Growing food in greener cities


Supporting city gardeners

Governments in 20 countries have sought FAO's assistance over the past decade in removing barriers and providing incentives, inputs and training to low-income "city gardeners". FAO has also provided tools, seeds and training to establish thousands of school gardens, a proven means of promoting child nutrition, in more than 30 countries.

From the burgeoning metropolises of West and Central Africa to the low-income barrios of Managua, Caracas and Bogotá, FAO has helped governments promote irrigated commercial market gardening on urban peripheries, simple hydroponic micro-gardens in slum areas, and green rooftops in densely populated city centres.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, FAO advised on measures that regularized titles to 1,600 ha of garden areas operated by some 20,000 full-time growers in five cities. The project introduced improved vegetable varieties and installed or upgraded 40 irrigation structures, which extended water availability throughout the year.

To ensure the quality and safety of produce, 450 growers' associations were trained in good agricultural practices, including the use of organic fertilizer and bio-pesticides. Market gardens in the capital, Kinshasa, now produce an estimated 75,000 to 85,000 tonnes of vegetables a year, or 65 per cent of the city's supply.        

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