In urban areas most people have no access to low cost, high quality, and diverse food. Precious local vegetable varieties are facing extinction and amateurs are discouraged to grow them in small gardens and produce their own food. Furthermore, in lack of seed of selected local varieties, organic gardeners use expensive hybrid seed, which increases the production cost.
Growers and consumers in urban areas need to be encouraged to use local vegetable varieties, which are more adaptable to organic and local conditions. To this end, high quality organic seed of locally selected varieties with special taste and nutritional value is needed. Incentives could be introduced to support the use of proper seed, produced at lower cost. Community events help bring local varieties back to urban gardens, to local markets and tables of citizens.
- Community seed banks, community gardens and school gardens in urban areas should be created.
- Farmers and gardeners can be trained to join participatory organic breeding to select the best varieties and produce seed.
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) schemes and cooperatives between producers and consumers should promote the use of local varieties and seeds.
- Open culinary events and seminars on nutritional and cultural values of local varieties can be organized.
- A creation of a niche market for those varieties and the engagement of food chain stakeholders is needed.