Strengthening urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) areas through sustainable farm practices can offer a solution to challenge of high urban food and nutrition demand, reduce pressure on land-based agro-ecosystem in rural areas for producing more from less, and holistically restore functionality of agro-ecosystems and prevent future land degradation.

A growing momentum on food systems transformations and agricultural sustainability is evident at both global and national levels. Recent global dialogues such as the United Nations Food System Summit, that holds particular relevance for sustainable UPA in India as specifically in the Indian context, it aims to create an enabling environment for developing a resilient, equitable, and inclusive food system through multi-stakeholder interlinkages and catalyzing implementation. At the national level, India’s G20 presidency has a vested focus on prioritizing food and nutrition security amidst celebrating international year of millets and to put forth people-centric success stories around resilient and equitable food system. Additionally, with initiatives such as National Mission on Natural Farming by the Government of India, action on UPA is well timed in India. Sustainable UPA can provide an alternative to build resilient food systems with shorter supply chains, reducing food miles as well as food wastage. It can potentially help in achieving a degree of food self-sufficiency in urban environments and addressing the adverse environmental, social and health externalities associated with the present patterns of production and consumption.

While the fast-growing momentum and action at the sub-national level around UPA in India is growing, the scope, opportunities and enabling conditions/barriers that can support sustainable UPA in the country are not well-explored, resulting in knowledge gaps. To address this gap, a series of multi-stakeholder consultations were held by WRI India and Food and Land Use Coalition India (FOLU India) as part of the Sustainable, Healthy, and Inclusive Food Systems Transformation (SHIFT) initiative in India. Held in Delhi, Karnataka (Bangalore) and Punjab (Chandigarh), these consultations aimed at understanding scope of sustainable UPA, enabling conditions and possible solutions that can support its successful implementation at scale in the Indian context.


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