The rise in Urban Agriculture

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The population of Nairobi has risen dramatically in recent years straining resources, and many are vulnerable to malnutrition and other poverty-related illnesses due to food insecurity, a lack of access to health facilities and a scarcity of jobs.

Rapid urbanization is accompanied with problems of urban poverty and urban food insecurity. Lack of employment, high food prices and malnutrition further the problem of urban food insecurity in Africa.

African countries are improving on and promoting agriculture as a solution to urban food insecurity.

Through urban agriculture it is possible to help poor people cope with food scarcity and hunger through the growing of plants,  raising of livestock within and around cities,  community gardening, rooftop gardening, urban forest gardening, green walls, vertical farms, animal husbandry, urban beekeeping etc. It will also offer urban poor a viable income.

The importance of urban agriculture is increasingly being recognized by international organizations like UN-Habitat and FAO (World Food and Agriculture Organisation).

Urban agriculture is becoming prominent in many African cities. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, urban gardens in some communities are practiced as a part of urban agriculture. In Dar es Salaam, urban agriculture forms at least 60 per cent of the informal sector and urban agriculture is the second largest urban employer (Mr. Majani, Dar es Salaam, 2001).

In Lusaka, Zambia, over half of the residents of urban areas practice urban agriculture to grow their own food.

In Yaounde, Cameroon, many urban households raise livestock including poultry, dairy cattle, and pigs. According to research (Maxwell, Levin and Csete 1998), in Kampala children aged five years or less in low-income farming households were found to be significantly better-off nutritionally than counterparts in non-farming households.Read quoted article here..