Growing potential: Africa’s Urban Farmers

More on Urban Agriculture from thisbigcity including the issues that hinder and the hazards from it – once again the ideals of the humanists and the indigenous population tend to have divergetn views of what is desirable and what is actually practicable

Growing Potential: Africa’s Urban Farmers

By Anna Plyushteva – PhD student at University College London and contributor to a forthcoming book on the politics of space and place. Anna’s most recent publication is on the Right to the City. See her profile on LinkedIn.

Urban agriculture, or growing plants and rearing animals for food within the city’s limits, is a common sight in virtually every African city. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, there will be 35 million urban farmers on the continent by 2020.

At the household level, an urban garden means improved food security and access to nutritious fresh produce which might otherwise be unaffordable. Surplus is often sold locally which helps supplement income, especially for vulnerable groups like women-headed households, the unemployed, the elderly and people with disabilities. At the macro scale, urban farming addresses issues increasingly critical to African cities, such as greening the urban environment and recycling household waste  – a valuable source of nutrients for an urban garden.

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