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Microfinance-driven urban/intensive agriculture

Encourage intensive urban agriculture through a microfinance platform to ease food insecurity and build community cohesion.

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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

One of the key threats of climate change is the continued degradation of agricultural resources. Slum dwellers are already most at risk from food insecurity due to poverty and will thus be most vulnerable to changes. Urban agriculture - vertical, aquaponic, intensive - is already being developed in wealthier areas and is becoming increasingly cost-effective. Urban farming can also have social benefits that go beyond the local availability of food, including increased social cohesion. Steps of the idea include: - Utilizing design thinking in partnership with local residents to take the best from intensive urban farming techniques / technologies and translate them to a small-mid scale level best suited for slum environments; - Partnering with NGOs to introduce slum inhabitants to the idea and benefits; - Partner with microfinance and community organizations to distribute these facilities; while subsidization is likely needed, having a group of 10-30 local stakeholders would increase local 'ownership' of the farms vis a vis strictly donor driven projects and also aid in social cohesion in communities that will face many different social/economic pressures from climate change.

WHO BENEFITS?

The idea is applicable to slum environments around the world; however modifications / flexibility in design due to differing climates and agricultural norms locally would need to be taken into account and built in. Implementation would need to be done in partnership with local community organizations, NGOs and microfinance institutions. Construction of smaller / mid-sized urban farming facilities would also aid in local employment.

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

This would compliment a host of programs surrounding sustainable / social enterprise and microfinance. It could also play a role in women's empowerment. Many of the most successful microfinance efforts have been targeted towards women, and women have proven to be outstanding in a group-lending model at repaying microloans. Additionally, given that agriculture / food is generally a sphere where female leadership is considered acceptable in very traditional societies, social obstacles to adoption might be limited even while it empowers women financially and socially in the long-term.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Not yet

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for less than one year

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

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

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I have worked in leadership / strategy consulting in the healthcare and medical research sectors for over 10 years; however I have a long interest in international development and have studied the topic in undergraduate / graduate school and have always had an interest in getting more involved.

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Hi Ryan, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.