Public Consultation Meeting for the Urban Agriculture Policy Draft
(Organized by Working Group on Urban Agriculture Policy in Delhi and People’s Resource Centre)
Urban and peri-urban agriculture has a rich history in Delhi. Agriculture, including all forms of food production, ornamental farming, and composting in all kinds of urban and peri-urban spaces, has always played a significant role in sustainably meeting Delhi’s local food requirements. In other ways, this has been a part of the strategy adopted by ordinary people and communities for their social reproduction. At the same time, they resist the terror of an anti-people and anti-ecological model of development that the state has pushed on behalf of the urban elite- the kind of development which has resulted in urbanisation beyond its ecological limits, the narrow-minded pursuit of accelerated economic growth, irresponsible degradation of the environment, exclusionary and extractivist food system, dispossession and killing of livelihoods, and frequent breakdowns in every urban system. In this context, the inclusion of urban and peri-urban farming in urban planning has been increasingly seen as a radical proposal for making cities more self-reliant and creating opportunities for making the urban food system more democratic and participatory.
This potential of urban farming is being slowly acknowledged, now more so than ever. Particularly during and since the COVID-related lockdowns, there is an increased public interest in growing at least some part of your food and localising the food production. Activist-researchers at People’s Resource Centre have been studying the different aspects of urban farming in Delhi since 2019 in close coordination with communities engaged in farming and associated practices. In the last two and half years, our work has brought to light the diversity in already prevalent urban farming activities in the city and identified the challenges, gaps and issues faced by the practising individuals and communities. Our work and engagement with the communities involved in farming activities have led us to imagine a fundamentally transformational vision of the city. The initial, fragmentary understanding of our studies provides us with the confidence to dare envision a Delhi that enjoys greater self-reliance, leaves a less ecological footprint, and has a strong local and regional food system free from the control of multinational corporate food chains. We think it is time to take this vision more seriously, move toward its realisation, and create a movement to make it visible and prioritise it as an anti-capitalist urban policy agenda.
During the course of our research, various discussions with fellow citizens and stakeholders led us to prepare a state-level policy to preserve and promote urban farming in Delhi as a step towards realising this vision. To make the policymaking process more accountable, People’s Resource Centre formed a voluntary Working Group on Urban Agriculture Policy in Delhi (WG-UAPD) with the collective purpose of preparing a citizen-led draft urban agriculture policy for Delhi. The WG-UAPD was constituted by researchers and community organisers from different civil society organisations and universities. After discussions within the WG and rounds of community consultations with farmers and other stakeholders, the People’s Resource Centre is happy to present the Citizen’s Draft Urban Agriculture Policy for Delhi. The policy intends to provide a comprehensive framework for recognising Delhi’s existing and potential urban farming practices and addressing the critical policy issues associated with urban and peri-urban farming.
We cordially invite you to a presentation and public consultation on the draft policy mentioned above. The session is meant for an open exchange of ideas and thoughts on the initial draft we have prepared. We seek suggestions and feedback to create a robust policy that can be pushed for adoption by the state government. We specifically invite members of agricultural and food-producing communities (including farmers, fisherfolk, animal rearing communities, terrace and kitchen gardeners), academicians, researchers, civil society organisations, social movement groups, RWA representatives, government officials, and elected representatives to participate and contribute in this session on the draft policy.
The consultation will have presentations by the People’s Resource Centre team on the state of Urban Agriculture in Delhi (including some preliminary findings from our state-wide survey), followed by a brief presentation on the Citizen’s Draft Policy for Urban Agriculture in Delhi and its key recommendations. We would seek participants’ suggestions and feedback during an ‘open discussion hour’. The consultation will conclude by summarising the crucial suggestions and inputs received during the session.
Date: 20th September 2022 (Tuesday) Time: 2 pm to 5 pm
Venue: Lecture Room – 1, India International Centre Annexe, Max Mueller Marg, Delhi – 110003
To confirm your participation in the public meeting, please contact Lakshay (+919811375367/ email@example.com).