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Category — Africa

Hydroponic agriculture turns Kenyan homes into gardens


“I grow tomatoes, kale and spinach, which saves me time and money,” she said. “The crops mature faster [with hydroponics] when compared to growing them on a farm.”

World Bulletin
April 6, 2015


We teach farmers how to utilize the vertical spaces in their homes,” Mwangi, the hydroponics expert, told.

Kimani Kemboi runs a pharmacy at Aga Khan University Hospital and lives in Westlands, an affluent Nairobi neighborhood.

“For every household in Nairobi, space is an issue,” he told. “Unlike other towns, Nairobi is not an agricultural town.”

Kemboi first heard about hydroponics from a friend who uses it to grow fodder for his animals in Kikuyu, a town in Kenya’s Kiambu County.

“After visiting him, I decided to make a small kitchen garden for myself,” he said.

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April 14, 2015   No Comments

Review Paper on ‘Garden Kits’ in Africa


Lessons Learned and the Potential of Improved Water Management

By Douglas J. Merrey and Simon Langan
International Water Management Institute
2014. 60 pages


The purpose of this paper is to synthesize available knowledge and lessons learned from past experiences in promoting kitchen or home gardens, with a special emphasis on water management. The paper has been prepared based on an extensive desk study. It focuses on gardens whose primary purpose is production of food and, at times, growing herbs and spices for home consumption.

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April 10, 2015   No Comments

Nine-city assessment of Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in Africa and Asia.


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Kampala, Uganda
Dakar, Senegal
Ibadan, Nigeria
Tamale, Ghana,
Chennai, India
Kathmandu, Nepal
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Enhancing scientific capacity to inspire informed action on global environmental change

Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) faces significant pressures from rapid urban expansion and related stresses. START and UNEP recently partnered with several organizations to undertake a nine-city assessment of UPA in Africa and Asia. The assessments examined key environmental and governance dimensions of UPA to advance understanding of how increasing urban pressures on land and water resources, and intensifying climate risks, are undermining the resilience of UPA in the face of rapid urban development.

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February 22, 2015   Comments Off

Ghana, Africa – Hunger looms; Due to unregulated sale of farmlands for housing around cities

Market in the city of Tamale, Ghana

“A few years ago, peri-urban farming provided enough vegetables to feed Accra, but today we import vegetables from Burkina Faso.”

Feb 21, 2015


Ghana’s 1.7 million housing deficit means that increasing demand for housing is competing with farmlands particularly in peri-urban areas such as Dodowa, Pokuase, Amasaman, Ningo-Prampram and Afienya where farmlands are shrinking.

Although data on how much farmlands the country is losing is hard to come by, the country’s estimated 14 million-hectare agriculture land, out of which six million is lying fallow, continues to be under threat due to the urban drift that has increased demand for homes.

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February 22, 2015   Comments Off

‘City Seeds’ documentary – Urban Farming in Nepal and Uganda

City Seeds from Kyle Robinson on Vimeo.

Excellent 25 minute documentary!

Film by Kyle Robinson
Sustainable Seas Trust
Funding from START, European Commission, UN Environment Program, US Agency for International Development
(Must see! Mike)

A film about urban and peri-urban agriculture in cities across the world.

This film investigates the use of urban and peri-urban agriculture in developing cities in Africa and Asia, such as Kathmandu in Nepal, and Kampala in Uganda. The film assesses its value to a country’s economy and combating environmental threats such as climate change, as well as addressing the challenges involved in nurturing and sustaining effective urban and peri-urban agriculture.

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February 22, 2015   Comments Off

Update 23 – Resource Centre /Urban Agriculture/Food Security (RUAF)


RUAF Update 23 – Feb 2015


Ongoing activities
• GROW the City Cafés in the Netherlands
• UA Enterprise development in India
• Promoting market oriented urban agriculture in Gaza
• Urban food mapping and WASH in Burkina Faso and Ghana
• WASH progress in Nepal and Bangladesh and the World Water Day

New projects
• Urban Green Education for Enterprising Agricultural Innovation
• Support to the City of Milan and other cities in urban food planning
• Developing tools for mapping and assessing sustainable city region food systems
• Supporting enterprises for urban waste recycling for food production

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February 16, 2015   Comments Off

Zimbabwe: A “new” farmer has emerged in urban areas

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

City by-laws support urban farming which is the reason we have agro zones in Harare such as the Hogerty Hills, Waterfalls, Tynwald, parts of Borrowdale, Marlborough and Hatfield.

By Sydney Kawadza
All Africa The Herald
Jan 22, 2015
(Must read. Mike)


The 62-year-old grandmother who stays in Mufakose said she has had her plot since 2009 and has been feeding her family from that land.

“The plot has helps me feed my family. I have never bought any maize meal for all these years. Even in drier years I have managed to harvest enough to take me to the following year,” Mrs Zirangwa said.

She currently lives with seven relatives at her home. There are several challenges associated with urban agriculture.

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January 31, 2015   Comments Off

City Farming In Sana’a, Yemen: A Hobby With Potential

Introducing rural practices to an urban environment carries risks, but it may help solve Yemen’s chronic food insecurity.

According to WFP statistics, the average price for a sheep in Sana’a was at least YR39,000 ($181) at the end of 2014, which represented a 30 percent increase on the previous year.

By Nasser Al-Sakkaf (author), Mohammed Al-Samawi (photographer)
Yemen Times
26 January 2015


He has been city farming ever since, and says the company of his sheep help him feel closer to home. “We are used to raising sheep, I don’t think I would be able to live without doing so. Every day I clean after them, I give them feed and even our leftovers.”

As a matter of necessity, Muhammad’s relationship with his sheep has grown increasingly intimate. Following several cases of theft amongst urban sheep herders in 2012, he decided to move his flock of ten sheep into the third floor of his house, where they remain today.

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January 27, 2015   Comments Off

Healthy city harvests: Generating evidence to guide policy on urban agriculture


This book asks questions about the contribution of urban agriculture to food security of urban households, about the safety of crops and animal foods from urban producers in different places, and about ways of developing policy to promote safe and healthy food production.

Editors: Donald Cole • Diana Lee-Smith • George Nasinyama
International Potato Center (CIP) and Makerere University Press, 2008
260 pages

Excerpt from Forward by Richard Stren:

From the perspective of local governments, this is one of the first books which explores, in a truly multidisciplinary fashion, the complex range of issues which both help explain why urban agriculture takes place, and looks carefully at the important obstacles to its effective uptake in a particular local context. From different professional viewpoints we learn about health benefits of urban farming for children’s nutritional status, about health risks from heavy metal and organic contaminants in food and about the proper management of urban livestock to reduce risk. We also learn about the history of public health efforts to control illness and disease in 19th century Europe and America, as a backdrop to the construction of colonial building and public health regulations that were commonplace in African cities by the 1940s.

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January 23, 2015   Comments Off

Are school meals the new gourmet cuisine in Tanzania?

Students of Mbuyoni primary school pick vegetables to be cooked for lunch that day.

Among the 8 million children under five years old estimated to be living in Tanzania, 42 per cent are stunted and 16 per cent are underweight, according to UNICEF.

By Meera Senthilingam,
December 22, 2014


It’s 06:30am and the sun has just risen over the bustling gardens of Mbuyoni elementary school, in the coastal city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

On this sunny morning, fits of giggles and screeches of laughter fill the hot and humid air, as would be expected in most schools around the world. But the source of fun is somewhat less expected — farming.

“I like to grow blackjack, fame flower, pumpkin leaves and sweet potatoes,” explains 11-year old Zulfa Mussa in her native language of Kiswahili.

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January 5, 2015   Comments Off

Harriet Nakabaale’s Camp Green in Kampala

Harriet Nakabaale’s is changing the landscape of urban agriculture in Kampala and her mission is to share the vast knowledge she has accumulated with her community.

Harriet Nakabaale has managed to turn a 50-feet-by-32-feet chunk of hard urban ground in Kampala into an oasis of greens

By Coco McCabe
Oxfam America
Oct 23, 2013


Nakabaale’s Camp Green is like a beacon. It bursts with living things, all of them edible–an important survival tactic in an urban area where the high cost of buying food can saddle a family with relentless poverty.

Here are pomegranates and strawberries, eggplants and cauliflowers. There are the herbs–rosemary, lavender, thyme. Leafy greens mix with root vegetables. And here? Broilers, turkeys, guinea fowl, and geese.

What makes all of this possible?

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December 24, 2014   Comments Off

Training 1000 People To Become Insect Farmers In The Capital City Of Kinshasa


Farming Edible Insects And Promoting Entomophagy In The Democratic Republic Of Congo

FAO Brochure


Insects offer high protein, fat and micronutrients content. Market surveys show that insects are already part of traditional diets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and that local people would readily eat more if available. Caterpillars are the most consumed and preferred species in the country; an estimated 96 tonnes of caterpillars are supplied to the Kinshasa market annually.

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December 9, 2014   Comments Off

40 Percent Of The World’s Cropland Is In Or Near Cities

Gideon and Steven are brothers who farm maize, onions and other vegetables. Photo: Nana Kofi Acquah / IWMI

Somewhere around 1.1 billion acres is being cultivated for food in or within about 12 miles (20 kilometers) of cities.

By Eliza Barclay
November 12, 2014


Anne Thebo, an environmental engineer at the University of California-Berkeley and the study’s lead author, says that the research revealed that a surprisingly large number of urban farms rely on irrigation, especially in South Asia. Since many cities in this region are growing rapidly and already face challenges accessing enough water, these farms end up competing with the city for the scarce resource.

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November 20, 2014   Comments Off

CNN Inside Africa: Three short films about urban agriculture in the city of Cape Town and the townships

How to grow your own food

CNN Inside Africa
November 3, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

Soil for Life is a South African organization teaching people how to look after the planet. CNN’s Soni Methu reports.

Food garden transforms struggling school

CNN Inside Africa
November 3, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

CNN’s Soni Methu explores how a food garden has improved the lives of students at Cape Town’s Cavalleria Primary School.

Cape Town hearts city farms

CNN Inside Africa
November 3, 2014
(Must see. Mike)

CNN’s Soni Methu explores innovative spaces, including rooftops and parking lots, where people are growing their own food.

November 13, 2014   Comments Off

Uganda: Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) boosts city farmers

A farmer from Mutungo II parish, Nakkazi Hafiwa (left) receive chicks from the Chairperson of Nakawa Division Benjamin Kalumba (right). Looking on are two area LC5 councilors Emiri Babirye and Adam Kibuka. Photo/Ronnie Kijjambu.

A total of 614 farmers in Makindye and Nakawa division have been supported with 50,000 Chicks and start up feeds to boost their household incomes.

By Juliet Waiswa
New Vision
Nov 3, 2014


Launching the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) Programme first batch of birds in Kampala, Musisi told the Farmer Forum Groups that she will endeavor to request government to increase NAADS funding to urban farmers saying that the programmes have registered success.

This is the first group of farmers to benefit in this first quarter as farmers in Kampala.

Over 1,188 farmers in Kampala will benefitted from NAADS in this first quarter.

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November 11, 2014   Comments Off