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Urban Grower: An app-based Urban Farming Ecosystem

How might we use technology to develop a urban farming system creating employment, increasing food security & city green cover?

Photo of Mansi Parikh
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Problems: - Lack of food security & unsanitary conditions = poor health - Densely populated = depleting green cover & poor air quality - Climate change = Reduced arable land & droughts affecting traditional agriculture - Women not allowed to work outside the community - At risk youth The Idea: 1) Develop an app based marketplace system which will help guide the farming effort and also help create a marketplace where community members can report their yields, get advice from experts, weather reports & other necessary data. 2) Create education opportunities for the farmers through guided tutorials, mentoring and sharing best practices & provide feedback 3) Support existing urban farming initiatives and build new ones This initiative will help - Improve hygiene - Increased food security for residents - Build pride - Employment for women - Increase food production - Increase green cover and improve air quality - Transform garbage dumps around slums into beautiful green spaces

WHO BENEFITS?

Beneficiaries: - Slum communities (increased - Women in slum communities - City Municipalties/governments - City residents This idea can be implemented for any urban farm in any city. We can start with the large slums in Mumbai city (Dharavi, Bandra Reclamation) where similar initiatives are already being implemented http://goo.gl/vABIpf and develop the app feeding it with existing information and building up the database.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

Plan for the ordinary, not just the extraordinary: Information exchange of yield across farms reduces transportation needs = reduced emissions. Cities that aren't already facing acute climate change will also benefit by planning ahead. Consider the system & Build Flexibility: Government systems like weather data, farmings best practices, etc. can be used to build the database. The app which connects these urban farms will provide information enabling efficient use of resources. The app will provide the flexibility of easily replicating efforts in other, higher income, communities as well. Maximize limited resources, Design for Equality & Design with, not for: The app based system will help farmers learn resource efficient ways of farming and gain education. Reporting yields = lower wastage of produce. Women can work within the community, adding to the family income while providing food security. The built in feedback system will help us improve & grow.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I do not have experience working in a sector related to my idea

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • This idea is meant to inspire - I hope someone else takes it on!

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am life-long city dweller looking to use my design thinking superpowers for good. I grew up in Mumbai, one of the world's most densely populated cities with large urban slums. Looking to work with anyone willing to implement this system.

3 comments

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Spam
Photo of David Mishra
Team

This is really a good initiative you know its so good to see that rural urban farmers are taking further steps towards modern technology. Government is playing a very important role in it as well.

https://gettutuapp.com/
https://appspopo.com/tutuapp/
https://showbox.ooo

Spam
Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Nice one Mansi. Check out this ongoing project from Save the Children Austrailia to create a platform for connecting Dhaka slum communities to basic services. The focus isn't on farming but there's an interesting parallel between KOLORAB and your idea:T

Spam
Photo of Mansi Parikh
Team

You're right. The ideas are very similar. I initially based this on the eChoupal initiative by ITC. That gives farmers information like weather, best practices, price, etc. And I see UrbanGrower as being a scaled down mobile app version of that. more targeted toward urban farming operations within cities. Eventually if it takes off anyone with even just a home garden can use it for gardening tips, lessons, etc. It doesn't even have to be just for smart phones. It can be a text messaging based service too since not everyone has a smartphone.