Urban agriculture innovations feed Sub-Saharan African cities
Recent innovations in urban agriculture production technologies promote space and waste management
By Toni Bacala
23 Feb, 2011
“There is increasing recognition of the urbanization of the world and the role that urban and peri-urban agriculture plays to provide food supplies for the population that is most vulnerable in cities,” Daniel Gustafson, Director of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Liaison Office for North America told MediaGlobal.
Urban growth has been tightly linked with the rise of slum population. In sub-Saharan Africa, the swelling of urban population with migrants displaced from conflict and natural disasters has pushed many people to the slums, which is now 62 percent of its urban populace.
Slum dwellers have restricted access to adequate and safe food, water, sanitation, employment, and education. Dependence on consumer products is further aggravated by the rising cost of food and limited, often nonexistent, economic resources to neither produce nor purchase it.
“The importance of having affordable, nutritious food in the urban setting is heightened in a period when you have high prices of food and potential for unrest and political instability,” said Gustafson.
As of 2010, 30 percent of the sub-Saharan population was reported as undernourished, the highest proportion of malnutrition in the world. Poor rural farmers may fall back on their own produce, but the disadvantaged in urban areas no such recourse.