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Africa's Quest For Food Security:What Is The Role Of Urban Agriculture?

Arku, G. , ; Kuuire, V.; Mkandawire, P. ; Aguda, N
Date of publication: 

The history of urban agriculture in Africa dates to the colonial era when farming flourished in urban areas, largely to meet consumption needs of bureaucrats, settlers, and other elites. Today, urban agriculture is becoming increasingly significant as a source of household food, a trend that is closely linked to declining incomes of vulnerable urban households in the wake of neoliberal economic restructuring, high rates of urbanisation, and the need to serve an emerging niche market in African cities. Urban agriculture is generally viewed as a potentially viable policy response to the complex challenge of feeding a burgeoning mass of urban residents amidst decline in food production in rural areas. Also, recent concern regarding climate change and the need to reduce the environmental footprint that comes from transporting food over long distances has given impetus to the need for urban agriculture. The aforementioned notwithstanding, the balance of evidence from existing literature on urban agriculture indicates that the practice faces varying degrees of opposition from urban authorities and policy-makers, who generally underestimate its actual value and contribution to urban povertyandfood insecurity. The apparent lack of political will necessary to promote African urban agriculture over the years is reflected in weak or absent policy frameworks over the years, resulting in an enormous capacity deficit. Policy makers and planners need systematic information for planning and managing capacity development centered on urban agriculture. Such a focus on urban agriculture will unlock its potential to address the growing urbandemandfor foodandto alleviate urban poverty.

Occasional Papers
Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana