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International Workshop on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture-2005 (UPA-2005 )

The International workshop on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture for Asian countries was jointly organized by the Dr. Prem Nath Agricultural Science Foundation (PNASF), Bangalore, India and the Horticultural Crops Group, Plant Protection Division of the Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations (FAO-UN), Rome at Hotel The Chancery, Bangalore, India from 29th June to 2nd July, 2005. This first international workshop was organized as a part of a series of regional and international workshop implemented in the context of the project FNOP/INT/001/NOR which aims to strengthen national capacity on policy and strategy for Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture development and to consolidate regional co-operation.


The specific objectives of the workshop were :

  • Review the ongoing programmes and projects related to UPA in Asia
  • Discuss related policy, planning and marketing issues
  • Access cost effective technologies for sustainable development of UPA.

Twenty-one delegates sponsored by FAO from seven countries viz., Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Laos PDR, India, Nepal and Vietnam and forty delegates sponsored by PNASF, Bangalore from India i.e from Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh participated in the workshop which had the representation of senior scientists, senior level policy makers from Governments, technocrats, developmental functionaries from Government and non-government organizations, representatives from private and other stake holders of UPA and students. These delegates were invited more specifically to share their experiences, determine the need and means for regional co-operation in the field of UPA in Asia and elaborate a frame work for action to strengthen and co-ordinate an integrated approach towards sustainable UPA.

The workshop was inaugurated by Shri. R. Srinivas, Honourable Minister of Horticulture , Government of Karnataka on 29th June, 2005. Addressing the delegates, Shri Srinivas said that until now the Government of India’s agricultural policies have been mainly focused on rural agriculture to achieve self-sufficiency in food and nutrition security and felt that, before the urban population exceeds that of rural, we should shift attention towards UPA planning and developmental activities.

Dr. W.O. Baudoin
, FAO consultant in his theme presentation briefed about the scope and expected outputs of the workshop and reiterated that the success and sustainability of UPA interventions require national commitment and municipal ownership with the participants of a series of stake holders both from the public and private sectors and this commitment should ultimately result in the integrations of UPA in the city development plans. He further informed that the primary output of the workshop would result into a frame work for action for Asia through a participatory process and launching of an information portal to facilitate access to the exchange of information on UPA in Asia.

Delivering his key note address, Dr. Prem Nath, Chairman, PNASF, Bangalore emphasized that the rapid urbanization on food preferences and the developing world, and, associated changes in life-styles will have significant bearing on demand, increased pressure on land, demand for water, energy and great stress on environment to keep pace with developments. In this context, Dr. Prem Nath urged the policy makers and others to examine the upcoming scenario, formulate appropriate policy, develop strategy and planning towards overall urban development satisfying the partnership approach among all stake holders and called upon a timely role and action by the Ministries of Urban Development and Municipalities, Agriculture and Horticulture, Water Development, Energy and Environment and others.

The Guest of Honour, Mr. Abhay Prakash, Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner, Government of Karnataka appreciated the efforts of FAO and the PNASF in organizing this workshop and thanked for choosing Bangalore as their first venue for this workshop and assured all the possible co-operation from the State of Karnataka.



In the beginning Dr. O.P. Dutta extended warm welcome to the Chief Guest and the dignitaries. The function was concluded with a vote of thanks from Shri. P.B. Gaddagimath. The entire function was coordinated by Smt. Shymla Nath, the Trustee of PNASF.

Following the inaugural presentations the participants were benefited from the guest lectures presented by senior experienced scientists, technocrats, development functionaries and subject matter specialists from India. All the participating countries made their country presentations on the status of UPA and strategies for UPA.

Through ad-hoc working sessions the participants discussed and deliberated on the multidimensional nature of UPA and felt the need of a multi-disciplinary, multi stake-holders and multi-functional strategy in support of UPA. To become acquainted with the reality of UPA in the city of Bangalore and to learn more about the scope and limitations of UPA, field visits were arranged to the sites of important stake holders of UPA on 30th June, 2005. Four organizations viz., Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka, HOPCOMS, Bangalore, representing Government sponsored organizations M/s Namdhari Seeds Pvt. Ltd., and Namdhari Fresh representing the private sectors and Karnataka Compost Development Corporation Ltd., Bangalore representing autonomous body were selected for the visits.

Summarizing the deliberations during the three days of the workshop, Dr. S. Bisalaiah, Former Vice-Chancellor, UAS, Bangalore in his valedictory address on 1st July, 2005, pointed out some of the bottlenecks in the development of UPA which need immediate attention viz., unemployment, low income, poverty and environmental degradation and requested the organizers to look into these aspects while developing the strategies for UPA.


The Conclusions and Recommendations of the three days deliberations of the workshop are as follows:

For decision makers

  • UPA should become a part of agriculture development planning at the country/state/province and city level.
  • Emphasis should be placed on building awareness and consensus among cross section of the society to implement UPA. 
  • Ensure that UPA is part of the city development planning process, besides housing, roads, recreation, educational and other essential facilities
  • The government/municipalities may identify the appropriate authorities/bodies to work out land use planning with specific relevance to UPA. The participation of public and private sectors in this land use planning process needs to be ensured.
  • Major stakeholders for UPA need to be identified in line with country-specific policies and strong functional linkages among all stakeholders to ensure sustained UPA activities.
  • The urban development authorities may promulgate law/pass a precedent to ensure a definite percentage (3-5%) of land/space for implementation of various elements of UPA. This must be made mandatory for all private layouts also.
  • The government may create an ombudsman agency comprising of representatives from city development authority, land use planning, private sector, public sector, public/communities and law departments.
  • The envisaged UPA activities must generate additional employment opportunities for urban/peri urban poor.
  • The urban development authorities/UPA implementing agencies must ensure green zones (protecting, strengthening, expanding) etc.
  • The UPA activities may become prospect for eco tourism.


For research

  • Identify and develop cost effective appropriate/suitable technologies (economically viable, environmentally friendly and sustainable) for their practice in UPA.
  • Develop effective and efficient extension mechanism to disseminate such appropriate technologies to be taken up by UPA practitioners.
  • The good agricultural practices specific to urban and peri urban situations need to be identified and applied.
  • Develop various models for urban horticulture production systems particularly kitchen gardening, terrace garden, container farming, hydroponics etc.


For the private sector and NGOs

  • Become involved in the scientific management and recycling of urban waste and its utilization for strengthening of UPA activities with adequate support and cooperation of the municipal authorities.
  • Integrate UPA production towards quality labelled produces/commodities.
  • To the extent possible, taking advantage of the available labour, the peri-urban agriculture may also be looked into from commercial angles and specifically for niche markets of high value products for local and export markets.
  • Identification and delineating the role of NGOs needs to be done keeping in mind the advisory services required by the growers, formation and use of groups, towards micro credit.
  • Appropriate credit facilities including the micro credit may be extended to urban poor.

For training and extension

  • The Human Resource Development component may be added to UPA with the mandate of capacity building programmes/awareness programmes and special skill trainings for extension personnel, UPA practitioners particularly the urban poor, senior citizens, women and youth.
  • Quality and safety parameters needed for both food security and export purposes should be integrated in such capacity building programmes.
  • Fostering the grass root level initiatives through participatory training process must be ensured under UPA.
  • Various components of UPA may form a part of curriculum at school level to educate and involve children in UPA activities.
  • The peri urban agriculture may support primary and secondary industries located in the fringe areas of cities in relation to post-harvest handling, distribution and processing.



Each provincial government may create an apex body as a managerial entity to implement UPA initiatives. Steps to be taken by such an apex body would include:

  • Set terms of references for the apex body
  • Identify stakeholders as members of such body and set their specific responsibility
  • Set guidelines for proper distribution and utilization of water resources
  • Develop a logical framework for action
  • Create an implementation body comprising of identified stakeholders to implement the framework by UPA
  • Ensure availability of quality inputs essential for implementing UPA
  • Create marketing network and market channels for UPA produces/products and also develop agricultural market information systems
  • Address issues related to gender, ethnic and other social issues that arise while implementing UPA
  • Create specific database on UPA both public and private domain.

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