems. ISNAR Briefing Paper No. 24. The Hague, ISNAR.

39 C. Grace. 1996. The Establishment of the Albanian market information service. Paper prepared for the Network for Agricultural Policy Research and Development Meeting, sponsored by FAO, Bucharest, 25 to 28 April 1996.

40 An interesting approach to the provision of market information to illiterate or semi-literate farmers in countries where there is high inflation or as part of the sequence of policy reforms for structural adjustment programmes is based on the Braudel measure of small-scale entrepreneur purchasing power. A summary is given in the World Bank Social Dimensions of Adjustment Newsletter, 1(2), Summer 1991.

41 Dancey, op. cit., footnote 28, p. 85.

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