Urban agriculture in the region encompasses a wide range of activities suited to small spaces, from backyard vegetable gardening to intensive production of flowers and the raising of small animals for eggs and meat. According to the report, family gardens are more common in urban areas of Cuba, Colombia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Peru, and among capital cities, the “greenest”
In 16 of the 23 countries surveyed, people practicing UPA earned some income from the activity and used it, typically, to pay for gardening tools, consumer goods, home improvements and school fees. The main benefit, however, is improved access to food. Urban food producers surveyed and their families enjoyed a more diverse diet than other urban dwellers, and were more likely to consume fruit and vegetables regularly.
The report also found that women are the driving force behind urban agriculture in many countries, and particularly in the Caribbean, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua. A 90 percent of urban farming families are female-headed in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital.
A strong trend in many UPA programs in the region is toward agricultural technologies and practices that produce more and better quality food while optimizing the use of natural resources and reducing reliance on agrochemicals. In Managua, they enrich the soil with fertilizer made by anaerobically fermenting household wastes, and combat whiteflies with sticky traps. Furthermore, the answer to dry season water shortages was a rooftop rainwater harvesting system, which channels run-off to a 5,000 liter storage tank.
The "Growing greener cities in Latin America and the Caribbean (http://www.fao.org/