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


Call For Contributions, Urban Agriculture Magazine, No. 9, Financing Of Urban Agriculture

The next issue of the Urban Agriculture Magazine will focus on Credit and Investment for Urban Agriculture. The deadline for submission of articles is set at January 1 2003.

The Urban Agriculture Magazine

The Urban Agriculture Magazine (UA Magazine) is published three times a year on the RUAF-website ( and in hardcopy version.

The UA Magazine facilitates sharing of information on the impacts of urban agriculture, promotes the analysis and debate on critical issues for the development of the sector, and the publication of "best" or "good" or even 'bad" practices in urban agriculture. The UA Magazine welcomes contributions on new initiatives at individual, neighbourhood, city and national levels. Attention is given to the technological aspects, as well as to socio-economic, institutional and policy aspects of sustainable urban food production and distribution systems. All issues of the UA Magazine will focus on a selected theme. The next issue will focus on:

Financing Of Urban Agriculture

The increased public attention and political support for urban agriculture has created a demand for more information on effective mechanisms for credit and investment in urban agriculture. For this special issue, we welcome articles with Information on existing funds and funding mechanisms for urban agriculture are also welcome.

A call we sent out earlier on this subject was related to the initiative by UN-HABITAT UMP and IDRC, and supported by RUAF, on "Credit and Investment for Urban Agriculture Interventions". Contributions to this initiative from India, Nepal, the Philippines, Sudan, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Latin America (Ecuador and Brazil) were presented and discussed at a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya in May 2002 (see for more information on this Regional Workshop under "Urban Policy Implications of Enhancing Food Security in African Cities" under Events). Experiences covered in these studies are on cooperatives, active support by municipalities in production and marketing, private investment initiatives, and contract farming. A selection of these cases will be published in this magazine. In addition we are inviting you also to contribute your experiences.

Financing urban agriculture is broader than just the provision of credit to urban farmers. Next to formal credit, other forms of financing are considered, like informal loans, tax incentives, controlled land rent, subsidies on certain inputs, investment (of Government or private sector) in infrastructure or technologies, etcetera. Furthermore, next to support to farmers, we would also like to consider experiences on support to micro-enterprises in food processing and marketing, support to water treatment or composting facilities, etc. or support to projects aiming at facilitating and supporting urban agriculture.

We explicitly invite local stakeholders like municipal politicians, urban planners, farmer associations, urban NGOs and sectoral organisations (but others involved are also welcome) to share their practical experiences and the lessons learned. Two levels of discussion can be distinguished:

a. How to finance urban agriculture programmes? What contributions may be expected from national government? What role should and can be played by Municipal Authorities, and what can be expected by NGOs, farmer organisations and the commercial sector in providing financing services to urban farmers and in creating the enabling environment? One can think of experiences gained with alternative mechanisms of financing, lower-cost mechanisms, etc. Also, the contribution of urban farming to Municipal income generation can be considered. Again another areas is the question what international donors and financing mechanisms are most sustainable, or consider public or joint public-private investment in (market) infrastructure, composting facilities, etc.

b. How to satisfy urban farmers' financing needs? Here a first question is what the main needs are for financial support that urban farmers have and how these differ from their rural counterparts. What are the main sources of finance, who are the main actors involved (who manages the finance, the beneficiaries, gender, etc.). How to ensure access to finances by female farmers, is there a special financial window for them necessary? Further experiences requested are those gained in providing credit to urban farmers, gardeners and input supplying or food processing micro enterprises: what type of credit schemes have been used and what are the critical factors for success and failure, and for upscaling; What about the financial sustainability (the system) and institutional sustainability. What other financial mechanisms can be mentioned, like tax incentives, controlled land rents, etc. Please add what you think is useful.

Your Contribution

You and/or your colleague(s) are invited to contribute an article to this 'planning' issue of the Urban Agriculture Magazine. Your contribution should give a clear description of the experiences gained, address the policy implications of your experiences and include recommendations for local policy makers and planners. Articles should be written in such a way that those working with farmers could readily understand them.

We would like to receive articles of up to 2500 words long (This is about 4-5 pages A4 and 3 pages in the UA Magazine). Articles should preferably be accompanied by illustrations (digital if possible: jpg format of good resolution) and not more than 10 references. The availability of a good abstract is appreciated.

If you are interested in writing an article, or want to share other information, please send us your contribution as soon as possible, but not later than January 1 2003. If you know anyone else who might be willing to contribute, please pass on this call for contributions or let us know. Articles will be examined for selection by the editorial team consisting of the RUAF-editor (Rene van Veenhuizen) with the RUAF Partners.

The UA-Magazine will also include reviews of recent literature and a section on upcoming events. We therefore also welcome any information on recent publications and videos, information on workshops, training courses, conferences, as well as information on relevant journals, weblinks, networks, etc.

The Editor of Urban Agriculture Magazine RUAF
P.O. Box 64, 3830 AB Leusden, The Netherlands or
Tel: + 31 33 4326000/39
Fax: + 31 33 4940791

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Revised Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture