Underwriting Food security the Urban way: Lessons from African countries

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 2013, 37 (5), pp. 614 - 628
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Neoliberal dominant discourses in the food security debate privilege large-scale investment in land in Africa over all "others" as the continent's only hope for food security. However, data from living standards and demographic health surveys, and studies of poverty trends in various African countries show that urban agriculture-typically carried out on small parcels of land in urban areas using urban resources-contributes substantially to a) food production and b) farmers' incomes and livelihoods. On this basis, this article argues that urban agriculture empowers rather than limits. However, this article contends that for urban agriculture to realize its full potential of being a motor to power food security in cities in Africa, it must be understood and be considered as part of a broader socioeconomic and political reality. In turn, factors such as food safety, access, and distribution ought to be given careful attention by advocates of urban agriculture. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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