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2014-04-11

Urban Agriculture is Gaining Ground in Latin America

Havana Urban organic agriculture in Havana (Photo: Melody Breaker/flickr)

According to a new report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban and peri-urban agriculture is widespread in Latin America and the Caribbean but it needs the support of government, from national to local levels, to realise its full potential. In 2009, representatives of ministries of agriculture, research institutes, NGOs and international organisations gathered in Medellín, Colombia, to develop strategies for reducing urban poverty and food insecurity across the region. They called for the incorporation of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) into public policies. Five years later, the report looks at the progress made towards creating 'greener cities'. It is based on a survey in 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries and data on 110 cities and municipalities. The report found that UPA is widespread in the region and is practised, for example, by 40% of Cuban households and 20% of Guatemalan families. In Bolivia’s major cities and municipalities, 50,000 families are food producers. Urban agriculture ranges from backyard vegetable gardening to the raising of small animals for eggs and meat; from school gardens to growing vegetables in containers. But only 12 of the 23 countries have national policies that promote UPA. Cuba’s policy dates back to 1997, when the government decided to promote urban agriculture nationwide. Agriculture is now practiced on an area of roughly 33,500 hectares, including 145,000 small farm plots and 385,000 backyard gardens. In Havana, the “greenest” capital in the region, 90,000 residents are engaged in some form of agriculture. In 2013, UPA produced there some 6,700 tonnes of food for almost 300,000 people in schools, public health centres and hospitals.

Read our summaries of the main topics.

The Original Report

Agriculture at a Crossroads
The original version of the full report, five regional reports and the Synthesis Report in English, with a feature that allows you to make comments and/or add important information.

Donors

Unterstützer von www.weltagrarbericht.de biovision Verlag der Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft e.V. Demeter Greenpeace Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung Eine Welt Stiftung Die Grünen, Europäische Freie Allianz Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst NABU - Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. Misereor Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft in der GLS Treuhand Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft in der GLS Treuhand
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