On Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, the fourth of six webinars on each of the categories of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact under the umbrella Asia Pacific Food Policy Training was held, with the cooperation between the MUFPP Secretariat and the International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme.
The webinar focused on Food Production. Gathering many participants both online and offline, the webinar was structured as follows: a brief introduction to the topic, a quick word on Milan’s food production, followed by insightful presentations on some of the best practices from the Asia Pacific Region, including Seoul, Bandung, Surakarta and, lastly, Seberang Perai.
The MUFPP Secretariat introduced the topic, giving an overview of the 7 recommended actions falling under the Food Production category and the respective 14 indicators in order to provide a better understanding of how work on urban farming can stimulate food system transformation.
First up, the city of Milan has a large agricultural surface. Its agricultural system is able to provide more than 1,400 farmers with work. Milan has 5 agricultural districts that, along with the municipality, help define a good framework for territorial development. As a goal for the future, the city of Milan is now aiming to reintroduce traditional production, exploit water, and introduce carbon farming.
As for Seoul, the city established a 5-year Food Plan based on the 6 core values of health, food security, co-prosperity, community, ecology and happiness. The co-prosperity approach is related to the promotion of public food services for urban-rural linkages based on 3 steps: production (through regional local farms), distribution (with public food service centres) and consumption (in new public food services).
In 2020, Bandung established the project Buruan SAE to improve urban food security utilizing unproductive yards and areas around the city’s districts through the involvement of 300 urban farming communities, while collecting biowaste to generate compost and and fulfill the family food consumption.
Moving right on, the city of Surakarta is highly dependent on food supply coming from other regions. To face this issue, the municipality developed many policies together with NGOs, universities and the private sector to promote urban food security and develop new green productive areas within the city.
Last but not least, Seberang Perai shared its experience with promoting urban farming within its borders. The city developed a Green Education Centre by focusing on Digital Farming which uses IoT technology for hydroponics, and organizing field visits for residents and schools.
Seberang Perai also formulated guidelines to use public land for urban farming, encouraging community leaders to exploit vacant spaces and develop community gardens.