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Category — Africa

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

Abstract:

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   No Comments

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
Reuters
Dec 1, 2017

Excerpt:

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   No Comments

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

Excerpt:

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

Abstract:

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

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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.

FAO
Oct 2017

Excerpt:

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

Excerpt:

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

South Africa: Chamber of Mines shows off potential of rooftop agriculture in Johannesburg inner city

The Chamber of Mines is participating in and has funded a pilot project to assess the feasibility of growing herbs and vegetables on the rooftops.

Launch of the Urban Agriculture Initiative, which is aimed at creating a vibrant urban agricultural ecosystem by “innovatively” repurposing disused rooftops and making use of hydroponics and aquaponics to produce agricultural produce for Johannesburg’s inner city communities.

By Ilan Solomons
Creamer Media Staff Writer
11th October 2017

Excerpt:

“Although still in its early days, a successful basil crop has been harvested and sold,” the chamber highlights.

Moreover, the CoM notes that Johannesburg is one of many cities worldwide turning to inner city farming with the objective of addressing high unemployment and food insecurity, while simultaneously aiming to regenerate neighbourhoods.

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October 17, 2017   Comments Off on South Africa: Chamber of Mines shows off potential of rooftop agriculture in Johannesburg inner city

South Africa: Urban pig co-operative needs land to stay in business in Port Elizabeth

About 15 Motherwell residents have formed a co-operative to farm pigs. (Photo: Joseph Chirume, GroundUp)

“We formed this cooperative in 2016 after discovering that urban residents, especially those living in townships, were struggling to get pork.

By Joseph Chirume
News 24
Sept 13, 2017

Excerpt:

Mzimkhulu Ngece, 51, reiterates Nolutshungu’s point: “We need a better place to secure our pigs and equipment. We have many piglets that do not have a safe place to stay. They end up roaming the streets. Some are knocked down by cars. We also want to secure the structures to protect them from criminals. This would help us live peacefully with some residents who don’t want pigs near their houses.”

He says they are fortunate to have a communal water tap close to their pig shelters. “We use containers to fetch water and supply the pigs. However, the metro is experiencing a dry period with little water left in our dams. We would prefer to have a huge water tank to harness rain water as a way of saving municipal water.”

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September 22, 2017   Comments Off on South Africa: Urban pig co-operative needs land to stay in business in Port Elizabeth

Ethiopia: A Dose of Gardening as the New Social Medicine

Between September 2008 and September 2011, the USAID Urban Gardens Program reached 34,200 households and over 118,000 direct and indirect orphan and vulnerable children beneficiaries through micro, household, school and community gardens in Ethiopia

By Nicholas Parkinson
Good Food World
October 19th, 2012

Excerpt:

One year later, the group of 55 members—all living with HIV—partnered with USAID Urban Gardens Program for Women and Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (USAID UGP) and began breaking land on a garden near the banks of the Nile River. Meaza had never before been a farmer or a gardener but she vividly remembered watching her father plow a small tract of land in the Ethiopian countryside.

By mid-2010, Maeza took up her new vocation as an urban farmer, and her outlook changed dramatically. In May, the group—known as Kalehiwot—planted corn. The rains came, the crop grew, and bushels of corn were sold on the market.

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September 21, 2017   Comments Off on Ethiopia: A Dose of Gardening as the New Social Medicine

Tanzania Food Gardening Network (TaFoGa Net)

Plate 2: Drive-in Farmers Group receives extensions services from Kinondoni Agricultural and Livestock officers.

Gender Roles In Urban Agriculture: The Case Of Horticulture In Kinondoni Municipality, Dar Es Salaam

By Alphonce Kyessi and Fred George Njegeja (TaFoGa Net)
Dar Es Salaam
November, 2012

Excerpt:

Executive Summary

A descriptive horticulture study was conducted to assess the status of gender roles in urban agriculture in Kinondoni Municipality Council – Dar es Salaam; as a unit of analysis in broad dimension relating to tenure security, gender and age, health, social, economic, culture, attitude, knowledge and practice. Sustainable Cities International Program assigned this study on baseline data collection to TaFoGa Net with an objectives of reviewing literature and policy framework for horticulture practices in Tanzania, determine spatial factors for horticulture activities – type and scale, where located, land tenure access and security / tenure rights, identify horticulture resources support including extension services, credit facilities, water supply, energy, etc.

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September 15, 2017   Comments Off on Tanzania Food Gardening Network (TaFoGa Net)

Africa: South Sudan – survive siege conditions thanks to urban farming

Photo credit: ©Tdh

Terre des hommes (Tdh) is helping families in Yei, a city cut off by armed forces, by sharing urban farming techniques.

Terre des hommes Foundation Child Relief
08.23.2017

Excerpt:

The situation is critical. To feed the population, the city with a population of 60,000 people must make do with a fast-dwindling supply of reserves, rare convoys of food aid, and land located in urban areas. “Urban farming helps people survive siege conditions. Ten grams of seeds, for example, can produce thousands of tomato plants,” explains Cynthia. “Since spring this year, we’ve distributed seeds and farming tools to 1540 vulnerable families, as for example single mothers and internally displaced persons. They’ve also been given gardening and storage training.” This project was launched in coordination with another Swiss NGO, EPER, which had been working in the region for years, and with local organisations.

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August 30, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: South Sudan – survive siege conditions thanks to urban farming