A more environmental-friendly urban agriculture in line with Good Agricultural Practices adapted to an urban context (urbanGAPs) has the potential to reduce the health and ecological risks associated with conventional urban agricultural production, provides more agrobiodiversity within the city and promotes thus a sustainable urban food system.
urbanGAPs adapts Good Agricultural Practices in line with agroecology to city conditions and provides the knowledge and practice base for more organic methods. Importantly, it also takes into consideration challenges faced in a city environment, such as Cape Town’s ongoing severe drought in 2018, focusing on water stewardship in horticultural production. The urbanGAPs incorporates appropriate site and crop planning, soil building techniques and cover crops as well as the protection of the food production site from pollution through buffer zones, windbreakers and hedges. urbanGAPs should help city farmers to follow easily explained principles such as field hygiene to improve their production – both in terms of quantity, quality and reliability – as well as to assure safety and health of soil, crop and the consumer.
The urbanGAPs are not only developed for enabling access to markets for small scale farmers, they also aim to support home gardeners to grow healthier produce for their own consumption to increase urban agricultures contribution to food and nutrition security.
The urbanGAPs guideline provides farmers with an informative base on the necessary inputs and recommendations on quantities to improve cost benefit calculations of their farming activities.
The first urbanGAPs have been developed for the context of Cape Town, GAP development is planned for Maputo with the aim to design a methodology to develop GAPs in general for cities and customized them for the local context.