Although crops have always been grown inside the city, urban horticulture is expanding and gaining more attention recently.
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Horticultural products include a large variety of vegetables, cereals, flowers, and trees.
Vegetable production provides regular and high incomes to the various actors in the commodity chain and provides food to urban dwellers. Many specific techniques have been developed or adapted specifically for urban areas.
If well managed, urban horticulture can play an important role in reducing socio-economic and environmental problems in cities. Urban authorities should collaborate with urban producers to strengthen the role of urban horticulture in waste recycling, community building and creating sustainable food systems.
Urban and peri-urban horticulture (UPH) includes all horticultural crops grown for human consumption and ornamental use within and in the immediate surroundings of cities. Although crops have always been grown inside the city, the practice is expanding and gaining more attention. The products of UPH include a large variety of vegetables, cereals, flowers, ornamental trees, aromatic vegetables and mushrooms.
Generally, the types of crops cultivated vary according to the area, influenced by culture and tradition. In cities, short-cycle crops are preferred, while in the surroundings of the city crops with longer cycles are cultivated, for example in orchards.
Crops are grown in small gardens or larger fields, using traditional or high-tech and innovative practices. The major production systems and practices of UPH are described in this chapter, together with the major constraints.