FAO's Programme for Urban and Peri-urban Horticulture
Havana seminar
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Announcement and programme

International seminar on urban and peri-urban agriculture

A side event at the IV Tropical Agriculture Congress
Havana, Cuba – 14-17 May 2012

Recent volatility in food prices has raised awareness of the importance of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) as a source of food and nutrition security. In addition to supplying food, UPA generates employment and income for the poor, and contributes to balanced national development and more a liveable urban environment.

During the Thirty-First FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, in 2010, Member Countries identified the promotion of UPA as one of FAO’s medium-term priorities for the region. Also in 2010, Ministers of Agriculture of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) endorsed the FAO-CARICOM Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy, which includes UPA. However, to unlock the full potential of UPA, a number of important challenges must be overcome, including the need to develop a conducive institutional framework, to identify and address gender gaps, and to provide training and extension services to urban producers.

For several years now, FAO has assisted the implementation of UPA programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, the process is incomplete. A review of experiences is needed in order to understand better how to promote UPA in all countries of the region – from small island states to large landlocked countries – particularly in the light of climate changes and the risk of natural disasters.

The Seminar will be held in Havana, Cuba, where a successful urban agriculture programme, in place for two decades, meets a large part of urban food demand. Cuba is now implementing a peri-urban programme that will expand the concept of urban agriculture in the country. The Seminar will give participants the opportunity to learn from the Cuban experience.


The seminar will contribute to regional coordination and collaboration among programmes and projects on UPA in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the aim of establishing a regional strategy and programme on UPA to enhance food and nutritional security in the region.

Specific objectives

  • Review experiences and lessons learned
  • Assess UPA’s contribution to urban food supply, nutrition and livelihoods
  • Capitalize on current experiences and knowledge
  • Foster UPA initiatives and networking
  • Lay the foundations for increased policy and institutional support for UPA
  • Promote ecologically sound agriculture and environmental sustainability

Expected outputs

  • A strategic framework for the promotion of UPA in the Caribbean region
  • A baseline of the current status of UPA in the region
  • Identification and prioritization of training needs at the level of policy-makers, producers, and extensionists

Summary of events

  • Keynote speakers will present the situation of UPA globally, in the region and in Cuba
  • Each country or project representative will present his/her experiences including achievements and challenges, 12-15 minutes each
  • The consolidated information based on a predefined format, will identify problems and needs of the region, which will allow thematic discussion on these topics
  • Field visits to production areas of UPA in the Havana area
  • Presented information will feed into group work
  • Working groups will be formed for analysis and discussion by topics
  • Each group will present conclusions and recommendations as well as inputs for the development of the proposed regional agenda in UPA-FNS in LAC
  • Two committees will be formed: one for drafting the regional strategy proposal and one for writing the "Havana Declaration on UPA" (for press release)


Palacio de Convenciones
Hotel Palco
Calle 146e/11 y 13, Reparto Siboney
Havana, Cuba
Tel: (537) - 2043449
Fax: (537) - 2045956


Monday, 14 May
  Registration of participantsPalacio de Convenciones
16:00Opening Ceremony of the Convention
17:00Keynote “Save and Grow”FAO
Tuesday, 15 May
Session 1
Overview of FAO programmes for UPA and the Cuban experience
9:00OpeningMarcio Porto, FAOR Cuba Adolfo Rodrigues Nodals
  • Growing Greener Cities: FAO’s programme on Urban and Peri-urban Horticulture and Food for the Cities - Makiko Taguchi, FAO AGPM
  • HORTIVAR – Wilfried Baudoin, FAO AGPM
10:00UPA in Cuba: Historic overviewNelso Companioni, National UPA Programme, Cuba
11:00Group photo and Coffee break
11:30Current developments in UPA in CubaCuban representative
13:30Presentation of PapersField Trip for international participants
15:30Coffee break
16:00Presentation of Papers
17:00Closing of the day
 HORTIVAR training (for registered participants)
18:00Welcome drinks
Wednesday, 16 May
Session 2
Current state of UPA in the Caribbean
8:30IntroductionVyjayanthi Lopez, FAO, SLC
8:45Country reports
  • Antigua – Owolabi Elabanjo
  • Belize – Flint Wagner
  • Dominican Republic – Francisco Martinez
  • Guyana – George Jervis/ Oudho Homenauth
  • Haiti – Joseph Frenel Sterling/ Ricardo St. Aime
  • Jamaica – Rosyln Jackson
  • Saint Lucía - Vernet James
  • Trinidad and Tobago - TBD
10:45Coffee break
11:00Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN)Conroy Huggins, CaFAN
Session 3
Food for the Cities - Understanding the bigger picture of UPA and recent developments in Latin America
  • Sustainability of UPA in Latin America and the Caribbean - Alberto Pantoja, FAO, RLC
  • Water harvesting/management - Henry González, Nicaragua
  • Gardening with recycled materials - Karla Andino, Honduras
  • School gardens – Vera Boerger, FAO SLM
  • Model for Small Garden production - Liliana Davila, Colombia
  • Production and conservation of seeds – Wilfried Baudoin, FAO AGPM
  • Discussion
15:30Coffee break
  • Nutrition and culinary consideration in UPA – Wendy Carranza Ríos, Honduras
  • UPA in emergency situations - Teresita Gongora, Colombia
  • Civil Society – Sustainability and UPA – Maria Consuelo Vergaga, Colombia
  • Gender considerations – Lydda Gaviria, FAO Consultant
  • Policy frame work - Carla Campos, Argentina
  • Discussion
18:30Wrap up and closing of the day
 HORTIVAR training (for registered participants)
Thursday, 17 May
Session 4
Building regional and national capacity for UPA
8:30Introduction: Methodology of the group activity and declarationFAO HQ, FAO Cuba
8:55Working Group Session
1. Discussion and analysis of a regional agenda of UPA
2. La Habana Declaration
Moderators: Alberto Pantoja, Vyju Lopez and Makiko Taguchi
Moderators: Adolfo Rodriguez Nodal and Maria Julia Cardenas
13:30Presentation of group work 1 Discussion Group speaker
15:30Presentation of Declaration Discussion Group speaker
16:30Cuban experience on International Cooperation in UPATBD
17:30Conclusions Marcio Porto, FAO Cuba
18:00-20:00Closing and Cocktail


Vyjayanthi Lopez
FAO Sub-regional Office
for the Caribbean
[email protected] Tel. (+1) 246 4267111

Alberto Pantoja
FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
[email protected]
Tel. (+56) 2 9232295

Makiko Taguchi
FAO Plant Production and Protection Division
[email protected]
tel: +39 06 570 56796

fax: +39 06 570 56347

Further information

For updates see:

Announcement and programme