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Proposal to study urban farming in Ethiopia

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ethiopiaEthiopia. Photo by treesftf. See larger image here.

By Menberu Kitila
Ethiopia, Jimma – University

Currently I am working as the head of the environmental protection and urban agriculture office in Jimma city in Ethiopia. Jimma city is 350 km. from the capital city of the country (Addis Ababa).

Also, I am a student(Msc.) of Horticulture (vegetable crop production) in Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (JUCAVM).
My thesis research also deals with the UA activities (specifically tomato production) in the Jimma area.

Jimma city is one of the biggest cities found in the country and, more than 200,000 people are living here. It is the place where Coffee Arabica originated.

I have been working in an agricultural organization for many years as the assistance veterinarian, artificial inseminator, expert, team leader and office head for rural and urban areas.

From my experience and educational outlook I am interested in developing the potential of UA in Ethiopia in three cities starting with Jimma city as the first phase.

Urban Agriculture (UA) has become a contemporary issue, gaining prominence especially in developing economies, because it has been discovered to be a viable poverty intervention strategy for the urban poor.

The presence and potentials of UA in Ethiopia especially in the big cities is not in doubt. Evidence from an UA office report in Jimma city verified the fact that UA is thriving and sustaining a large population of unemployed and employed people in Jimma and it is the same for other cities in Ethiopia.

However, for a long period of time policy makers and government have deliberately neglected this important sector and have failed to acknowledge it and channel attention to it.

But, currently the positive contributions of UA have encourage them to re-design and incorporate the production of horticultural and cereal crops, livestock, fodder and even building materials in the city’s master plan.

However there has been no economic research undertaken in general or specific market-oriented production including its agro-practices and supplemental food self consumption afforded by UA to households, which can help to better understand the economic and social performance of UA and its comparative advantages over other supply sources, both at the producer and consumer level.

Unfortunately there is very little or no information on the farming practiced and contribution of this sector to poverty reduction and food security in the urban and peri-urban areas in the country.

Having these concepts in mind I will try to assess all important points that can be used to highlight the potential, constraints and prospects of UA in Ethiopia (Jimma).

The major objective of this assessment is

Improving the benefit of urban farmers and the city’s population. (IBUFACP)

The specific objectives are:

1. To highlight the UA potentials and constraints to its development so as to capitalize on the potentials and integrate it into the city system in a more viable and sustainable way.

2. To undertake participatory evaluation of crop management innovations;
local knowledge of urban agro-ecologies and strengthen producer capacity for social organization for improved marketing and other objectives.

3. Determine the gender specific constraints in urban and peri-urban agriculture; and devise strategies for efficient peri-urban farming and transfer of the knowledge gained in Jimma to other urban areas in Ethiopia.

4. Produce a preliminary list of current farming activities in the urban and peri-urban areas of Jimma city and assess the current levels of utilization of the produce.

5. Explore the socio-cultural aspects of urban farming such as extent of poverty, food security and gender differentiation.

6. To ensure the development of a production system that results in the production of healthy fruits and vegetables and use of biodegradable chemicals to minimize air, water and soil pollution.

7. To form city networks in international agencies, as well as NGOs to acquire fund and share experiences and training opportunities for the sustainable services.

The study will be contact Municipalities, Universities, UA offices, Agricultural and Rural Development offices, the Ministries of Water and Health, Social Services, Environment and Tourism, input supply enterprises, government and private banks, Gender issue organizations and other related institutions.

The research will have a detailed desk study prior to the field study which will be collected data in Jimma city using a detailed questionnaire.

A total of 325 respondents from male and female will be interviewed. The information will be collected include household demographic data, socio-economic and migratory characteristics, urban agriculture practices and the scale of the activities, the characterization of the agricultural production system at the farm level, data related to land use practices, crop, and livestock management practices.

How much of the harvest was sold in the previous year and this will be converted into a financial figure, household incomes and expenditures and other important points.

The collected data will be analysed using a SAS statistical package.

The data will be collected by a total of six enumerators, one coordinator and one supervisors working with the three consultants (one from JUCAVM, one from municipality (city administration) and one from donor organization).

See the complete project proposal here.

Menberu Kitila


1 eleni { 01.30.10 at 11:36 am }

Dear Menberu,
It is really true and a nice idea and proposal! this is just to say that be strong and make it fruitful, wishing you all the best!

2 Dereje { 10.16.10 at 10:49 pm }

your proposal is very good.You have chosen good topic like me.
I like your proposal.Infact I am working on the same topic

AAU MA student

3 habtamushiferaw { 11.05.10 at 4:42 am }

hi mebratu iam so interested with your proposal .ihave share your idea with different angle i.e iam doing one research on urban agriculture as ameance of solving food insecurity in debreberhan town.
DBU Economics Instructor

4 Valentine Emmanuel { 12.03.10 at 11:25 pm }

since there is a migration of people from rural to urban and if cities will not emphasise on UA shortage of food will occur in many cities. am interested in creating awereness on the contribution of UA in Tanzania a case o f DAR ES SALAAM CITY. A student from sokoine university of Agriculture from the dept of agricultural economics and agribusiness

5 endalew mulgeta negewo { 01.13.11 at 2:50 am }

Dear brother, I Realy appriciate your effort. are u from

6 mekonnen beyene { 01.16.11 at 10:27 pm }

hi brother it is really interesting proposal which describes all the neccessary information and too short easy to understand

7 Esubalew Molla { 01.30.11 at 12:36 am }

deer brother, you are doing very good proposal and i appriciate you.i am doing research on so, please give me a neccessary information about this issue,through my e-mail address .10q very much.

8 said { 02.07.11 at 11:32 pm }

kun haala kanan itti fufee tanan yeroo muraasa keessatti misoomuun ni danda’ama.

9 Endeshaw Tadesse { 03.21.11 at 5:39 am }

Hi, brother I Realy appriciate your effort. It’s an intersting work which needs hand sharing by every one of the Ethiopian citizens on such contribution. Brother BSc student in plant science at Adama Univ. at amoment and i ‘m intersted in to write my graduation paper on problem of horticultural crop production in Ethiopia. Thus, would you send to me information on this if any. 10Q

10 Endeshaw Tadesse { 03.21.11 at 5:43 am }

Hi, brother I Realy appriciate your effort. It’s an intersting work which needs hand sharing by every one of the Ethiopian citizens on such contribution. Brother,i’m a BSc student in plant science at Adama Univ.(GC) at amoment and i ‘m intersted in to write my graduation paper on problem of horticultural crop production in Ethiopia. Thus, would you send to me information on this if any. 10Q

11 yadelew { 03.21.11 at 1:33 pm }

i need to ethiopia family planning system proposal.

12 yadelew { 03.21.11 at 1:39 pm }

you send family planning system proposal

13 Gadisa Dagafa { 06.20.11 at 4:13 am }

Hi dear brother,
Research n kee kun bayyee kan namatti toluu fi biyyitti dhaaf bayyee bu’a guddaa qabuudha jedheen yaada.
Anis amma bara kana topic The role of arban agriculture in allivating urban poverty jedhu irratti hojechuun barbaada.Please kana irratti source qabda yoo ta’e na beeksisi. With great thanks. Gadisa Dagafa, Haramaya University irraa.

14 richard samaneka { 10.28.11 at 2:31 am }

this is an interesting topic am also doing UA for my project at the University of zimbabwe.

15 chanie Derso { 10.31.11 at 6:14 am }

Hi, it is better to think on. It is best when others,we give the hand b/c it can’t clamp with one hand. Anyway Make sure it as well.

16 GUTEMA TEKLE { 12.25.11 at 4:11 am }

Iapriciate you for your idea

17 zemach { 01.03.12 at 3:37 am }

I realy appreciate ur proposal ,unfortunatly I am also doing
my tATIONhesis on the same title .

18 Tikabo Gebreyesus { 07.31.12 at 5:01 am }

Hallo Dear
First and for most I have to appreciate you for your great contribution. You really on the right way to investigate the problems of urban areas. You know every scientists (researcher) has been conducting their researchs in the rural area. I don’t mean that conducting research in rural areas is not good, but we need to switch our work direction to urban areas where urbanization is very serious currently. I did my MSc on Urban Forestry and Greening, which is newly introduced to our country, Ethiopia. This field of study involves both forestry and agricultural practices in the urban and peri-urban areas. My MSc thesis was also on urbanization impacts on the diversity of urban trees and forest health. Currently, I am proposing to conduct research on how urban and peri-urban Agro forestry practices can insure food security of urban community, in Hawassa city. Therefore, we need to cooperate to catch the attentions of researchers to conduct their research concerned to the resources of urban areas.

With best Regards

Tikabo G/yesus
Hawassa University, WGCF-NR, Lecturer

19 Getu Alemu Girmay { 08.29.12 at 11:30 am }

I am a summer and prospective graduate on the field of Development studies from mekelle university. My thesis topic is also on URBAN AGRICULTURE so,it is nice and timely topic as well as an instrument for poverty reduction.

20 Biruk Lemma { 10.27.12 at 12:41 am }

hi menberu i love it your idea and am suuposed to do the same topic in addis ababa nefas silk lafto sub city if you accept me to help each other please contact me and share ideas that makes us the same sound at different corner…..thanks in advance.