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Zimbabwe: Urban Farming – Curse or Blessing?


Growing vegetable crops within African towns and cities, to supply urban markets, is becoming increasingly popular. By FAO/Erick-Christian Ahounou.

No doubt, urban farming is a highly emotive issue, whose existence will continue to exercise the minds of local authorities for years to come.

By Tawanda Ngena
The Herald
5 December 2012

Excerpt:

According to social commentator and city watcher Malcolm Leppard, the way forward is simple.

“Municipal authorities must, instead of the present uncontrolled and haphazard approach, identify and allocate appropriate land, taking into consideration all ratepayers’ needs,” he recently said in one of his newspaper articles.

He suggested that plot size be no greater than 250 square metres in order to accommodate as many families as possible.

Agricultural expert Ivan Graig is on record as saying peri-urban agriculture is one of the several tools for making productive use of urban open spaces, treating and recovering waste and managing fresh water resources more effectively.

To conserve the environment, other experts have suggested that urban farmers plant trees in the open spaces they are utilising.

Since urban farming is clearly here to stay, there is need for the City Fathers and ratepayers representative bodies to sit down and map the way forward so that they come up with a clear policy framework that guarantees a win-win situation.

Read the complete article here.