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Washington University

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

India: Sustainable Development and Social Change


Localized Food Systems (LFS) have garnered much attention in recent years among civil society, research, and policy circles, among others. Increased attention and efforts to build more localized food systems are principally motivated by the awareness of the pressures exerted by increasing urbanization on food security and access, and concern for the ecological and social costs of the dominant globalized food system. In their varying purpose to address these two issues, LFS tend to be characterized by certain patterns of (localized) land, water, and other resource use; by direct marketing and distribution arrangements; and by the presence of extensive linkages and connectivity between different actors in the food system. Urban and periurban agriculture appears as a potentially instrumental component of LFS for its ability to build these three conditions.

The present study examines the particular conditions of urban food growing practices in Bangalore, India’s second fastest growing city, with the aim of determining whether such practices are indeed contributing to the emergence of a more localized food system. Data was gathered on the methods of input use and provisioning, the distribution arrangements for products of urban gardening, and the linkages existing among different actors in UPA practices. The study found that on all three points urban food growing practices in Bangalore do conform to the patterns observable in LFS, and therefore to the localization of the urban food system. However, this effect is not complete, particularly owing to challenges in localizing sourcing of irrigation water, and the lack of connectivity with the municipal government.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Agricultural Education | Agriculture | Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Food Security | Place and Environment | Urban Studies and Planning


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