The S.A.F.E. Gardens project, funded by the Municipality of Milan, aims at promoting urban agriculture practices that are able to reduce malnutrition and food insecurity in Arusha and to get started with a participative experience, based on the involvement of women groups, that can combine food security and the safeguard of agro-biodiversity.
In Tanzania we have realized the Themi Living Garden (TLG), a multifunctional edible garden in the hearth of Arusha. Urban agriculture is one of the most acknowledged strategies to fight malnutrition (it increases the consumption of food with high nutritional value, such as fruits and vegetables rich in micronutrients), but it also contributes to poverty reduction. Producing food in the city allows to increase families’ access to fresh horticultural products and to income, thanks to the extra profits coming from the sell of surplus production. The TGL is managed by a women cooperative and it is composed by three macro-areas: an agro-eco systematic area (5 edible gardens); an educational area and a commercial area with a small restaurant a weekly market of horticultural products and a tree nursery. Furthermore, other 200 women are involved in the creation of 200 domestic edible gardens in urban and peri-urban areas of Arusha.
A scientific partnership between the University of Milano-Bicocca and the Nelson Mandela University allows the realization of a biological passport for 10 endangered local horticultural species. The University of Insubria provides an analysis of the urban, agricultural and landscape connective tissue that connects the urban center of Arusha with rural peri-urban areas and designs the cartography in order to support the municipality of Arusha in urban planning decision.