Major Research Paper (MRP)*: Urban Agriculture as a Livelihood for Urban Poor: Opportunities, Obstacles and Policy Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa Cities. (2011 – Dec. 2014)
* Graduate School of International and Public Affairs.
Urban Agriculture (UA) serves as an essential livelihood strategy for urban households across Sub-Saharan Africa. In the context of worsened economic conditions triggered by the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) of the 1990s, and rapid urbanization witnessed over the past 20 years. The poor urban dwellers residing in the informal settlements have resorted into UA as a way to ameliorate against the growing food insecurity and to generate income to meet their other household needs such as healthcare, education and housing.
In spite of the benefits of UA to poor households, they face obstacles such as prohibitive local policies preventing access to public land the most need resource for this practice. Furthermore severe weather conditions compounded by poor infrastructure are threats to the potential of UA to meet the livelihood needs of the urban poor.
The objective of this paper is to examine the impact of UA on the poor urban households, and evaluate the extent to which urban policy makers can intervene, to ensure sustainable UA across the region. This research paper makes a contribution to the broader topic of sustainable livelihoods, which is key to Africa’s long-term development.
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