Forum > Environment Awareness > Animals, agriculture and city planning

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 28, 2006

 

...The Food and Agricultural Organisation(FAO) of the United Nations recommends urban agriculture including animal rearing within cities as a useful means to tackle poverty and promote sustainable city practices.  It is feared that rapid urbanisation in developing countries will consume about 14 million hectares of cropland by 2020 and make matters worse.  Many African cities and a few European cities are now seriously considering urban agriculture as a viable multifunctional land use strategy.

.........Processed foods increase the ecological footprint of a city, as goods have to be transported from long distances.


The FAO estimates that Delhi will require an additional 1,96,500 trucks of 10 tonne capacity by 2010 to supply food for its population, while Mumbai will need 3,13,400 more trucks.  This will have serious implications for traffic and roads.

.......  Cities that have seriously considered the issues of urban poverty, environment, and food security have made plans to allow for more agriculture within their urban and peri-urban areas.  Bangkok has 60 percent of its metropolitan area as agriculture land, as has Madrid.  Beira in Mozambique has a high percentage of about 88 percent of its green spaces used for family agriculture.  Ottawa has 5,000 hectares of agriculture land within city limits...........

The famous marshes of Xochimilco, located on the outskirts of Mexico City, are fed by treated wastewater from the city.  This water is used for irrigating flowers and vegetables and also recharges the aquifers.....The East Calcutta wetland is an example worth looking at. This 3,900 hectare wetland located in the peri-urban area is used for fisheries.  The many ponds are benefited from the 1,300 million litres of treated wastewater discharged from the city.  About 13,000 tonnes of fish are harvested and about 60,000 people provided a livelihood.  In addition, 150 tonnes of vegetable are also produced daily.  Pigs and ducks are reared as well.........

A.Srivathsan(The Hindu 27 June 2006)

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