About Us


Urban Food International (UFI) is a consultancy firm focusing on the urban and periurban food systems with a particular emphasis on the agriculture-nutrition-health nexus covering urban-rural linkages, food and nutrition security, city planning, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and public health.

UFI draws on a wide range of experience, well developed networks of experts and proven management skills to assist governments, public and private entities in activities related to urban development, food and nutrition security, health and sanitation.

UFI effectively co-operates and co-ordinates with relevant international actors and networks and has long standing experience in training and education.

UFI helps you to develop appropriate, tailor-made solutions to complex urban and periurban problems and challenges.

UFI knows the international challenges of health and food security and uses a world-wide network of experts to address them on the community, national and international level.

UFI uses a virtual-office approach and latest technology to communicate and interact with clients, thus minimizing overhead and administrative costs.

The Founder

Dr. Robert J. Holmer

Dr. Robert J. Holmer, a German national, is an expert in the agriculture-nutrition-health nexus with particular focus on urban and periurban food systems, resilient cities, and sustainable livelihoods. Previously, he was holding the position of Senior Advisor of Germany’s GIZ to conceptualize and implement an innovative school feeding and sanitation component within GIZ’s Fit for School Program. Earlier, he served as Regional Director East and Southeast Asia of AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center in Bangkok, Thailand where he managed and coordinated regional development projects for AVRDC in the region. He joined AVRDC from Xavier University, Philippines where he coordinated a multi-awarded research and development program for urban and periurban vegetable production and marketing funded by the European Union and the German government. Robert holds a Doctorate degree in Agriculture and a Diploma in Horticultural Sciences from the TU München, Germany.

UFI Partners

Dr. Axel W. Drescher

Prof. Dr. Drescher holds a Diploma in Biology and a Doctorate degree in Geography of the University of Freiburg (Germany) and is a Professor (apl.) at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Freiburg. He is specialized in development studies and urban development, with particular emphasis on livelihood security and urban and periurban agriculture. Since 1998, he has also worked as an independent consultant for international organizations like FAO, IDRC, GIZ and the German Agro Action. Since 2002 he has been involved in a large number of research and development projects in Asia and Africa, as well as in numerous project and programme evaluation in Africa and Latin-America.

sv|geosolutions (GmbH)* is a German spin-off enterprise from the University of Freiburg specialized on surveys based on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and unmanned aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The owners and Geographers Dr. Johannes Schlesinger and Dr. Steffen Vogt have long standing experience in research, training and project implementation in Europe, Africa and Latin America. They provide technical services, 3D-viualisations and GIS-applications tailored to the specific needs of clients in the field of urban planning, infrastructure planning and marketing.