PROJECT FOCUS

A: RESEARCH ON URBAN FARMING

This theme will cover vital aspects of the required information for benchmarking other project activities. Specifically, it will enhance:

  1. Mapping of the urban food systems: The food system as used here includes all those activities involving the production, processing, storage, transportation and consumption of food. This will take into consideration drivers of urbanization, trends, growth in the housing industry and general infrastructural development, and its impact on the farming in the KMA.
  2. Creating Resilience in Urban Food Security and Livelihoods

The project aims at creating resilience for the urbanizing regions, districts and the rural communities. With the increasing population most especially in the urbanizing areas in Uganda and the developing world at large, the relationships: urban to urban and rural to urban need to be redefined in terms of the food systems. To be food secure, people living in poverty need access to sufficient and nutritious food but also, among other things, economic opportunities in a stable enabling environment. The project aims at redefining the relationship between the rural producers and the urban consumers in relation to enabling urbanizing places to produce food through employing the available resources.

  • Changing life Style and Food Culture

Urban life styles are rapidly changing not only in structures and leisure, but also in terms of food systems. However, few people (consumers) are concerned about the food they eat in terms of where it comes from, and the quality. Not even the sustainability of their new preferences in relation to their traditional or conventional sources of food. This has impact on food culture in terms of practices and perceptions. The major question here is what implications these changing lifestyles have on environment and health.

  1. Integrated Urban Farming and Food Policy: The notion of regulation for all activities carried out in our modernizing cities, municipalities and towns of all sizes is more important than ever before. This can be attributed to diminishing space and increasing commoditization of land in the developing countries. Whereas the city like Kampala and other municipalities have laws regulating agricultural food related activities, comprehensive engagement of the citizens to consider farming as a strong alternative source of employment, income and food is not a major governance issue. The project seeks to work with authorities in the cities and towns places in Uganda to popularize the existing urban farming policies and laws.
  2. Sustainable Land use of Urban Ecological Resources

In the era of rapid urbanization, cities face many environmental challenges, including air and water quality issues, lack of sufficient green space, excess heat capture, polluted storm water runoff and lack of ecological biodiversity. Urban agriculture presents a unique opportunity to utilize vacant or idle land and rooftops throughout cities, other urbanizing areas for the production of healthy, pesticide-free food at the same time conserving the environment. Adding green spaces to a neighborhood, including community gardens and urban farms, street fruit trees, will have potential to provide a number of social, healthy, economic and environmental benefits. Unfortunately, most studies have neglected to analyze the potential contributions of urban agriculture to improvement of ecological sustainability in cities and urban areas in general. This project will integrate the environmental benefits of urban agriculture on unused, vacant real estate or rooftops as compared to the alternative of leaving the land or space in its current state.

B: INCREASING ACCESS TO CRITICAL INFORMATION

This will be the second major component of the project that will build on the research findings in theme (A), to inform the:

  1. The Edible Market Information System (EMIS): The EMIS is a Hunger Fighters Uganda innovation of an online market system in which vital information about farmers and their products, food markets, food processors, industrial food sectors, hotels and restaurants and other dealers in food value chain and urban food systems. This will include both online information platform and data; and a computer based system through with information on farmers and other details like agricultural commodity, quantities, and location and farmer contacts. The platform will be linked to offer regular and most recent market information on prices.
  2. The Edible City Magazine (ECM): This will be a monthly periodical that will contain information on urban farming, food systems and successful farmers. It will capture successful stories and information for youth employment through agriculture. It will also publish information on stakeholders making a difference in promoting urban food security and the market dynamics. Farmers will have the opportunity to advertise their products and improve the profitability of the urban farms.
  • Annual Edible City Conference and Exhibition: In partnership with its partners and stakeholders in urban agriculture city and urban authorities, Buyigi Estates Farm together with Hunger Fighters Uganda will organize a conference duped, ‘Edible Cities’, with a component of innovative exhibitions in urban agriculture and in the KMA with emphasis on outstanding and environmental friendly innovations.

C: ON-FARM SUPPORT

In collaboration with partners, HFU will provide on farm training to all those interested in gaining practical experiences in best farming practices. This component with involve;

  1. Support to youth farmers: this will be done through training and publications of youth agricultural activities.
  2. Edible Communities challenge: which will involve ranking of defined edible communities through a defined criteria but emphasize will be on how they have created an edible city environment (increasing access to food in the city or any urbanized area).