Contribution to the Gardening-Conference 2000: "Perspectives of Small-Scale Farming in urban and rural areas
- about the social and ecological necessity of gardens and informal agriculture" from 21. - 25. July 2000 in Berlin
Infos: Work group "Small-scale farming and Gardens in urban and rural Areas", C/O Free University of Berlin, Institute of Sociology, Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen, Bülowstr. 74, D-10783 Berlin, Tel.:+49 (0)30 -261 22 87 


Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Streiffeler
Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Faculty for Agriculture and Gardening, Section Sociology

Urban Agriculture in Africa

After having being overlooked for a long time, urban agriculture has attracted more interest in the last years. The reason is its enormous practical relevance for the nourishment of the urban population in Africa. Also incomes from the informal economic sector donít often suffice to complement insufficient incomes from the formal sector.

In special respect, urban agriculture can be grouped into the types of house-gardens, intra-urban and peri-urban agriculture. These forms have differences with respect to the security of land as the central resource, but also with respect to the policy of urban administration towards urban agriculture without formal land rights: In the past, such fields were often destroyed, whereas today, there are often more tolerated, but not actively promoted.

In the last time also ecological advantages of urban agriculture have gained greater importance; they concern the heat-reducing effects of green spaces in urban areas and secondly the possibility to use organic urban wastes for urban agriculture; in this way, the often very dirty urban quarters which donít have urban waste removal become more proper, and, on the other side, something can be done for plant nutrition and plant protection. Important social aspects of urban agriculture is the importance of female activities in the realm Ė two thirds of those realising it are women Ė and, on the other side, structures of co-operation which go only in rare cases beyond the family level.

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Stand: 20.9.2002