Fellow Since 2013
Sustainable Agriculture Foundation
This profile was prepared when Supa Yaimuang was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
In Thailand, urban consumers have limited access to nutritious food. As in all cities worldwide, the urban culture of food consumption relies on a high-fat and high-sugar diet of little genetic diversity. Growing one’s own food has been limited to individual recreation. Supa is transforming household hobbies into communitywide collaborations, creating a national movement of city farming to improve urban nutrition and overall quality of life. She is creating spaces of collaborative problem-solving for diverse groups of urban residents—including slum dwellers, public school students, hospital patients, monks, and the elderly. Moreover, Supa is creating links between urban and rural food systems, adapting traditional knowledge of rural farmers to the urban ecology. Supa is developing a rich pool of plant genetic diversity based on the variety of urban cuisine and diverse growing spaces in cities. Beyond creating widespread access to nutrition as a preventive health measure, Supa is using city farming as a vehicle to improve the quality of urban community relations and increasing public awareness of food insecurity.