Urban agriculture in the Global North & South: a perspective from FAO

Production de riz dans des secteurs périurbains de Colombo, Sri Lanka © Guido Santini

Makiko Taguchi, Agricultural Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization

Guido Santini, Officer and Technical Adviser, Food and Agriculture Organization

The high-level conferences in agriculture of the late 1990s have provided the political impetus to mandate FAO to support urban agriculture across the world. The agency provides technical expertise and advice to national and local governments on food-related matters through key programs, initiatives and reports, while working closely with the private sector.

FAO’s holistic and systemic approach focuses on strengthening the complex linkages between urban, peri-urban and rural agriculture which characterize contemporary food systems, with the goal of enhancing the city region’s food security and resilience.

FAO also acknowledges the limitations and opportunities provided by contextual variables and the necessity to adapt programs according to the local populations’ needs and aspirations. If food has not always been authorities’ main priority in policy-making, current changes in the perception of food systems, pushed by societal demands to act against food waste and climate change, have fostered an increased attention to FAO’s activities.