Sustaining Urban Agriculture Requires the Involvement of Multiple Stakeholders
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Urban Agriculture is a dynamic concept that comprises a variety of production (ranging from subsistence production at household level to fully commercialised agriculture),
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processing and marketing systems of food and non-food products. It takes place within heterogeneous resource situations, e.g. under scarce as well as abundant land and/or water resource situations, and under a range of policy environments that can be prohibitive or supportive to its existence and development.
Urban agriculture (UA) has been promoted over the last couple of years by a large number of local and national governments, urban actors and international agencies, such as UN-HABITAT's Urban Management Programme, FAO, International Development Research Centre (IDRC- Canada), CGIAR-Urban Harvest and the International Network of Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (RUAF) as a strategy to promote food security and poverty reduction, sustainable resource use and environmental management, social integration and local participatory governance.
Urban agriculture takes place in a multi-sectoral environment, touches on a large number of urban management areas (eg. land use planning, environmental and waste management, economic development, public health, social and community development), and involves a large diversity of systems and related actors (input provision, vegetable production, aquaculture, livestock production, processing and marketing).
UA can thus be seen as a cross-cutting issue involving a wide range of often disconnected actors or stakeholders1 needed for effective implementation, policy making and monitoring.
Increasing the contribution of UA in more sustainable urban development requires its inclusion into policy and planning and the involvement of different stakeholders related to UA (urban producers and their organisations, NGOs and researchers, private organisations and different levels and departments of governments) in these processes.