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Incorporating Agriculture into Urban Structures

To develop an urban food system that provides fresh healthy food for everyone

Photo of Isaac Atayure
3 3

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

UGreen Technologies

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Kosmos Innovation Center

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Accra

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Ghana

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Accra is the capital of Ghana and covers a total area of 225.67 km^2 with an estimated urban population of 2.27 million.

What country is your selected Place located in?

Ghana

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I was born and raised in Ghana. I am a citizen and live here with my family. I love my country and am committed to making it a better place. 

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Ghana which was once called the "Gold Coast" in the colonial days, is today considered the “Gateway to Africa” for its strategic position in the Gulf of Guinea, a few degrees north of the equator. This advantage has made Ghana and its ports, a critical point for connecting with the rest of the continent.

Visiting Ghana is a very immersive experience. The country is a mix of rich heritage, culture, pride and hospitality which warmly welcomes you. Maize, beans, cassava, plantain and rice form the food ingredients, with "Ghana Jollof" been its most acclaimed meal. Street food and snacks are a must-do, to savor Ghana cuisine in its purest form.

Ghana has a population of about 28.3 million, growing at an annual rate of 2.19 %, with 68 % and 32 % living in the rural and urban areas respectively. Ghana is increasingly becoming urbanized with urban population having more than tripled and outpacing rural population growth.

Agriculture is the largest employer and the second largest contributor to the GDP. Small holder farms, rain-fed, traditional production and Climate change has hampered growth . The introduction of the planting for food and jobs by the government has greatly revived the sector and the initiative is being extend to include aquaculture and the export crops. 

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

29000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Over 40 percent of vegetable produced in Ghana are lost before they get to final consumer because of the distance between production and consumption centers, not to mention the carbon emissions during transportation. Also, recent bans on the export of vegetables from Ghana to the EU due to the inability to meet sanitary and phytosanitry standards is reducing public confidence in locally produced vegetables and hurting the economy.  

Urbanization is on the rise in Ghana with Accra set to become one of Africa mega cities by 2030.  An already expanding middle class and increasing expat community is fueling the demand for fresh quality vegetable, which traditional production systems can not meet. 

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Our vision is to build a food production systems into the urban environment using novel production technologies that makes efficient use of production resources to give the best quality produce.

At the core of our vision is the client and the environment. To give the customer quality, fresh and healthy produce he can completely trust whiles ensuring that the environment is preserved. 

We will reduce the distance food travels which will cut down food wastage and loss of quality. We will eliminate food deserts, make efficient use of space and water to give you quality produce.

Our system is environmentally friendly with reduced carbon emissions and environmental degradation. 

It will greatly reduce the importation of vegetables and streamline the value chain 

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Currently, most of our food is produced in the rural areas using traditional production methods. Consumers mostly have no idea who or how that food is produced. You have to contend with seasonality, price fluctuations sometimes long trips to the market. 

Our vision is to put a farm right in your locality (urban spaces), were you walk up to and buy fresh produce, you know who, where ad what in your food. You get to experience the growing process and have the ability to control the quality of what you eat.

Our urban farms will not only provide convenience and employment but also increase social bonding through community farms. Nature will be brought back into city environment and urban biodiversity will return.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Our food system reduces the use of water, fertilizer and pesticides up to 70 percent compared to conventional production with the potential for the elimination of pesticide use. Also by localizing production, we reduce food travel distance and cut carbon emissions.

By the end of 2020 there will be 14 million people living in urban areas in Ghana. This trend is projected to continue. Also increasing health concerns are driving people in urban areas to healthy plants based diets. Our system is a means to provide the expanding population with quality healthy produce.

Bans on the export of vegetables to the EU has come with economic implications. Reduced local production and higher import is robbing the country of foreign exchange. Also, the potential to produce exotic vegetables both for the increasing expat community and the export market is not being exploited.

Food security challenges that Ghana faces are very real, made even more difficult by climate change. Our food system gives as a way to build sustainable cities, to produce our food without destroying the environment.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Facebook
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3 comments

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Spam
Photo of Aphrodite Oti
Team

Beautiful concept and a necessary step in the right direction. Wish you lots of success.

Thanks so much for sharing

Spam
Photo of Isaac Atayure
Team

Thank you Aphrodite

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