Issues in the Developing World
Edited by H. S. Geyer
M. Dubbeling and H. de Zeeuw Introduction Contrary to what many believe, urban agriculture is a permanent feature of many cities, sometimes unobtrusive, sometimes obvious. It takes place in a large variety of forms, in different locations and at different scales, from small backyard gardens supplying food to families, or community gardens offering their members a source of food, leisure and company, to large commercial, even industrial styled agribusinesses located in areas surrounding the city. Urban agriculture occurs under varying conditions, from areas where resources such as land and water are abundant to where they are scarce, and under a range of policy and institutional environments, some prohibitive, others supportive of its existence and development. Mougeot (2000) regards urban agriculture as an industry located inside or on the fringe of a town, city or metropolis. According to him it grows and raises, and processes and distributes, a variety of food and non-food products, using and re-using human and material resources, products and services that are largely found in and around a particular urban area, and in turn supplying human and material resources, products and services largely to that same urban area. Throughout the history of urbanization, food growing has been an integral part of city life. The oasis towns of Iran are examples of an early form of urban agriculture. The ancient Persians invented qanats, underground aqueducts that carried dew-generated water and rainwater from the hills to the towns where it was used for irrigation and other purposes. Cattle grazed...
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