Urban farming is taking place in one form or another in different countries, arising out of variegated needs under diverse contexts. In India, especially in Delhi, urban and peri-urban farming is responsible for fulfilling a significant part of the city’s food needs and acts as a source of livelihood for thousands of families who have been cultivating the farmlands for decades. On the other hand, in countries of West Asia like Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, urban farming is an act of resisting the state’s assault on land and people and that of escaping the exploitative practices of industrial agriculture and agribusinesses.
We present here a short booklet to share our understanding of urban farming in its social, political and cultural context in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and India. This booklet is based on the discussions during a webinar organised by People’s Resource Centre, titled ‘Seeds of Resistance and Hope’ in December 2020 and in which various people working with communities and practitioners of urban farming in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, namely Lina Isma’il, Khaled Hammoud, Serge Harfouche, and Abdallah Alkhatib, shared their knowledge and experiences.
The webinar was the idea of Madhuresh Kumar who, along with Ansar Jasim, helped bring together an excellent international panel of speakers. Without their coordination and support, this booklet would not have been possible. We also thank Nishant, Rajendra Ravi and other members of the People’s Resource Centre for their support in the preparation of this report.
This publication is part of our ongoing initiative to disseminate knowledge about the significance of urban farming and allied activities all over the world. To that end, we are also planning to bring a translated version of this booklet. We hope that the knowledge collected in this booklet will help bring more attention to not just how prevalent and central urban farming is in various urban regions but help build global solidarity for the people’s movements for food sovereignty and self-determination.
People’s Resource Centre
March 8, 2021