Today more than half of the planet’s inhabitants live in cities and thisis projected to increase. The world-wide migration of rural people to citiesis particularly prominent in West Africa. This leadsto increased practicing of peri-urban agriculture, supported by a) the lack of formal jobs and as a means of adding up to household income in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), b) the young generations of farmers are not willing to live in remote areas, c) initial stages of agriculture intensification in LMIC usually involves concentration of production in peri-urban areas. Even though intensified peri-urban farming has significant advantages, it also introduces concerns about zoonotic diseases, sanitary issues, local environmental degradation, antimicrobial resistance and more. Especially in LMIC, the intensification of food systems, as they transition from subsistence to market-oriented production, is typically associated with human health risks.
URBANE is addressing this challenge of sustainable agriculture for food nutrition security, applying a One Health approach for tackling issues related to the application & intensification of peri-urban agriculture, as well as providing the necessary framework for its sustainable & safe application in different contexts. To achieve this, the project will be built around the principles of agroecology. URBANE is building on the extensive experience in agroecology of its partners whilst exploiting friendly tools & methods for measuring the progress & impact of the agroecological transition of farming.
The URBANE approach will be demonstrated through 6 case studies in Africa, while its transferability in other regions will also be studied and facilitated through specific tools. New/ adapted business models will also be worked out for the URBANE case studies, that will act as lighthouse examples of how such business models can be - with suitable local adaptations informed by local specificities.