Urban Agriculture Notes

City Farmer: Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture

(with special reference to Africa)


4.6 City Farming's Benefits to Urban Households

4.6.1 Contribution to Food Intake

by Luc J.A. Mougeot
© Copyright 1994
International Development Research Centre

In the poorer countries and among the lower-income groups, self-produced food can cover a considerable share of a household's total food intake and can save or release an even larger share of the household's cash income to cover nonfood expenses. Self-produced food accounted for as much as 18% of total household consumption in East Jakarta (Yeung, 1985). However, percentages are much higher in African cities, as urban farmers produce mostly or largely for household consumption, 77% in urban Kenya for example (Lee-Smith and Memon, 1994). In Nairobi, over 50% used the entire amount harvested to feed their families or dependents. In Pointe Noire, 26% of households or 33% of the population self-supplied all or part of its needs for cassava (Vennetier, 1961: 71 72). In Dar es Salaam, nearly 50 % of 260 intra-urban producers reported that UA contributed 20 30% or more of the household's food supply (Sawio. 1993: 309). In Kampala, 55% of 150 producers obtained 40% or more, and 32% obtained 60% or more, of their household food from their own urban garden (Maxwell and Zziwa, 1992: 49 50). The poorest households in Lusaka were estimated to self-produce about one third of all the food they consumed (Sanyal, 1986, as per Rogerson, 1993: 38). In Kenya 40% of the 1,576 urban farmers interviewed in the six Kenyan cities said they would starve if stopped from farming (Lee-Smith and Memon, 1994: 80). In Kampala, almost without exception, those engaged in UA said that even if they were offered jobs whose cash remuneration was equivalent, they would not stop farming (Maxwell, 1994).

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revised, June 12,1995

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