[Answered] Urgent attention to Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA) and its incorporation into ULP will have muti-dimensional benefits for urban areas. Discuss

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Write some benefits of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture and its incorporation into ULP. Also write some issues with its progress.
Conclusion: Write some suggestions.

Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA) is a dynamic concept that comprises a variety of livelihood systems ranging from subsistence production and processing at the household level to more commercialized agriculture. Growing poverty, hunger and lack of formal employment opportunities, etc. have stimulated the development of diverse agricultural production systems in and around cities.

Multi-dimensional benefits:

  • Urban food security and nutrition: Urban areas already house at least 55 per cent of the world’s population and consume 80 per cent of the food produced globally. Thus UPA is key to achieving sustainable food systems.
  • Local economic development: UPA can also enhance the development of microenterprises for the production of necessary agricultural inputs, processing, packaging and marketing of products.
  • Social impacts: Urban and peri-urban farms may also assume an important role by providing recreational and educational activities to urban citizens or in landscape and biodiversity management and community building.
  • Environmental management: UA can contribute to solving Waste disposal and related problems by turning urban wastes into productive resources like compost production, vermiculture, irrigation with wastewater.
  • UPA and forestry may also help in the greening of the city, the improvement of the urban micro-climate (wind breaks, dust reduction, shade) and the maintenance of biodiversity.

Challenges:

  • Contamination of crops with pathogenic organisms can be caused by the use of inadequately treated wastewater on farms.
  • Contamination of crops by heavy metals from contaminated soils, air or water can be caused by heavy traffic and industry.
  • Transmission of diseases from domestic animals to people (zoonosis).
  • UA may contaminate local water sources if large amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used.
  • Further, under certain situations, inappropriate farming practices may lead to reduction of vegetation and siltation of water bodies.

UPA must be understood as a permanent and dynamic part of the urban socio-economic and ecological system. The integration of UPA into the urban land use system and the creation of a favourable policy environment are critical steps in the development of the sector. Urgent attention to UPA and its incorporation into ULP with enabling support will also go a long way in achieving urban food security and even a circular bio-economy.

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