Urban Agriculture, Progress and Prospect: 1975-2005
by Jac Smit (TUAN)


    The following tables are from the 1996 UNDP/TUAN Monograph Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs and Sustainable Cities.

    Table 1. Global estimates of the level of urban agricultural activity (based on 1993 data)

    Urban Agriculture -- Global Estimates

     World Population Actively Engaged  800 million
     Farmers Producing for Market in the World  200 million
     Jobs* in World in Production and Processing  150 million



    range of data

    Global general


     Participants:  15% to 70% of families (share of urban families)  about one third of urban families
     Production:  10% to 90% of consumption (vegetables, eggs, meat/fish)  about one third of consumption
     Land Use:  20% to 60% of urban area (land in agricultural use)  over one third of urban regions

    Source: Estimates by The Urban Agriculture Network based on the authors' experiences and observations and on extrapolations from statistics from various official censuses and professional surveys. The intent is to present a thumbnail sketch of the significance of the industry. More systematic estimation would be a major contribution to the body of knowledge.

    * Actual employment, not job equivalents

    Table 2. Local support organizations active in urban agriculture (some examples)

      Organization  Location  Project Description
     Urban Food Foundation  Philippines  Instrumental in forming a coop of 500 small livestock producers
      SODEM  Chile Uses model gardens to train home gardeners. Provides extension help
    Undugu Kenya Supports urban farming for food security, enterprise, disaster mgmt
     CET Chile Training and extension to low-income for biointensive gardening
    Peru Mujer Peru Training and organizing community gardens for low-income women
     Grupo de Estudios  Mexico  Provides technical advice to Chinampas farmers
     Kinshasa farmers' cooperative  Zaire  Facilitates access to inputs, land, and markets
     Indonesia national agronomists association  Indonesia  Provides information and lobbies the government

    Table 3.
    Governmental organizations active in urban agriculture (some examples)

     Organization Location Project Description
    Mexico City Water Authority Mexico City  City Provides irrigation and oversight of peri-urban farming
     Calcutta Port Auth. Calcutta  Leases land and lagoons to coops
     Maputo Municipality  Mozambique  Land-owning partner with women's food production coop
     Indonesia Hwy. Auth.  Indonesia  Leases ROW land to urban farmers
     Jakarta Water Auth.   Jakarta  Formed joint venture with fishermen to harvest reservoirs.
     Elec. Authorities  Canada  Produces vegetables in greenhouse
     Municipality  Munich  Produces fish in sewage lagoons
     Municipalities Jakarta, Mexico City, Buenos Aires    Have an urban agriculture agency
     US military  USA  Leases land on bases to farmers
     Nat'l Government  Argentina and Peru Established national agencies for urban agriculture
     Nat'l Government  Panama, Tanzania and Zambia  Have recently adopted policies that favor urban agriculture
     Nat'l Government  Italy, China, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands Implemented urban agriculture policy and established agencies for decades
      Nat'l Government  Malawi and Tanzania  New capitals planned to include urban agriculture

    Table 4.
    Universities and other institutions involved in research on urban agriculture (some examples)

     Organization  Location  Project Description
     Sokoine U.  Morogoro, Tanzania  Two-year survey of six cities
     AIT Bangkok, Thailand  Pilot projects in intensive ag. techniques
     U. of Philippines  Los Baños  Research on small-scale farming
     Centre pour le Dev't de l'Hort. Sénégal Research and extension on urban horticulture
     AVRDC Taiwan  Urban horticulture and household gardens research and extension in East Asia and Africa
     CIPES Peru Wastewater aquaculture and horticulture
     CANELO Chile  Nine research projects in urban farming technologies
     Mazingira Inst.  Kenya  Survey of UA in six cities
     Univ. of Cairo  Egypt Plastic tunnel horticulture
     Centro Las Gaviotas Columbia Hydroponics for low-income high-density communities
     Makerere Univ.  Uganda Research and surveys on UA
     Botanical Garden  Jakarta Research on composting with small-scale urban farmers

    Table 5.
    International agencies supporting urban agriculture (some examples)

     Organization  Location  Project Description
     FAO & IDRC  Latin America  Supporting new regional network
     FAO   Several   Supported street food upgrading projects
     UNDP and FAO  Latin America  Supported shantytown hydroponics projects
     UNDP/WB   Global  Programs in wastewater-fed fish and irrigation
     UNICEF  Global  Household and community gardens, policy studies
     United Nations University  Global  Funded Food-Energy Nexus Program (1980s)
     UN/CHS  Tanzania  Supporting UA as environmental intervention in open space
     NRI/ODA, UK  Tanzania  City centre and peri-urban vegetable production & training
     IDRC (Canada)   Global   Funds urban agriculture surveys and research projects
     USAID (USA)  Philippines & Thailand  Supported urban agriculture in its MEREC program (1980s)
     GTZ (Germany)   Mexico City & Tanzania  Supports sewage-fed fisheries, composting, and veget. projects
      Italian Government  Argentina  Supports community gardens
     SIDA (Sweden)  Mozambique & Ethiopia  Provided support for urban agriculture in the 1980's
     JICA (Japan)   Philippines and others  Supports urban agriculture and marketing
     Taiwan Government  Panama  Supports urban agriculture and provides fellowships in Taiwan
     Inter-American Foundation  Chile  Supports urban gardening programs
     Ford Foundation  Nairobi  Supports an NGO, Undugu Soc.
     Oxfam  Peru   Supports an NGO, Peru Mujer
     Save the Children   Central America   Support for local gardening
     CARE International  Haiti  Promoting UA entrepreneurship

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