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Urban agriculture as local initiative in Lusaka, Zambia

Photo by Matt and Polly. Mapalo gardens. See larger image here.

By Godfrey Hampwaye, Etienne Nel, Christian M Rogerson
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 2007,
Volume 25, pages 553 – 572
May 2007


The topic of urban agriculture has, for a significant period of time, been recognized as a key facet of urban survival in the cities in the South. While it normally forms part of multilivelihood strategies and its overall significance is the subject of some debate, it nonetheless is an important feature of both urban landscapes and urban survival. This paper examines the current status quo of urban agriculture in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.

Structural adjustment and downscaling of the key copper mining sector seems to have forced more people into various informal survival strategies, including urban agriculture. Despite the apparent growing significance of urban agriculture, as illustrated by significant recent vegetation clearances around the city, official policy remains ambivalent and it has not been adequately supported or catered for in urban planning. While it remains officially illegal, controls are seldom enforced and urban farmers persist with what is a key household survival strategy under trying circumstances.

See the complete paper here. Click on Full-text PDF.