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



Latin America and Urban Agriculture

Agriculture In The City: A Key to Sustainability in Havana, Cuba
"This book presents the results of a 3-year research project on the history and state of urban agriculture in Havana, Cuba. A multidisciplinary team of 15 professionals, coordinated by the authors, assess the long-term potential for including urban agriculture in the social economies of two areas of Havana, as well as in city-wide environmental management programs. The results will be of particular interest to municipal, local, and community authorities considering how to convert emergency food-production measures into long-term support for urban agriculture, both for food self-reliance and for environmental enhancement (including park rehabilitation)." Complete book downloadable from the site, free. Posted September 21, 2007

Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA) - Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
"The activities have been centered in the dissemination of adequate technologies for horticultural crops under controlled conditions including the design of simplified methods of family hydroponics production and small business, the dissemination of concepts on UPA, training courses, the development of adequate technologies and the start-up of experiences and projects in Argentina, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela." Posted December 31, 2006

Urban Agriculture Program Botucatu City, São Paulo, Brazil
"The program serves 11 commercial market gardens, 3 school market gardens, 3 social projects and 2 market gardens in health facilities. It involves 50 families directly. The production process is organic, with an agroecological focus; avoiding contamination of soil, water, farmers and consumers." Posted December 8, 2006

"ALa Red URBES es una contribución de los profesionales, técnicos, directivos, agricultores urbanos y otras personas, para el sustento de los lineamientos del Programa Nacional de Agricultura Urbana. " Posted March 24, 2006

Agricultura Urbana México
"AGUILA México surge a partir de la necesidad de extender los recursos de agricultura en las areas urbanas... " Posted March 24, 2006

Film: "Seeds in the City" - The Greening of Havana
"Seeds in the City tells the remarkable story of how the people of Havana have pulled themselves back from the brink of disaster. Faced with food shortages and widespread hunger, city dwellers began growing food on rooftops, in schoolyards, and in front of office buildings. Now there are thousands of urban farms in a city better known for its music, dance and nightlife." Posted May 30, 2005

Growing Cities: Cuba's Experiment With Urban Agriculture During the "Special Period"
Given UA's recent successes this research seeks to understand how and why UA emerged as it did in Havana and to address the question: is UA in Havana sustainable? Also, this research evaluates the capacity for the Cuban model of UA (in Havana specifically) to provide a development framework for other countries.
Posted January 24, 2005

Urban Gardens of Caracas, Venezuela - Swords Into Ploughshares
"As part of the progressive social reforms President Chavez has been implementing in Venezuela, a system of communal and hydroponic gardens has been developed in the inner cities, in the slum areas and on army bases. See Carmen Victor's documentary photographs of the communal gardens in Caracas." Posted September 14, 2004

Food Security in Cuba
"There has been a proliferation of backyard gardening, the so-called patios, propelled by campaigns led by a mass-based neighborhood civic organization, the Committee for the Defense the Revolution (CDR), and reminiscent of the victory gardens movement in the United States during the Second World War. By the summer of 2003, the number of patios in production had exceeded 300,000, with a goal for the future of over half a million patios, primarily aimed at increases in fruit production." Posted March 19 2004

Simplifed Hydroponics and Urban Agriculture in Uruguay and Ecuador
"Simplified Hydroponics has provided real solutions for low-income families and impoverished communities in many parts of the world. MARTIN CALDEYRO describes one innovative project in Uruguay that has improved family health and living standards, and is a model for other communities in Latin America to follow." Posted February 21 2004

Advisers or spies? Why some people fear communist infiltration in this Caracas garden. Fears of Cuban 'infiltration' in Venezuela
"The controversy has arisen because many of the advisers assisting with the gardening programme are Cubans. And Mr Chavez's opponents, who accuse him of desiring to convert Venezuela into a communist dictatorship similar to that led by his friend, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, suspect that the Cubans are here to do more than teach farming." Posted August 24, 2003

Cuba Exports City Farming 'Revolution' to Venezuela
"Inspired by Cuba's system of urban market gardens, which has been operating for several years, left-wing President Hugo Chavez has ordered the creation of similar intensive city plots across Venezuela in a bid to develop food self-sufficiency in the world's No. 5 oil exporter. Inside Fuerte Tiuna military headquarters, soldiers of the crack Ayala armored battalion supervised by Cuban instructors have swapped their rifles for shovels and hoes to tend neat rows of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, coriander, and parsley." Posted April 28, 2003

Argentine Postage Stamps Celebrate Urban Agriculture
"The design of the first stamp is of two united hands that tend to the gardens and the produce they yield, while the other stamp depicts a stalk of corn. Both have as a background, city plans, evoking the urban context of community gardens. -- The series takes into the account the current state of the economy in the Argentine Republic, and recognizes its terrible effect on the large numbers of families who live below the poverty line and it acknowledges the effects of the lack of food on these people." Posted March 23, 2003

450,000 Huertas or Vegetable Gardens in Argentina
"Most of them have emerged since the mid-1990s. The average size of the huertas is 100 square metres for family-run plots, 200 square metres for schools and 1,000 square metres for community plots. Around 2.5 million people receive some food from the plots, and there are now more than 5,600 school plots and 2,300 community plots." Posted January 15, 2003

The Rural-Urban Interface, Idealistic Visions and Current Projects in Lisbon, Portugal And Santiago, Chile. -- La Interfase Urbano Rural, Idealidades Y Proyectos. Acerca De Los Casos De Lisboa, Portugal, Y Santiago De Chile.
12,000 word paper in Spanish. "Urban and peri-urban agriculture successful practises are presented as examples to be followed by other big cities, intended to reduce socio-economic differences, and to diminish the occurrence of hazards as floods, soil contamination, air pollution and green spaces retraction within metropolitan areas." Posted September 27, 2002

The Mango City: Urban Agriculture in Belém, Brazil
"It is a tribute paid to a hard working and ingenious people, who against all odds survive in one of the poorest metropolis in Latin America, frequently complementing their monthly income with fruits, herbs, spices, medicinal plants, and all sorts of animals, cropped or raised in front and backyards, in idle public and private plots, existent either within the urban tissue or in the wider peri-urban areas." Posted September 24, 2002

Vacant Land in Latin American Cities
"As long as significant amounts of urban land remain unoccupied, equally important numbers of poor urban residents will continue to occupy land lacking infrastructure of services, located in areas not appropriate for urban development. This pattern both creates precarious habitats and deepens the processes of socio-spatial segregation." Posted September 14, 2002

A Taste of Urban Agriculture in Havana - Tara's Latest Update
"So much of the food I love in Canada and eat regularly is sold in American dollars in Cuba and is therefore inaccessible to many Cubans and hard to find for people who do have dollars. Cheese is gold, eggs are diamonds, buns and rice are my sustenance, rum is blood. I realize now in a deeper sense that food does not exist without the people or animals that grow it or gather it, or process it." Updated April 16, 2002

A City Farmer Visits Cuba
"We had three groups of Cubans visit our tiny compost demonstration garden in Vancouver last year, and they all invited us to visit them. I decided to take them up on it this past Christmas. What follows are some of the highlights of the urban farms we visited." Posted February 14, 2002

"AGUILA es una red de instituciones, investigadores y promotores que trabajan en el campo de la Agricultura Urbana en América Latina y el Caribe. Misión de la Red AGUILA - Unir y articular esfuerzos de las entidades que fomentan la Agricultura Urbana en América Latina y el caribe, a través de acciones de investigación, comunicación, capacitación, gestión, intercambio y cooperación. " Posted January 8, 2002

Urban Agriculture in Cuba at "Antonio Núñez Jiménez" Foundation for Nature and Humanity
and in Spanish
"The field of Urban agriculture has been developing and improving during these past ten years with numerous positive results. Examples of the success to date are that there are more than 1800 urban producers located in the City of Havana, of which a great number have some produce to sell apart from the needs of their families and their commitment to support local services. Furthermore, there is continuing research into the development of agriculture in this city and the ways of incorporating it into physical planning." Posted December 18, 2001

Agricultura Y Ciudad: Una clave para la sustentabilidad.
"El libro contiene las formas en que se manifiesta y ha evolucionado la agricultura urbana en la ciudad de La Habana y en particular en dos de sus zonas: El Consejo Popular Camilo Cienfuegos en el Municipio Habana del Este, donde la agricultura urbana est á establecida en áreas destinadas a la construcción de nuevas viviendas, y en el territorio del futuro Parque Metropolitano de La Habana, proyecto que demanda una encomia propia que contribuya a su materialización. " Posted December 16, 2001

Agricultura Urbana En La Ciudad De La Habana, Cuba
"Contribución a la seguridad alimentaria de la población. 250 - 300 g per cápita diario de hortalizas y condimentos frescos. Más calidad en la nutrición. (sanos, diversos, frescos y disponibles) Creación de nuevos empleos. Más de 100 mil en Cuba 22 mil en Ciudad Habana. Más de 850 grupos de productores organizados." Posted November 4, 2001

Urban Agriculture Supportive Policies In Latin America
"The table presents several practical and current experiences of urban and peri-urban agriculture integration into city development and urban land use in Latin America, due to friendly public policies, systematizing and resuming what is available in recent literature, together with the author's own research results." Posted October 17, 2001

Urban Organic Agriculture at the University of Costa Rica
"Among the requirements for graduation at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), students must work 300 hours on a project which will benefit the Costa Rican community. We have begun a project of this type called University Community Work (UCW) in Urban Organic Agriculture linked to UCR's Organic Agriculture Program." Posted October 11, 2001

Tropical Agroforestry Homegardens in Nicaragua
"Principal Crops: Coffee (Coffea arabica), Bananas and plantains (Musa spp), Local corn varieties (Zea mays), Local bean varieties (Phaseolus vulgaris), Different species of Passion Fruit (Passiflora spp), Fruit trees (many species), Multi-purpose trees (many species), Ornamental plants (many species) Herbaceous crops (many species)." Posted September 30, 2001

An Urban Agriculture Project in Barrio Empalme, a Neighbourhood of Rosario, Argentina
"Rosario is a city of one million people 4 hours northwest of Buenos Aires. Many of the residents of Barrio Empalme are urban migrants from northern Argentina. The community has built a community centre with demonstration medicinal plant garden, started two community gardens and associated garden training projects, supported the creation of backyard gardens, taught and supported the installation of worm composting 'beds', built energy-efficient ovens, and formed a group of 30-40 gardeners who meet regularly to discuss progress." Posted September 30, 2001

Modelo Alternativo para la Racionalidad Agrícola
This book includes ten chapters on an alternative model of agriculture developed in Cuba after the collapse of the socialist block. Chapter IX includes the subject 'Urban Agriculture'. "Sistemas de horticultura orgánica intensiva. Agricultura urbana." Posted September 16, 2001

Cuba: Going Against the Grain - Oxfam America Report
"Spurred by extreme food shortages and sheer ingenuity, Cuba has begun an impressive experiment with urban agriculture. Today half of the fresh produce consumed by two million Havana residents is grown by "nontraditional urban producers" in abandoned lots and green spaces wedged into the crowded topography of the city." See Part III. Reforming Cuban Agriculture Posted September 13, 2001

Canada-Cuba Farmer to Farmer Project
"Because Cuba's foodlands are an important aspect of national security, access is extremely restricted. But because the Canada Cuba Farmer to Farmer Project has signed an important Protocol Agreement with the Cuban Government (July 4, 2000), our farmers enjoy continued and unprecedented access to Cuba's large farm cooperatives, laboratories, research stations and processing enterprises." Posted December 11, 2001

Cultivating Community Knowledge: Growing Food, Flower & Ethnobotanical Gardens with Street Children in Brazil.
"Creating community gardens costs very little money for the positive results it achieves for the people involved. Given the dangerous effects of pesticide residues on children's physical and intellectual development, an organically grown community garden provides inexpensive, vitamin rich food to the earth's most vulnerable citizens, the children." Posted August 22, 2001

Food Security, Urban Agriculture and Urban Management
Outline of presentation by Yves Cabannes and Marielle Dubbeling at the parallel event during the United Nations Special Session of the General Assembly for Istanbul+5. (See above.) Updated July 3, 2001

User Benefits of Urban Agriculture In Havana, Cuba
"In Havana, the popular garden movement occupies 8% of total urban land in agriculture (3.4% of total urban land) and is practiced by 18,000 gardeners who produce vegetables and fruit, and raise small livestock to increase food security and generate income. The purpose of this study was to provide estimates of the user benefits of UA, as well as qualitative and quantitative information related to this activity." Posted June 11, 2001

Urban Harvest: CGIAR - Strategic Initiative On Urban And Peri-Urban Agriculture (SIUPA)
"For more than 30 years the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has been striving to increase food security and reduce poverty for the poorest people living in developing countries. The CGIAR'S response to the threat of growing urbanization and the increased dependence of city dwellers on urban farming was to launch SIUPA." Posted June 10, 2001

New Books on Urban Agriculture in Mexico
Procesos metropolitanos y agricultura urbana - Pablo Alberto Torres Lima, compilador. noviembre de 2000. Agricultura urbana en México - Beatriz Canabal Cristiani, coordinadora.noviembre de 2000.
Posted February 12, 2001

Latin American and Caribbean "Quito Declaration" in English and Spanish
"We - 33 Latin American and Caribbean cities and local governments - reaffirm our commitment to improve urban management through the promotion of Urban Agriculture experiences in our cities, ... to enhance food security, address urban poverty, improve urban environmental and health management, and develop more participatory and less excluding governance processes, as well as to protect urban biodiversity." . Posted September 7, 2000

Home-based Food Production in Urban Jamaica
"The project began in October 1997 and seeks to improve food security through increasing vegetable and poultry production. Twenty women are raising chickens for sale and home consumption. Women used their own resources to build chicken coops and were assisted with inputs and technical advice for raising chicks. The vegetable component of the project began in April 1999. Women involved in vegetable growing received agricultural inputs for growing callaloo (a green leafy vegetable), pakchoi, tomatoes, sweet pepper and cucumber." Updated November 27, 2000

Recycling Of Solid Wastes In The East Of Mexico City By Livestock And Agricultural Production Systems
"In this study, milk production systems in the East of Mexico City utilize a large quantity of organic refuse for feed from the Central de Abastos, which includes fruit and vegetables. Dairy stables produce manure and straw, which are delivered in a fresh form to the agricultural zones of the Southwest of the city." Posted May 17, 2000

The United Nations University Press - Food and Nutrition Bulletins, 1985, 1987
These valuable, early papers on Urban Agriculture, look at food gardens around the world. Northern Colombia; Lima, Peru; Lusaka, Zambia; Chagga home gardens, Northern Tanzani; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Javanese home garden; West Indian kitchen gardens; Newfoundland; Poland. Posted January 27, 2000

Cuba Goes Green: Government-Run Vegetable Gardens Sprout in Cities Across Island
"Venezuela's populist president, Hugo Chavez, discussed the gardens with President Fidel Castro. He said he is considering a similar strategy to make food staples more available and provide another source of employment in metropolitan areas in a country where an estimated 80 percent of the population lives in poverty. Posted December 1, 1999

Cultivating Havana: Urban Agriculture and Food Security in the Years of Crisis
"With over 8,000 hectares of urban farms, 25,000 urban farmers, and hundreds of researchers and extension workers, Havana has become a world leader in urban agriculture." 58-page report from the Institute for Food and Development Policy. Updated November 18, 1999

Cienfuegos, the Capital of Urban Agriculture in Cuba
Professor Alejandro R. Socorro Castro shares with us his research. Includes four tables and seven excellent photos. Posted February 2, 1999

Article about Cuba's Urban Gardens by the World Sustainable Agriculture Association
"In 1995, there were an estimated 26,600 popular garden parcels (parcelas) throughout the 43 urban districts that make up Havana's 15 municipalities."

Cities Feeding People Homepage
This site provides information about the program initiative on urban agriculture (UA) at Canada's International Development Research Centre. UA projects in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Morocco, India, Cambodia, Kenya, Ghana, are described. The site also describes a Latin American UA organization named AGUILA currently grouping nearly 40 institutions from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru.

Urban Agriculture and Feeding Latin American and Caribbean Cities
"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. " Posted July 9, 1999

Seminario Internacional Sobre Desarrollo Sustentable Y Agricultura Urbana
19-23 de Julio de 1999 México D.F.

Sponsored by Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO) Posted June 21, 1999

An Agro-Silvo-Pastoral System In The South-East Of Mexico City, And Policy Considerations For Peri-Urban Agriculture.
"Focussing on the mountainous area to the south-east of Mexico City, policies related to agriculture, urban development and environment are outlined, and criticised for assuming that the aims of each are mutually exclusive." Posted June 3, 1999

Container Farming - Organic Food Production in Slums of Mexico City
"In the case of plants that produce edible leaves, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, chives, parsley, quintoniles (Amaranthus hybridus), quelites (Chenoponium album), verdolagas (Portulaca oleracea) and all types of herbs - the produce was outstanding. Particularly remarkable was the nopal (Opuntia sp.), a cactus with big, green, prickly, pallet-like edible leaves actually transformed stems, tender and fleshy (pencas in Spanish) very much appreciated in Mexico." Posted January 22, 2000

Suburban Livestock Rearing by Smallholders in the Backyards of Xochimilco, Mexico
"The sale of pigs in Xochimilco has, as its prime objectives, the production of meat and bi-products for self-consumption, as well as to provide resources to increase family income." Posted September 10, 1998

Procesos Metropolitanos Y Agricultura Urbana En México
Pablo A. Torres Lima of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco sent this 221 page manuscript to us which includes 18 papers. The Table of Contents has been placed on our site. Posted July 30, 1998

Urban Agriculture in Mexico City
"Our research has reported that producers keep an average of 3 pigs and 26 birds per household, but there are some individuals who manage up to 60 pigs, all kept within the family. ... Their nutrition is based on the use of food wastes available from the city including kitchen wastes, stale bread and tortilla, left-over tortilla dough, chicken guts, and fruit and vegetable wastes from the markets, amounting to 4000 tonnes per day."

Urban Horticulture Project (Care-Haiti)
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

"Around Port-au-Prince, where slums have developed as rural populations migrate to the city, there are many areas growing food (corn, pigeon peas, beans, cassava)." Posted June 24, 1998

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Revised September 21, 2007

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture