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Urban Agriculture Policy

La Habana
Cuba

 

The Havana Urban Agriculture Policy was officially launched in 1998 with the creation of the National Urban Agriculture Group. It has an antecedent in the spontaneous production of food by the population with the onset of the food crisis experienced during the "Special period" after the fall of the socialist countries in the early 1990s. It was created to produce food to feed the city's population, and has shown how it is possible to implement a permanent policy that fosters urban food production beyond times of crisis. The policy currently directly benefits 22,700 urban farmers and the general population, which was provided with 285,166 tons of vegetables produced in 2009. The enactment of 18 Ministerial Resolutions, Decrees, Circulars and laws provide the legal framework for the activity.

It is financed with public funds and the work of urban farmers. Over the years it has received funding from at least 11 international development cooperation agencies and institutions, which shows the interest generated by the policy on a global scale. The results include a wide variety of programmes and activities, ranging from livestock farming and vegetable, herb, fruit and ornamental flower production to forestry, classified in the 28 Urban Agriculture sub-programmes within the National Urban Agriculture Programme promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, organized within various legal institutions (UBPC, CCS, state farms, etc.) highlighting the activity's capacity for organizational innovation. Although the achievements are many and very varied, the activity must overcome various obstacles such as the production of high quality inputs to cope with the change of scale (fertilizers, plant pathogens, etc.).