Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture


Urban Agriculture and Feeding Latin American and Caribbean Cities

Best Practices and City Consultation

Contact at UMP-LAC:
Marielle Dubbeling, project coordinator
Urban Management Program - Latin America and the Caribbean
Garcia Moreno 1201 and Mejia, Quito, Ecuador
Phone/Fax: 593-2-583-961, 282-361/364/371

Executive Summary

The world population is urbanizing rapidly, with urban poverty growing apace, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. Food and fuel already absorb a large share of urban poor households«incomes, and household food insecurity has been worsening in reecent years in the Region. Several factors affect the quality, availability and affordability of food and micronutrient provisioning to city populations. The urban poor has diversified their food procurement strategies and urban food production has resurged since the 1970s, with several community and municipal initiatives reported recently throughout the Region. Several international organisations have come together in the mid 1990s to support a more coherent and effective inclusion of such initiatives into local development strategies. This project is part of a larger regional initiative to develop participatory processes of local planning.

The Urban Management Program for Latin America and the Caribbean (UMP-LAC), currently in its third phase (1997-1999 or 2001), is carrying out City Consultations with interested local governments and civil society actors. The thematic emphasis for the consultations is threefold: urban poverty alleviation, urban environmental management, and participatory urban governance, each with special attention to the issue of gender. The Regional Office has established contacts with dozens of Latin American municipalities and a wide range of institutions in order to promote city consultations, construct plans of action, and exchange information and experiences on different topics related to urban management and the primary themes of UMP.

The project will have a group of selected resource and associate cities to document a series of best practices and interact in a city consultation, for the formulation of an action plan and specific projects in urban agriculture. The cities will represent a range of city sizes, ecosystems and subregions. The project will facilitate a formal interaction between regional networks of experts in urban agriculture and of local authorities interested in sharing experiences or in phasing urban agriculture activities into local agenda to better address urban poverty, food insecurity, unemployment , gender inequity, environmental degradation and rural-urban tensions. Results will be edited, published and disseminated to municipal urban actors and others throughout the Region.

This project will enable the SGUA to follow up on information and advice requests formulated by participating delegations at the 1997 roundtable and enable regional networks of expertise, such as AGUILA and others, to formally interact with regional networks of local authorities, to survey best practices and develop a city consultation process for policy formulation and implementation in urban agriculture.

Footnote: [Urban agriculture in this project is understood as an activity "that produces, processes and markets food and fuel, largely in response to the daily demand of consumers within a town, city or metropolis, on land and water dispersed throughout the urban and peri-urban area, applying intensive production methods, using and reusing natural resources and urban wastes, to yield a diversity of crops and livestock." (Smit et al., 1996: 3).]

2. Objectives

The Latin American and Caribbean Coordinatorship of UMP and the Cities Feeding People Program of IDRC will financially and technically support this project, as part of a larger initiative to develop participatory processes of local planning in the Region. This project will have a group of selected resource and associate cities interact to support a city consultation which will actively account for urban agriculture in local strategies for urban poverty alleviation, urban food security and nutrition, urban employment and income generation, small enterprise development, gender and ethnic equity, urban waste (solid and liquid) resource recovery, and environmental enhancement.

2.1 General:

In response to interests expressed by several Central and Southern American municipal governments, this project is intended to assist a group of resource and associate cities with documenting urban agriculture experiences (in five resource cities), producing diagnoses of urban agriculture activities (in four associate cities), and implement a city consultation process (in one associate city). This process is to facilitate the formulation of a concerted action plan and specific related projects, and to systematise and disseminate its methodology and results to other interested cities in the Region.

2.2 Specific

  1. document, review and share significant urban agriculture experiences , either ongoing or recently carried out at municipal and/or community levels, paying particular attention to the roles and benefits accruing to different stakeholders in five resource cities selected by the UMP-LAC, in consultation with IDRC-CFP;

  2. design and produce baselines on the significance, benefits and constraints posed by current urban agriculture activities in four associate cities , where local governments wish to assess the need for greater support or better management of such activities within improved urban management strategies;

  3. in one selected associate city, oversee, advise, support and disseminate a multistakeholder city consultation on urban agriculture, to instruct the formulation of a concerted action plan and specific related projects focussing on urban agriculture;

  4. enable resource cities to share their own experience, advise the city consultation and report on consultation process to associate cities where baselines were carried out;

  5. enable interested domestic and international cooperation agencies to advise the formulation of the action plan and to expresspossible interest in supporting technically and/or financially their implementation;

  6. identify training capacities locally available or not in the field of urban agriculture, required by stakeholders (municipal and other governmental entities, NGOs, and CBOs, producer associations) to implement the action plan and related projects, as well as to disseminate experiences widely throughout the region;

  7. promote, where appropriate, in other UMP- LAC city consultations, the inclusion of urban agriculture in local agendas;

  8. promote closer interaction between regional expert networks, such as AGUILA and others, and regional networks of local authorities, such as IULA-LAC, the Federation of Municipalities of the Central American Isthmus (FEMICA), Metropolis, Red de Asociaciones Municipales and others.

  9. self-monitor and document, in progress and final technical reports, the impacts of the project in the following areas: (a) human resource development (training); (b) local institutional capacity building; (c) effectiveness of local partnerships; (d) added value of the multidisciplinary or multistakeholder approaches, (e) methodological and scientific advances; (f) gender-sensitive analysis; (g) leverage of additional funding (non-UMP and non-IDRC); (h) uptake of project results for specific policy or technology interventions;

3. Expected Results:

  1. five case studies on urban agriculture at municipal and community levels in five selected resource cities of the LAC region;

  2. one seminar to debate and draw lessons from the case studies in the five resource cities;

  3. identification of four associate cities interested in developing city consultations and action plans on urban agriculture, based on selection criteria used by UMP-LAC ;

  4. four baseline studies on urban agriculture in four associate cities;

  5. selection of one associate city for the city consultation on urban agriculture, based on the quality of its baseline study, including the feasibility of concerted follow-up by interested stakeholders;

  6. one issue-scoping seminar among stakeholders of the associate city to instruct a prescriptive assessment of issues identified and priorised;

  7. one paper assessing the issues identified and priorised by the stakeholders in the issue-scoping seminar, how each major stakeholder is being benefitted or adversely affected by the issue, and the options available to stakeholders to satisfactorily resolve such issues (win-win solutions);

  8. based on the issue-assessment paper, one strategy-defining seminar with participation of some resource cities, to formulate an action plan and specific projects to implement the plan;

  9. a concerted action plan and specific projects for submission to domestic and international agencies;

  10. one book containing: five case studies and a synthesis drawing lessons learned from the case studies; four baseline studies; a methodology for city consultation on urban agriculture, illustrated through its application in one associate city of the project ( e.g. adaptation of a municipal legal framework to accommodate an expansion of urban agriculture activities); lessons learned from the applied methodology;

  11. a special issue of LA ERA URBANA on urban food security and urban food production in the Region, for distribution to 20,000 municipal urban actors in the Region. This will contain: a joint editorial on the afrementioned topic by representatives of lead networks in the Region; several articles assessing from a municipal perspective, the achievements and constraints of current urban agriculture initiatives in the Region; examples of innovative urban agriculture technologies developed in the Region; resource contacts, selected bibliographies and promotion of books of partner networks (AGUILA, UMP-LAC, FAO-LAC, IDRC-CFP, etc) ; a returnable questionnaire to expand the UMP database on ongoing experiences in the Region;

  12. the addition of ten good practices to the URBANET database, including five technical references and four resource experts for each of the selected good practices in the field of urban agriculture.

4. Participating Entities

5. Timetable

The project will start per the 1st of June 1999 and have a duration of 2 years.

6. Budget

The project will be co-funded by IDRC-CFP and UMP-LAC.

Search Our Site[new]

pointer Return to Contents' Page pointer

Revised Friday, July 9, 1999

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture