Issue - March 2007

March 2007

Read and enjoy the cocha-banner!

This month, Bolivian archaeology and tales of our people invite us to explore our cultural diversity and heritage.

An interview with Ema Paz Noya, and more...

March 2007

Urban agriculture

by Arnold Brauwer

In 1994, the United Nations stated that by the year 2025, 65% of the world’s population would live in cities. According to Drechsel, et al. 1999 (*), almost 90% of the urban growth will take place in developing countries.

This means that at this moment and in the near future large groups of people with low opportunities and job perspectives are and will be living in urban areas. Urban agriculture can be of great help for these low opportunity groups in the urban population.

A simple definition of urban agriculture would be “the production, for consumption, of crops or raising livestock in urban and peri-urban areas”. In this definition a single lemon tree in a city backyard is considered urban agriculture just as a fair sized vegetable garden with a small greenhouse to produce year round.

Urban agriculture is something we want to promote in Cochabamba through “huertos educativos”. By creating small vegetable gardens in schools we can demonstrate that it is possible to produce considerable amounts of vegetables in small spaces. Hopefully this will motivate young teenagers and their parents to create small gardens in their own backyard. Most of all in these peri-urban areas, where many people have to struggle to earn a living, and where some people have space around the house, urban agriculture can be of great help in the everyday struggle of preparing good, wholesome meals.

Apart from the obvious, the nutritious value of your own vegetable garden, it also helps in controlling waste management. Having your own garden in the backyard allows you to make your own compost with garden and kitchen waste. It gives you the possibility of reusing, for example, 5 liter cooking oil bottles (or even soda bottles) as flowerpots for tomato plants. Good management of a few square meters could even give people a little bit of extra income, most of all for those (mostly women) who stay at home to take care of the household and childcare duties. Urban agriculture can be a welcoming addition to their daily activities. All in all good reasons for transforming parts of the backyard for agriculture activities, which probably are being used as small waste or deposit areas.

The "Ceramic Treasure of Pariti" has become one of the most significant archaeological findings referring to the Tiwanaku culture. Not only did it draw conclusions to the technique and aesthetics of the ceramic, but also explained about rituals, décor, ostentation, use and customs, remembering that..."
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