City Region Food Systems: Quito Agri-Food Pact

The City Region Food System (CRFS) approach has been developed by FAO and RUAF and piloted in 11 city regions, to enhance resilience and sustainability of urban food systems. With RUAF and FAO, Quito implemented CRFS. The participatory process resulted in the Quito Agri-Food Pact and inclusion of Food into the Quito Climate Action Plan for 2050.

Stage of the project




Starting Up





Why was this project started?

The Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito has a long history of promoting urban and peri-urban food production. Over the years, the urban agriculture programme AGRUPAR (Participatory Urban Agriculture) Project that started in 2002, and related policies, developed into a city region agri-food policy. This was through collaboration with RUAF Global Partnership, Rikolto, FAO, and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP).
In 2015, Quito joined the RUAF Global Partnership and participated together with 8 other cities in the RUAF and FAO initiative to test and implement the City Region Food System (CRFS). Quito took an integral look at its food system and related policies in a participatory fashion. This included a vulnerability analysis of its food system, and testing the Milian Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) Indicator Framework.

The results of the project so far

-The analysis of its CRFS highlighted the high vulnerability of the Quito District's agri-food system, which is characterised as dependent, vulnerable and diverse.
-Key in this process was the multi-actor platform, convened to perform the analysis, submit proposals, and jointly build an agri-food policy that promotes changes in the way food is processed, transported, and consumed, as well as the way waste is handled.
-The results of the CRFS Quito-region diagnosis generated enough evidence for food and is included in the Resilience Strategy and Vision 2040 (strategic and participatory planning of the city by 2040). Additionally, food has been integrated into the Quito Climate Action Plan for 2050 for the adaptation dimensions (2019 – 2020). It connects the Food Resilience Strategy with the global framework for sustainable development that recognises the right to food as one of the fundamental human rights.
Quito is now committed to realise and further develop sustainable and resilient agri-food system, with the support of the multi stakeholder platform, known as the Quito Agri-Food Pact PAQ.

What are specific, distinctive, strong elements in this project?

-Through the urban agriculture project with its 20 years of work and experience, invited various actors from the food system to form the multi-stakeholder platform that took the name of the Quito Agrifood Pact.
-Collaboration with a wide variety of organisations and donors, for a long time.
-A cross-sectoral municipal programme: Agrupar to host, own and support continuation of the process.
-The robust analysis in which several departments of Quito participated, and supported by the department of planning.
-The combination of longer term visioning and planning, and (continuous) activities on the ground, including local gardens, markets, and further community support at local level.
-City networking in Latin America and internationally. Including wide exposure.

Which specific lessons, do's and don'ts would you like to share? What would be suggestions for others when preparing or implementing the project in their own city?

-The formation of a specific secretariat at the city, and capacity building to allow this core team to facilitate the process as well as influence decision-making.
-A thorough diagnosis of the food system, enhanced the understanding of all actors involved and allowed further discussion and planning.
-Participation of a wide number of public and private sector actors in the Multi-actor space, and proper facilitation was essential to generate commitment and longer term perspective.
-The Quito information system (GIS based) included the information gathered on the agri-food system and was key in making food more visible as a city-region issue.
-Addressing food from a perspective of resilience made it possible to position the issue against the risks and vulnerabilities of Quito, and include food into the Quito Resilience Strategy.

Have others adopted, or shown interest in adopting, your idea in their own area?

Other cities are also working with the CRFS approach. The City Region Food Systems (CRFS) Programme is an international initiative of FAO and RUAF to respond to some of the challenges identified above. In response to city and country requests and in collaboration with related international initiatives like the MUFPP, the CRFS approach has been implemented in six countries since 2014 (Zambia, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Equator, The Netherlands and Canada) in collaboration with various international and local partners .
Moving forward, this new phase of the CRFS programme looks more closely at strengthening the climate resilience dimension of food systems in city regions, working with the cities of Kigali in Rwanda, Antananarivo in Madagascar, Tamale in Ghana, Colombo in Sri Lanka, and Melbourne, Australia.

Can you tell us how valuable this project was for you?

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