2019-08Buch DOI: 10.18452/20559
Farming in cities: Potentials and challenges of urban agriculture in Maputo and Cape Town
In discussions on the future of the world’s cities, urban agriculture (UA) has garnered attention for its potential to contribute to the food supply, to income for urban producers, and to the multiple benefits of ‘green cities’. The research project UFISAMO analysed potentials and challenges of UA in Cape Town and Maputo. The role of UA for income generation and food & nutrition security depends strongly on the historical, political, economic and social context. Urban agriculture in Maputo is the main source of income for approx. 5% of the population, even if it does not even provide sufficient income to cover the monthly food basket for most producers. The cultivation of horticultural products furthermore contributes to a more balanced diet, mainly for the producing families themselves. Associations and extension officers provide a solid frame for UA in the city. Main challenges in Maputo are the uncontrolled application of pesticides as a consequence of mono-cropping patterns without adequate rotation. Supporting services should promote sustainable practices along GAP or organic practices. That requires the establishment of a market for such products. UA practised in the townships of Cape Town on small plots with sandy soils – and under regular water stress - plays a negligible role when it comes to income and food & nutrition security. This is partly due to weak market links within the townships and the difficult marketing routes to the city centre, which are usually organised by NGOs or ‘social businesses’. However, UA does provide income for some, and is a good platform for farmers’ self-organisation beyond township barriers. It can thus contribute to overcoming historical cleavages, and to real empowerment in communities struck by high unemployment and social tension. Supporting farmers business skills so that they can establish market links in their communities and encouraging their self-organisation are crucial measures to take by supporting bodies.
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