Sourcing affordable, nutritious food for their family in urban areas is one of the multiplicity of agriculture-related challenges poor women face in the Pacific Island countries. Growing their own food, and occasionally a little surplus for sale or barter, is a common practice for many urban women. The Rural-Urban continuum is significant in many communities especially because of the small size of the towns and the substantial flow of people between the towns and villages.
This has been clearly identified in the 2012 Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography, published by UN Women, entitled: Rural Pacific Island Women and Agriculture, Evidence, Data and Knowledge in Pacific Island Countries, which states:
“Agricultural production is not limited to women in rural areas, as women in towns and cities may also use available land to cultivate food crops to offset the high costs of purchasing healthy foods. (Barber, 2010; Thaman, 2000; Thaman, Elevitch & Kennedy, 2006)” (p.11)
A large international community of development practitioners has been addressing the related issues with various policy papers and discussion groups. It is based in IFAD's partner FAO. This group is known as Food-for-the-Cities, with specific subgroups, including one which concerns itself with production, known as
Urban and peri urban agriculture (UPA) of Food-for-the-Cities
As identified by them:
"Key issues include: the health and sanitary implications of UPA; the land use dynamics caused by the encroachment of urban areas into agricultural areas; the interdependencies between rural and UPA; the credit and other input constraints of poor urban and periurban farmers; integrated crop and animal production systems; the involvement of women in UPA; and the associated requirements for marketing and distribution."