The Brussels Development Briefing no. 50 on “Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities” took place on 10 April 2018 from 09h00 to 13h00, ACP Secretariat, Brussels 451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels. This Briefing was organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, and CONCORD.

TWITTER: Follow @brubriefings  and use hashtag #BBUrbanAg

This Briefing discussed the development of urban agriculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, looking at successful urban agribusinesses and the innovations, partnerships and policy developments that are creating new opportunities in this field.

In particular, the Briefing featured an exchange of views and experiences around agriculture in urban and peri-urban areas, and the main drivers for its growth and uptake by youth and women. It shared best practices and achievements across ACP countries from the private and public sectors, and discussed the factors for success, their replicability, and potential for upscaling.

The intended outcome of the Briefing was to contribute towards successful strategies and partnerships that will promote sustainable, resilient and inclusive urban food production, and identify promising opportunities across the value chains with insight from policymakers, research networks, private sector representatives, experts, civil society groups, development practitioners, and international organisations.

NEW! on the subject of Urban Agriculture

Background Note and Programme




Biodata of the speakers 


– RUAF (2018) UA Magazine no. 35 – Youth in Food: Opportunities for education and employment

– Brussels Briefing 48: “Strengthening rural livelihoods in the face of rapid urbanisation in Africa


08h00-09h00     Registration

09h00-09h10      Introduction of the Briefing

 Introductory remarks: [video] Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary-General, ACP SecretariatLeonard Mizzi, Acting Director Devco C, Planet and Prosperity and Head of Unit Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, Europeaid, European Commission; Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office

 09h15-11h00     Panel 1: Trends and opportunities in urban agriculture
This panel will give an overview of the main trends in urban and peri-urban agriculture and the various ways of growing food in the cities across the ACP and in Europe.


  • What do we know about urban agriculture?
    Henk de Zeeuw, Senior Adviser, RUAF Foundation, The Netherlands [presentation|video]
  • Successes of Urban agriculture in Europe
    Axel Timpe, COST-Action Urban Agriculture Europe [presentation|video]
  • Innovation on vertical farming technology: the case of Growing Underground
    Richard Ballard, Co-Founder, Growing Underground, United Kingdom [presentation|video]

Panel 1: Questions and Answers [video]

11h00-11h15 Coffee Break

 11h15-13h00     Panel 2:  Successes in urban agriculture across ACP regions
This panel will share some successes from the field, which show that growing food in the cities can offer opportunities for young entrepreneurs. It will particularly focus on innovative businesses and serving urban market needs.


  • Urban agriculture: business for young entrepreneurs?
    Angel Adelaja, CEO, Fresh Direct, Nigeria [presentation|video]
  • The experience of micro-gardening in West Africa
    Coumbaly Diaw, FAO subregional coordinator, Senegal [presentation|video]
  • New opportunities in hydroponics in Kenya and lessons learnt
    Peter Chege, CEO, Hydroponics Kenya [presentation|video]

Panel 2: Questions and Answers [video]

Closing remarks

13h00     Light Lunch

4 thoughts on “Brussels Briefing n. 50: “Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities”

  1. Clearly in today’s #sub-Saharan Africa investment needs’ framework, it’s likely that opportunity gap will be affecting lack of performance in areas highly known as much in demand as food in urban cities, so that local #livelihoods depend on. Basic infrastructure in food, agriculture, health and education is being provisioned without much regards to medium and long term impacts or in sync to local private actors’ interests. The lost decades of development in the seventies, being in part assigned to such poor planning cycles from donors’ perspectives.

  2. I completely agree with this iniative almost caribbean are becoming de-facto urbanised .. I curantly grow my green vegetables outside my kitchen with out chemicals … why can’t we get more to do the same
    I don’t think this is a low GDP challange but an urbanisation challenge .. not only for food but also to bring meaning and some level of meaningfulness to women and youth

    I would like to see a Caribbean wide project on this

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