Urban Agriculture Magazine no. 19 – Stimulating Innovation in Urban Agriculture

Urban agriculture is a dynamic concept, given the wide range of urban situations and stakeholders. This diversity is one of its main attributes. Urban farming systems are in constant development as urban farmers adapt their existing practices or come up with new ones. Innovation is continuously taking place. Previous Urban Agriculture Magazines have looked at its multiple functions, its role in community building, experiences with policy development for urban agriculture and support to urban farmer organisations. Taking this line further, this issue looks at how urban farmers can be supported in their efforts to improve their livelihoods. As in rural areas, farmers in cities are constantly adapting to changing circumstances and are experimenting and innovating on their own.

This issue of the Urban Agriculture Magazine takes stock of a broad range of experiences related to innovation by urban farmers and the efforts of other actors to support the farmers’ initiatives. It explains concepts and gives examples of farmers’ innovation and how it is being stimulated. Contributions are on technical innovations in vegetable farming for confined spaces, in water use, in livestock production, and in waste recycling, but also on social innovation as in community based agriculture or innovation in marketing and entrepreneurial agriculture. These experiences show that technical innovations often have to go together with organisational or institutional innovations. Special emphasis in this issue is given to the use of participatory methodologies for promoting innovation in urban farming systems.

This issue of Urban Agriculture Magazine is a collaborative effort of the RUAF Cities Farming for the Future Programme; PROLINNOVA (Promoting Local Innovation), an international learning and advocacy network that currently involves governmental and non-governmental organisations in 16 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America on promoting local innovation in ecologically-oriented agriculture and natural resource management; and Urban Harvest, a system-wide initiative of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to direct and coordinate the collective knowledge and technologies of the Future Harvest Centres towards strengthening urban and periurban agriculture.

Also available in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Arabic.


  1. Promoting Local Innovation in Rural Agriculture: Experience and lessons for urban settings

  2. “Where there’s muck there’s money

  3. Enhancing Technical, Organisational and Institutional Innovation in Urban Agriculture

  4. Innovative Wastewater Recycling in an Indian village: Linking the rural with the urban

  5. In Search of Safer Irrigation Water for Urban Vegetable Farming in Ghana

  6. Innovations in Greenhouse Rainwater Harvesting System in Beijing, China

  7. Family Business Garden as an Innovative Enterprise in Urban Agriculture

  8. SPIN Farming: Improving revenues on sub-acre plots

  9. Technologies for the Production of Edible Plants in Bogota, Colombia

  10. Micro-gardens in Dakar

  11. From Eradication to Innovation: Towards healthy, profitable pig raising in Lima

  12. Innovativeness of Dutch Vineyards

  13. Cleaning, Greening and Feeding Cities; Local Initiatives in Recycling Waste for Urban Agriculture in Kampala, Uganda

  14. Urban Agriculture in Msunduzi Municipality, South Africa

  15. Solid Waste Recycling in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Making a business of waste management

  16. Enhancing Local Knowledge in Urban Livestock Breeding in Bukavu, D.R. Congo

  17. Innovations in Producer-Market Linkages: Urban field schools and organic markets in Lima

  18. Urban Agriculture as a Social Justice Change Agent and Economic Engine

  19. Selected Appropriate Technologies for Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture

  20. The Suburban Farm: An innovative model for civic agriculture

  21. Innovative livestock-keeping in Ethiopian cities


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