In collaboration with Rikolto and the RUAF Global Partnership on Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems, FAO released on 29th July 2022 the Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Sourcebook – From Production to Food Systems.
Today, 57% of the world’s population lives in cities and, by 2050, it is expected that the global population will reach 9.7 billion, with 70% of citizens living in urban areas.
This accelerated growth has resulted in 70% of the food supply and nearly 80% of global energy being consumed in cities, with70% of greenhouse gas emissions generated in cities.
The opportunities offered by urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) are being increasingly recognised due to the various benefits that it provides, from better nutrition for urban farmers and their families, to increased green spaces to protect against rising temperatures in cities. It also supports wellbeing and community connections while generating additional income for farming households, thereby contributing to prosperous livelihoods for urban and peri-urban dwellers.
UPA is a practice that often competes with other sectors, such as housing infrastructure or industry, for scarce resources such as land, water and even labour. Also, practitioners usually approach UPA from a production-focused perspective, rather than a system perspective.
“There are many factors that can influence the long-term sustainability and adoption of UPA, including the availability of finance and services to farmers, commercialisation mechanisms for their produce, and water supply for safe production, as well as social and cultural factors that also play a role.”
Insecure or limited land tenure is an example of a systemic challenge outside food production that has a major influence on the uptake and sustainability of UPA. “When farmers use vacant or abandoned urban plots of land, they face the risk of eviction at any time. This in turn can reduce their motivation to invest in good practices to improve soil fertility or prevent land erosion. It also makes them more likely to prioritize short-cycle seasonal crops which can reduce the diversity of crops and nutrients they produce, thereby affecting the nutrition benefits of UPA” said Charlotte Flechet, Global Programme Director - Good Food for Cities at Rikolto during the launch event for the “Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture Sourcebook – from Production to Food Systems”, held on 29th July 2022.
The event celebrated the release of the FAO publication together with the RUAF Global Partnership for Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems, Toronto Metropolitan University and Rikolto.
The book aims to be a major source of inspiration for local decision-makers, policy advisors, urban planners and other stakeholders when planning and implementing UPA interventions from a food system perspective.
The sourcebook builds on over 200 examples of urban and peri-urban agriculture worldwide, including six in-depth case studies conducted by Rikolto in its partner cities: Quito (Ecuador), Tegucigalpa (Honduras), Leuven (Belgium), Dakar (Senegal), Arusha (Tanzania) and Surakarta (Indonesia).