Urban agriculture in Kampala City, Uganda
Kampala City Council LCV Production and Marketing Sectoral Committee on an Agricultural field visit (2008)
By Ssembalirwa Edward (Senior Fisheries officer)
Profile of the urban agriculture sector in Kampala City
Urban Agriculture in Kampala city is a constituent sector of Kampala City Council under the Department of Production, Marketing and Environment.
The sector is comprised of 5 sub sectors namely.
1. Crop Production and Extension services
2. Animal Production and Extension services
3. Fisheries and Aquaculture Production and extension services
4. Commercial Services, Trade and Cooperatives
5. Environment and Natural Resources
The overall goal in line with the mission of Kampala City Council, the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) and the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA) is ‘’poverty alleviation through increasing and improving food production and promotion of Agro-enterprises which are environmentally friendly and cost-effective with regard to labour, time and energy saving in order to ensure self- reliant Urban communities’’.
1. Ensure improved quality livestock productivity which is environmentally secure for increasing incomes.
2. Improved food production for better nutrition and social welfare at household to district level and consequently to the national level for sustainable economic development.
3. Transforming livestock production for sustainable development
4. To facilitate the provision of adequate, safe and wholesome fish to city residents and realization of maximum sustainable economic benefits from the Fisheries sector without degrading the environment.
The Department is guided by The Republic of Uganda Government’s Decentralisation Policy, the Local Governments Act (LGA), Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA), the Fish Act, Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), the five Local Government (KCC) Urban Agriculture Ordinances and the National Environment Statute (NES).
Background of agriculture in Kampala city
Urban agriculture has always been part of Kampala’s economy and an important livelihood strategy for the city’s urban poor, especially women (Hooton et al 2007). But the policy environment has been unfavourable or hostile because of perceived nuisance and public health risks. Also until 2005 it has been illegal to carry out farming in the City. Until the early 1990s there were few activities to support urban agriculture but after decentralization in 1993 the Kampala District Agricultural Extension Officer started building capacity for urban agriculture work, mainly through collaboration with NGOs e.g. Environmental Alert. By 1999, despite many people within KCC still regarding urban agriculture as illegal, there was more open collaboration between KCC, NGOs and researchers.
Through these initiatives there has been marked international and local research into urban agriculture, and regional meetings which have exposed Kampala’s technical officers, researchers, NGOs and politicians to wider thinking on urban agriculture.
The City Council has now streamlined urban agriculture through policy provisions and guidelines embodied in a number of Urban agriculture Ordinances which were approved during May 2005. This was after the City Council realized that the city was established in the interlacustrine region with very fertile soils. Secondly, as the city grows it is sprawling into agricultural land and lastly there is a lot of farming, agro-processing and value-addition of agricultural produce in many cities all over the world.
The city is divided into 5 divisions, four of which have 25% of their area being peri-urban with agricultural activities. Over 35% of the city’s population practice some form of agriculture.
The city council is a Local Government run under the Decentralisation Policy and the Local Governments Act (LGA). In the context of agriculture in the city, the purpose of the Decentralisation policy is to contribute to development by empowering the people and institutions, increased access to basic services such as agricultural extension and assisting in developing people’s capacities e.g. in food production, value-addition and employment creation.
The purpose of the Local governments Act (Cap. 243) in the context of urban agriculture is to give effect to Decentralisation and devolution of functions, powers and services including promotion, support and guidance for the development of urban agriculture.
A small scale catfish hatchery in Kampala district
As a result a number of achievements have been registered under the sector including:
• A number of fruit trees have been established in the city
• Demonstration plots for re-use of Ecosan products (urine) as a soil conditioner established
• Implementation of Kyanja Edible Landscape Project (KELP) on-going
• Training, demonstration and capacity building of farmers in various areas including; silage making, forage preparation, sustainable, commercial livestock farming, biogas and organic manure production, sustainable, appropriate production of crops, vegetables, fruits, herbal medicines and mushrooms; appropriate fish farming and fish breeding; integrated farming
• Training of the sector staff in advanced studies
• Supervision, coordination and promotion of fishing, fish farming, fish breeding programmes and fish inspection in markets for placement of a quality fish product on the market
• Enhancement of the policy of Co-management of the fisheries natural resource with the resource users (the fishing community)
• Monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of fishing activities; control and prevention of sale of immature fish
• Improvement of hygienic and sanitary standards in the handling of fish, meat, milk for human consumption through implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) and food health requirements for handling of foods and treatment of skins and hides
• Funding and implementation of Komamboga Fish farming Demonstration and Fry Production Project
• Facilitation of farmers and fishers to form and join Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations and to take advantages of Central Government’s Programmes including Prosperity for All (PFA or ‘‘Bonna Bagaggawale’’).