Demonstrating its strong commitment to promote food security, the City Government of Surabaya has embarked upon an Urban Farming Programme to address limited arable land and improve people’s quality of life through consumption of healthy food products such as fresh fish and vegetables grown in the city.
The Urban Farming Programme has been implemented in Surabaya since 2009, with benefits to both farmers and local citizens. Aiming to optimise vacant land in the city for farming, Surabaya City Government has been implementing various measures to enhance local farmers’ farming expertise while providing them also with material support. The city conducts regular trainings and mentoring sessions, particularly related to the use of technology, to groups of farmers. Necessary equipments have also been provided, including water pumps, hand tractor, rice threshing and cutting machines. In addition, farmers receive planting seeds and media, fish sees, floating net cadge, tarpaulin pools and fertilisers to get started with their farming. Another important support is to explore and provide market access to distribute products.
Outcomes of the programme started to become tangible during 2009-2016 following the implementation of the Urban Farming Programme to a larger scale. At earlier stages (2009-2010), training and mentoring sessions were conducted one-on-one. Due to the higher demand for this kind of support, the city adapted the training model to cater groups of farmers since 2011. The success of urban farming done by local people can also be measured by the benefits felt by society such as to what extent it helps reducing family expenses and its effectiveness is replicated by others. For the farmers, their success is measured in the volume of their farming productivity.