What is common to Accra, Bengaluru, Lima and Nairobi?
These cities in Latin America, South Asia and Africa are the focus of a study that seeks to provide the much-needed solution to the twin problems of climate change and an impending food crisis.
Undertaken as part of a project sponsored by the World Bank titled Urban Agriculture: A Sustainable Solution to Alleviating Urban Poverty, Addressing the Food Crisis and Adapting to Climate Change, the study is being jointly carried out by many organizations.
Amrita is proud to participate. Amrita is helping the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) for the project’s overall execution in Bengaluru.
“The study is undertaken by the RUAF Foundation,” explained Amrita’s Dr. Amalendu Jyotishi who serves as senior research consultant to the project team. RUAF Foundation or the Resource Centers on Urban Agriculture and Food Security Foundation is an international network of regional resource centers that seek to promote exactly what their name indicates: urban agriculture and food security.
The project team is assessing current urban and peri-urban agricultural activities and studying best practices.
Recently an important project milestone was completed as senior project consultants gathered at Amrita’s campus in Bengaluru to review progress.
Dr. Priyanie Amerasinghe, Regional Coordinator, IWMI, Hyderabad, who was accompanied by Dr. R. S. Deshpande, Director, Institute for Social and Economic Change, discussed changes required in policies pertaining to urban agriculture.
These senior delegates were joined by second-year MBA students Vikas Kumar and Poornima V., of the Amrita School of Business, who had helped conduct a survey among city residents.
Fourteen B.Tech. students were chosen to visit specific places in the city. Using a questionnaire, they had gathered information about household human capital, financial capital, agricultural practices, livelihood practices, social capital, food availability, vulnerability and cropping methods.
One thousand plant samples were also collected from urban, peri-urban and transitional areas.
All students were trained by specialists from the International Water Management Institute.
The results of this analysis were presented by Dr. Amalendu.
“The group appreciated the findings of our team,” informed Dr. Amalendu. “We also deliberated on steps needed to design future studies.”
“Overall, we found that some conditions have improved in the city, especially in the areas of floriculture and fruit-culture. This is a positive trend seen in urban agriculture,” he happily noted.
December 12, 2010