Q. 421. Peri-Urban Agriculture
Peri-urban agriculture is generally defined as agriculture undertaken in places on the fringes of urban areas. There is no universally agreed definition, and usage of the term generally depends on context and operational variables. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines peri-urban agriculture as "agriculture practices within and around cities which compete for resources (land, water, energy, labour) that could also serve other purposes to satisfy the requirements of the urban population.
The term “peri-urban” is used to describe agriculture, while difficult to define in terms of geography, population density, percentage of labor force in agriculture, or any other variable, often serves the purpose of indicating areas along the urban-rural continuum. These are places with dynamic landscape and social change and are often invoked in conversations about growth of cities.
Indian agriculture has seen rapid growth in fruit, vegetable, dairy and fishery production. The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is hoping to double farmer's incomes by 2022 by continuing to increase production, but to also implement proper processing techniques and infrastructure for market expansion. It is hoped that by creating attractive employment options, less agricultural land located near cities and towns will be swallowed up by land conversion.
Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) has helped in production and productivity, post-harvest management and marketing by providing assistance in the production of quality seeds, protected agriculture, vegetable and organic farming.
Due to rapid urbanization in the past years, demand for vegetables, fruits and flowers is constantly increasing in urban areas and Peri-Urban Agriculture can contribute to price stabilization through the development of important local food production centres of the diversified food system. This will reduce the burden on transport, and help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cold storage.