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Dear GT readers,

p63.jpg (7512 bytes)Is your city a dead end in terms of what you consume or is it a living urban landscape that reuses and recycles all materials in a productive and efficient fashion — just like an healthy ecosystem? Imagine ‘edible cities’, with vast areas of agricultural plots, rooftop and terrace farms, parkland that grows fruits and vegetables in every available space.

Urban Agriculture (UA) is a growing international movement. In a sense people are rediscovering what the ‘poor’ farmers of traditional rural and urban societies have always been practicing. And its not just a romantic idea of ‘beautifying’ cities with exotic plants. It’s dead serious business of providing food and jobs to poor people and managing the enormous waste generated in cities across the developing world. No wonder successful city farmers refer to their line of work as "political horticulture"! UA makes ecological sense, does it make economic sense in a country like India — where farmers, buffeted by global economic forces, are committing suicide and dumping tomatoes on the road to protest against falling prices of their produce? GT takes a look at the role of the modern ‘city farmers’.

– Pandit Gobar Ganesh
E-mail: panditji@cseindia.org

 

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