Getting Serious about Farming in the City

Brussels Development Briefings

Agripreneurs, technology and innovation are transforming the landscape of urban agriculture

The recently held Brussels Development Briefing no. 50 on “Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities” attracted over 140 participants to the ACP Secretariat on 10 April to debate the status, opportunities and challenges which face urban agriculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

The event, jointly organised by CTA, the European Commission (DG DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat and Concord Europe, saw leading practitioners, policymakers and entrepreneurs deliver their recommendations for sustainable urban agriculture ecosystems, with a focus on job creation, especially for youth and women, as well as improved food access, sanitation and nutrition in ACP countries.

Underpinning the discussions were the issues of rapid urbanisation, population growth, migration, employment generation and the changing rural-urban dynamics. These topics were introduced by Viwanou Gnassounou as being some of the leading priorities and concerns…

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Nourishing diversity in our food systems

THE GFAR BLOG

1_Food Change Lab in Zambia. Credit - Salimu Dawood

On the surface at least, modern foods systems appear to be astonishingly diverse. A person walking into a supermarket almost anywhere in the world can be overwhelmed by the profusion of choices. The productivity of our food systems is also impressive: between 1961 and 2001, crop yields more than doubled in all regions of the developing world except Africa. [1]

But this abundance and variety are deceptive. Hunger and malnutrition persist in many countries in spite of increased food production. A few ingredients like refined flour, sugar, soy, palm oil and high fructose corn syrup appear over and over again in a huge range of different products. What seems like variety is actually just endless re-engineering, re-combining and repackaging of the same basic, highly processed ingredients. Meanwhile, rising consumption of ultra-processed foods such as sodas, chips, energy bars and candies are contributing towards a global epidemic of overweight and obesity…

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