Dr Dhian Kaur Ghuman from Panjab University, Geography Faculty, Chandigarh visited the Centre in January along with Phd Scholar Anandvir Saini to build project design for a demonstration food project for colony dwellers (low income, daily wage earners) in Chandigarh, Punjab, India . The project was a joint University project between PU and UFV funded by Shastri Indo Canadian Institute. One of the projects goals was to enlist the support of agri-based organizations and local business organizations in India and Canada to help sustain the project in the years to come.
As well, the project aimed to establish an urban demonstration roof garden in Janta Colony Chandigarh at 40 homes that are currently receiving support from NGO Developing Indigenous Resources (http://www.dir-help.org/). The project also aims to train and support the 40 households (mainly women and older children) in urban agriculture techniques and food security principles with a goal to build rooftop micro-gardens on each of the 40 houses.
The project hoped to train households to select appropriate foods for planting that will provide all family members with proper nutrition within the capacity of household budgets with a goal to assess better nutrition outcomes for children in the family. As a result, the project outcomes would be to develop understanding and approach the colony women (mothers) for the development of a women’s cooperative/self help organisation in the colony to support one another and encourage economies of scale through trading of crops and eventual farm gate sales. Dr Ghuman and Ms. Saini visited urban agriculture sites in the Fraser Valley and met with student researchers and faculty at UFV.