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Category — Africa

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   No Comments

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   No Comments

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   No Comments

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

Global assessment of urban and peri-urban agriculture: irrigated and rainfed croplands


Understanding the role of urban and peri-urban crop production in urban food security at scale remains a major knowledge gap in the field of urban agriculture.

By A L Thebo1, P Drechsel and E F Lambin
Environmental Research Letters
Published 3 November 2014


The role of urban agriculture in global food security is a topic of increasing discussion. Existing research on urban and peri-urban agriculture consists largely of case studies that frequently use disparate definitions of urban and peri-urban agriculture depending on the local context and study objectives. This lack of consistency makes quantification of the extent of this practice at the global scale difficult. This study instead integrates global data on croplands and urban extents using spatial overlay analysis to estimate the global area of urban and peri-urban irrigated and rainfed croplands.

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November 11, 2014   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture and Urban Forestry in Africa Featured in FAO Publication

Farmers holding freshly harvested cassava (Manihot esculenta). Murango, Kenya Photo credit: © Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Frederic Courbet.

Sustainable Natural Resources Management in Africa’s Urban Food and Nutrition Equation

Nature & Faune
Enhancing natural resources management for food security in Africa Volume 28, Issue 2, 2014
Editor: Foday Bojang
Deputy Editor: Ada Ndeso-Atanga
FAO Regional Office for Africa


Message to Readers
By Bukar Tijani1

The special feature in this edition highlights the contribution of trees, shrubs and other woody plants to food and nutrition as acknowledged in the first ever ?State of the World‘s Forest Genetic Resources? report published by FAO in June 2014. Also under the Special Feature, Martin Nganje points to the fact that forests contribute directly towards food security and improved nutrition on the African continent through their non-timber forest products. Moreover, he examines how forests contribute towards food self-sufficiency in ways other than through their edible parts. Michela Conigliaro , Simone Borelli and Fabio Salbitano in turn provide some examples of how the efforts towards the protection and restoration of forests and tree cover in and around African cities can make a substantive contribution to alleviating poverty and reducing malnutrition and in ensuring a more environmentally and socio-economically sustainable urban development.

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October 23, 2014   Comments Off

Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister: ‘Investing in urban agriculture is another area that needs serious consideration’

Gardening in Namibia. By Mike Knight.

“Last years drought has taught us that … our duty is to plan and shape the urban agricultural system in ways that will alleviate hunger and poverty …”

By Mandisa Rasmeni
The Economist
17 October 2014


Organisation in order to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming,” said Hausiku.
Hon. Hausiku added that the commemoration of the World Food Day is one of many actions that can be taken at a political and technical level in creating awareness among urban dwellers on the impact of food waste. He also added that it creates a platform to sensitize the nation on the importance of food banks and other initiatives which promote food security in the country.

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October 22, 2014   Comments Off

Nourrir Les Villes, Défi de L’agriculture Familiale


Des innovations locales et paysannes en Afrique de l’Ouest

By Isabelle Duquesne – responsable programme Agriculture et Alimentation, CFSI and
Hélène Basquin – chargée d’information Agriculture et Alimentation, CFSI
CFSI and Fondation de France
Oct 2014

Nourrir les villes par l’agriculture familiale locale : c’est le but commun à 110 actions concrètes engagées depuis 2010 en Afrique de l’Ouest. Ce sont plusieurs milliers d’hommes et de femmes, leurs organisations et leurs partenaires (ONG françaises, européennes et africaines) qui ont relevé le triple défi d’aujourd’hui et de demain : nourrir leurs familles et les populations des villes ouest-africaines en pleine expansion, créer de l’emploi en milieu rural et gérer de façon respectueuse les ressources naturelles.

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October 7, 2014   Comments Off

A Farm Garden in South Africa – ‘Baboons in abundance!’

No the snake is not real. It is one of the toy rubber snakes that we use to keep the baboons away.

Our primary concern is to ensure that our farm staff have access to fresh vegetables. I have tried to introduce “African Leafy Vegetables” (ALV’s) and locally known as morogo or imifino. The ALV’s most popular in African cooking are Amaranth, Cowpeas (Vigna), Cleome, Chinese Cabbage (Brassica Rapa), Nightshade, Solanum nigrum, Jew’s Mallow (Corchorus), and the leaves and flowers of pumpkins and melons.

By Anne Armstrong
Special to City Farmer News
Haut Espoir Winery
South Africa
Oct 3, 2014

Here is my story about the trials and successes of our farm garden. In 2000, we started our vineyard on steep slopes in Franschhoek, which is approximately one hour’s drive from Cape Town. Our first task was to cut down all the alien invasive trees on the farm, and I have strong memories of Jack the Staffie perched on a fallen log, barking madly to claim his territory and warn off the pesky Familiar Chats and Sunbirds. Jack’s “territory” was an area of sloping land, and we were never quite sure what to do with it. Orchard? Labyrinth? Another house?

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October 3, 2014   Comments Off

Make urban agriculture attractive says ‘Best’ farmer in Ghana

From Left to Right: 2012 Best Farmer, Lemuel Kwashie Martey, Hon. Namoale, President John Mahama, and Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi.

Urban agriculture contributed about 30 per cent of the food consumed in the country

Via Ghana Web
Sept 23, 2014

Mr. Lemuel Kwashie Martey, the 2012 National Best Farmer and owner of Mannah Farms Limited in the Greater Accra Region, has appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to make urban agriculture attractive.

According to him, urban agriculture contributed about 30 per cent of the food consumed in the country, therefore, it needed to be supported to improve the living conditions of the farmers and also the quality of urban air.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Martey asked the Government not to give away all the state lands in the urban areas for real estate development but earmark certain areas for food cultivation.

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September 30, 2014   Comments Off