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Abstract: Domestic demand for certified organic agricultural food products is slowly rising among urban population in Pakistan. For a few years now, entrepreneurs have manufactured certified processed food and sold them in supermarkets. In 2013, the growing interest in healthy, natural food has led to the foundation of farmers’ markets in the city centers of Islamabad and Lahore. Based on ethnographic field work in Pakistan, I show how urban and peri-urban farmers envision alternative futures of consumption and produce and circulate knowledge on a healthier and ecologically just lifestyle. In this context, I discuss if certified organic agriculture, often depicted as part of a neoliberal agro-food system (Guthmann 2004; Raynolds 2004) by scholars of rural sociology, human geography and agrarian studies, can lead, through different consumer behavior, to alternative food systems or if it is part of an emerging “green capitalism” (Friedmann 2005) in which companies and retailers appropriate the green consumerism for their interests.
Keywords: Urban farming, organic agriculture, Pakistan, futures, green consumerism
Narrative step: Building Alliances