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Category — Africa

Africa: Nigeria’s soil-free salad farm

How one young entrepreneur is growing greens in shipping containers – no soil needed.

A film by Amelia Martyn-Hemphill and Sam Judah
for BBC World Hacks.
11 Feb 2018


February 11, 2018   No Comments

Zimbabwe: Monkey terror – the viability of urban agriculture has also come under threat

Residents of suburbs are having running battles with monkeys.

Mutare’S low-density suburbs of Darlington and Morningside have been turned into landscapes of human-wildlife conflict, as monkeys are invading houses and wrecking property in the process.

The Herald
Jan 16, 2018


“These monkeys even have the guts to enter houses, vandalising property,” she said.

“They grab food items like bread and fruits from houses while in some cases they invade gardens and orchards where they pluck vegetables and fruits.

Although properties in the low-density suburbs are expansive, most residents have abandoned or reduced the scale of subsistence agriculture practices.

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January 23, 2018   Comments Off on Zimbabwe: Monkey terror – the viability of urban agriculture has also come under threat

Nairobi Establishes a Framework from Which Urban Agriculture Can Flourish

According to the Kenyan news outlet Mediamax, the government is developing urban farming projects in all 17 of Nairobi’s sub-counties.

By Cameron St. Germain
New York City Food Policy Centre
Jan 2018


The objectives of the Act are to:

Contribute to food security through the development of agriculture in the county by empowering the people and institutions through allowing and facilitating agricultural activities for subsistence and commercial purposes.

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January 7, 2018   Comments Off on Nairobi Establishes a Framework from Which Urban Agriculture Can Flourish

South Africa: Wonder women grow vegetables and each other

The group of women tending the veggie garden work tirelessly to ensure a good harvest.

A gardening project has grown into a sustainable food source for families in the Valley of 1 000 Hills.

By Lloyd MacKenzie
Highway Mail
Dec 11, 2017


One woman’s dream of helping to empower others has grown and flourished in 10 years and now ensures that more than 250 people have food in their bellies before they go to bed at night.

Ten years ago, Lydia Hlope started feeding more than 150 adults and children in the KwaNyuswa area with vegetables from a community garden they named Yenzanathi Community Upliftment Project in the Valley of 1 000 Hills.

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December 18, 2017   Comments Off on South Africa: Wonder women grow vegetables and each other

Namibia: Gardening project uplifts community

The Erastus Uutoni community project at Oikango is proof that the solution to food security lies in communities and backyard gardens.

New Era
December 8, 2017


“We want to expand the garden and incorporate an after-school programme, hence the construction of the hall. In future we would also want to have a library so that our children can have additional studying materials at the centre,” said Hainghumbi.

The group, consisting mostly of women, grows vegetables.

The garden is run by people living positively with HIV, as well as other unemployed women and men from the village.
The centre also has plans to assist the elderly once it has been electrified.

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December 17, 2017   Comments Off on Namibia: Gardening project uplifts community

Africa: Urban agriculture, dietary diversity and child health in a sample of Tanzanian town folk

In short, we identified urban agriculture as one channel through which dietary diversity can be increased and, ultimately, improved child health can be achieved in the cities of developing countries.

By Natascha Wagner & Luca Tasciotti
Canadian Journal of Development Studies
Nov 27, 2017


Undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency continue to be two of the major health burdens in less developed economies. In this study, we explore the link between urban agriculture, dietary diversity and child health, using weight-for-age and height-for-age Z-scores. The study makes use of two rounds of observational data for urban Tanzania and employs an instrumental variables estimation approach. We show that practising urban agriculture leads to the consumption of a greater variety of food items and the health status of urban children living in households practising urban agriculture significantly improves in the short and, more importantly, long term.

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December 10, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: Urban agriculture, dietary diversity and child health in a sample of Tanzanian town folk

South Africa: Johannesburg’s new “agripreneurs” dig for green gold on skyscraper rooftops

Nhlanhla Mpati, an agripreneur, tends to his plants at the garden he set up on top of Johannesburg’s iconic ‘Chamber of Mines’ building in the central business district on November 15, 2017. Inna Lazareva/Thomson Reuters Foundation

In the next three years, about 100 more farms will be set up in the city besides the two now running, and the scheme is already attracting many applications from would-be young entrepreneurs.

By Inna Lazareva
Dec 1, 2017


The soaring “Chamber of Mines” building in central Johannesburg, a hub for South Africa’s mining industry, is a symbol of a bygone era when pioneers began flocking here in the late 19th century to dig for gold.

Today, it is also the site of a new venture aiming to entice the city’s unemployed youth into green entrepreneurship.

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December 8, 2017   Comments Off on South Africa: Johannesburg’s new “agripreneurs” dig for green gold on skyscraper rooftops

South African urban farmers grow herbs and crops on rooftops

About 100 buildings have already been identified where similar farms in the city will be set up.

Africa News
Nov 21, 2017


Nhlanhla Mpati is tending his farm in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mpati is among a group of farmers in the country who are growing herbs and other crops on rooftops in urban cities.

He is part of project run by various organizations that wants to make more produce available in the inner city and provide jobs for entrepreneurs who want to farm but don’t have access to land.

Mpati grows basil and other herbs at the farm using a hydroponics system on top of the city’s Chamber of Mines building.

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November 28, 2017   Comments Off on South African urban farmers grow herbs and crops on rooftops

Africa: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Ghana: What Governance System Works?

Figure 1. Map of Tamale, Northern Region of Ghana. Source: Nchanji et al. (2017).

Whatever the solution to the impending problems of governance in urban agriculture will be, it will be difficult to implement them, as actors interest are varied and conflicting. For example, chiefs are taking advantage of urbanisation and its valuable land markets to allocate agricultural lands for residential and commercial purposes, reducing lands used by farmers for farming.

By Eileen Bogweh Nchanji
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August Universität, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Sustainability 2017, 9(11),
November 2017


Urban farming takes advantage of its proximity to market, transport and other urban infrastructure to provide food for the city and sustain the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban dwellers. It is an agricultural activity which employs more than 50% of the local urban population with positive and negative impacts on local and national development. Urban agriculture is an informal activity not supported by law but in practice is regulated to a certain extent by state institutions, traditional rulers, farmers and national and international non-governmental organisations. Tamale’s rapid population growth, exacerbated by the unplanned development system and institutional conflicts, are factors contributing to the present bottlenecks in the urban agricultural system.

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November 20, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Ghana: What Governance System Works?

Uganda: How a sack garden can save you

Farmers learning about a sack garden during the tour organised by KCCA.

One of the urban farming technics that caught the attention of farmers at the Harvest Money farm tour at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in Kyanja, Nakawa division was sack gardening.

By Fatumah Nalwanga
New Vision
10th November 2017


Where do I market my crops?

When all is done and crops are ready to market, they can hardly trace buyers, since most of these are city backyard gardens.

Nankinga advises that the farmer should “consider making small stalls outside their homes where potential customers can see.

Alternatively, they can sell to the local stalls who will sell to the final consumers,” she adds.

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November 16, 2017   Comments Off on Uganda: How a sack garden can save you

Africa: In Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, recycled materials to grow food in the city

For J2D_Afrique, the solution lies in growing vegetables out of kits made up of old plastic bottles and rice sacks.

By Pierre Nka
Le Quotidien de l’économie
African Business Magazine
27 October 2017


Given the scarcity of fertile land in the urban environment, urban agriculture using discarded plastic bottles has emerged as a potential alternative in Yaoundé, a city which is facing demographic pressure. “Young people come to the cities to look for work. It’s becoming urgent to build more housing and the pressure is such that the peri-urban areas are starting to disappear,” Kondzou explained.

His theory is clear: “when we speak about urbanisation, we’re talking about houses. Building houses means using concrete, and concrete is not good for agriculture.” While land that used to be cultivable is increasingly being paved over, there is no drop in the amount of food that needs to be produced.

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November 4, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: In Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, recycled materials to grow food in the city

Madagascar: Antananarivo’s ‘Urban Agriculture Programme‘ Winner of Milan Pact Award

Toronto and the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, were announced as winners of the Milan Pact Awards for best urban practices in sustainable food management.

By Barbara Szewcow, Jonathan Andrews
Cities Today
31st October 2017


Carmen Zuleta Ferrari, Urban Planner and spokesperson for the city of Antananarivo, told Cities Today about the success of Madagascan ‘Urban Agriculture Programme‘. A pilot of 30 vulnerable households has now evolved into 24 neighbourhoods, 21 training institutions and more than 15,000 beneficiaries.

“With a garden consisting of a barrel, a table and five yellow jerry cans, it is possible to produce 16 kg of green vegetables (chard or salad) in 60 days, which can be valued at US$9.72 in local street markets.”

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October 31, 2017   Comments Off on Madagascar: Antananarivo’s ‘Urban Agriculture Programme‘ Winner of Milan Pact Award

Growing Urban Agriculture

Onions and greens on the Siyakhana Urban Farm in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Esther Ngumbi)

To feed the world’s growing population, we must do more to promote the success of urban farms through better tracking, financial incentives, land use, and support systems.

By Esther Ngumbi
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Oct. 23, 2017


Increasing financial incentives could encourage urban farming to grow. Some public schools, hospitals, and other public institutions like universities receive tax breaks for obtaining a certain percentage of their food from urban farms. Such arrangements can create guaranteed markets for produce from urban farms. Some states and municipalities have programs to help such institutions redesign their procurement policies to increase the percentage of locally grown produce. Food retailers could also get tax incentives from the government for carrying products from urban farms. In addition, urban farms could receive tax breaks for donating excess produce to food banks and pantries. Most importantly, government could provide tax incentives to urban farms that work with food pantries and food banks in an effort to ensure that people receiving public assistance can buy fresh food from urban farms using food stamps.

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October 31, 2017   Comments Off on Growing Urban Agriculture

FAO: Urban Food Actions Platform – New website

This webpage will basically function as a one-stop place where you can find all information related to urban food systems and rural-urban linkages. The platform is organized around 6 main tabs: a) Homepage; b) Background; c) Areas of focus; d) Knowledge produces; e) Events; f) Partners; g) Share with us.

Oct 2017


Food production and ecosystem management. Food production depends on and impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity, with spillover effects going beyond food.

This area of focus deals with evidence and actions to optimize agriculture production while managing ecosystem services and biodiversity and improving resilience to climate change. For instance, promoting and strengthening nutrition-sensitive and diversified urban and peri-urban food production and processing based on sustainable methods as a way to mitigate heat island effect;

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on FAO: Urban Food Actions Platform – New website

Sierra Club: The Garden, Reconsidered

Photo By Casarsaguru/Istock.

The garden is no exemplar of how to create a right relationship with life on Earth

By Jason Mark
Sierra Club
Oct 21 2017


Make no mistake: The garden is an unethical place. Even the virtuous garden—which is to say, a garden tended with an eye toward striking some balance with other plants and animals—ultimately disregards other species in favor of human hungers.

Take Alemany Farm. When we find a gopher eating our potatoes, we set a trap to kill the offender. We target slugs and snails, and set out baited snares to capture and kill coddling moths. When we spot a weed that may be competing with our crops, we rip it out by the roots, then unceremoniously toss it in the compost pile. It’s all organic, sure; every bit of it is a calculated killing.

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on Sierra Club: The Garden, Reconsidered