Over the last 16 years, 11 of which have been at the helm of urban research programs, my work with IDRC has enabled me to meet and learn much from academic researchers, agricultural producers, extension agents, activists, local and national government officials, and senior officers of bilateral and multilateral development agencies. With different expertise and mandates, they all have been grappling with a late 20th century phenomenon for which, in most cases, there is still no clear home, within either their profession or their working environment.
This period in urban history is turning them into true pioneers. To all of them I owe my thanks, having gained first-hand insights into the growth of urban agriculture (UA) worldwide, into the diversity of people engaged and the sheer ingenuity of systems at work, and into the tangible benefits it brings to producers large and small, as well as to others. I have also gained an understanding of the gravity of the constraints and risks that poor producers