Behold Africa's new urban farmers

by Juliet Torome, 12 December 2009, Times of India.

Across Africa, political leaders, long dismissive of rural concerns, have awakened to the importance of agriculture and the role that educated people, even those living in major cities, can play in farming. In Nigeria, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has a huge diversified farm and has pushed for policies to help absentee farmers prosper. In Uganda, Vice President Gilbert Bukenya routinely travels the country, promoting higher-value farming, such as dairy production.

In Montreal, as in other Canadian cities, many citizens would like to rent a small plot of land or join other growers to plant and grow vegetable crops cooperatively and then share the harvest. Long waiting lists for community gardens, however, thwart these modest ambitions. In light of high demand and limited space for urban gardens, Alternatives is experimenting with a gardening system called \"rooftop simplified hydroponics\" - a system adapted from the group’s experiences in the developing world.
Urban Agriculture Reaches New Heights Through Rooftop Gardening : AN ALTERNATIVES’ PROJECT
by Marty LOGAN and Mark FOSS, The International Development, 17 March, 2004
Dickson Despommier became the guru of vertical farming because his students were bummed out. A professor of environmental health at Columbia University in New York City, Despommier teaches about parasitism, environmental disruption and other assorted happy topics. Eventually his students complained; they wanted to work on something optimistic. So the class began studying the idea of rooftop gardening for cities. They quickly discarded that approach--too small-scale--in favor of something more ambitious: a 30-story urban farm with a greenhouse on every floor.
Vertical Farming
by Bryan Walsh, Time.com, 11 December, 2008
Blame it on a changed city which has turned the existing drainage system inefficient. This has become a major cause for inundation of many roads during heavy rain. What compounds the situation is that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanaraga Palike has not made it a practice to remove silt at regular intervals from the drains. The concretisation of the city has increased the flow of rainwater from buildings into the drains as well as on the roads, points out A. Nagendra, Adviser (Bridges & Highways), Torsteel Research Foundation in India, and former Joint Secretary, Public Works Department.
Blame it on growth
by Krishnaprasad, The Hindu, 03 September, 2008
Food or produce for sale. Anticipating this, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been advocating urban and peri-urban agriculture — to improve food availability in towns and cities, to provide employment to the urban poor, and to reduce the ecological footprint of the city.
Virtues of urban agriculture
The Hindu, 17 June, 2008