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Productive Urban Spaces and Indigenous Vegetables: policy dialogues and experiences from Kampala. Poster by Shuaib Lwasa, Project Leader, Focus Cities Research Initiative, funded by Urban Poverty and Environment group of IDRC

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Productive Urban Spaces and Indigenous Vegetables: policy dialogues and experiences from Kampala

Poster by Shuaib Lwasa, Project Leader, Focus Cities Research Initiative, funded by Urban Poverty and Environment group of IDRC

For the International Policy Dialogue Workshop: The promotion of Indigenous Vegetables in African Urban and Peri-urban spaces; 23rd to 26th January 2008, Rhodes University, Grahams town, South Africa

Abstract

The irrevocable urbanizing trends of the world and developing countries has led to municipalities and cities overwhelmed by the need to find efficient, means of making urban life livable including provision of food and employment to many urban dwellers (Brockerhoff 2000; UN 2005). As a response to the trends, recent literature highlights critical issues of special urban policy to deal with urban poverty particularly in the developing world (Brockerhoff 2000; Enyedi 2003; IHDP 2005; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Seto et al. 2005). Urban and peri-urban agriculture has developed into a topical research-policy issue gaining recognition.

Experiences in Kampala

Sustainable urban development strategies such as urban and peri-urban agriculture, which would ease urban poverty require to be grounded in policies, regulations and laws. Kampala city recognized this linkage and started on a process of reviewing policies and ordinances to legalize and control urban agriculture (KUFSALCC, Harvest et al. 2005). Bringing together different actors and stakeholders, the process yielded policy statements and five sets of ordinances including; Fish Ordinance, Livestock and Companion Animal Ordinance, Meat Ordinance, Milk Ordinance, and the Urban Agriculture Ordinance. Two lessons are worth noting: First, the inclusion of policy makers in the process and secondly the realization that municipalities can dynamically review policies The greater benefit of the ordinances is the connection between food and income security on one hand and environmental sustainability on the other.

Need for Policy

Although urban agriculture policy recommendations are dotted in urban literature, these policies have not been implemented or not undergone comprehensive review. On this premise, policies are not only a direct derivative from research recommendations but rather a more inclusive process of action-research that engages policy makers and all actors in urban and peri-urban agriculture (Lwasa 2006). Policies are needed to respond to the revealed needs of the urban populations including food requirements, employment and income requirements as well as the environmental challenges.

  • Urban Policy; which Way?
  • Policy is much about the grass root people and their needs
  • Empowering grassroots people coupled with negotiations with policy makers can produce sustainable policies
  • Urban Harvest has worked on urban productive systems utilizing limited space in the region;
  • Approaches;
    • Building strong advocacy system in community
    • Demonstrating good practices of urban space utilization and impact assessments
    • Dialoguing with policy makers on issues among others improved nutrition through production of vegetables
    • Dialoguing with policy makers utilizing economic analysis and feasibility of indigenous vegetables
    • Institutionalization as the ultimate objective

The Place for Indigenous Vegetables; Kampala’ case

Urban Harvest (2004) conducted a market opportunities study and among the eight selected agro-products were leafy vegetables which ranked third. Reasons for selection included high demand, intermittent supply due to reliance on rain fed production and relatively small space requirements. Leafy vegetables are currently commercialized and can be sold to several outlets. Estimated annual yield is 1300 kg per acre with relatively stable prices and IRR of 2,740% in comparison with the other seven products identified by farmers. Leafy vegetables are adaptable to space confined areas in urban zones but also in peri-urban areas. Leafy vegetables including indigenous vegetables can play a significant role in food and income security for urban dwellers.

References

Brockerhoff, M. P. (2000). "An Urbanizing World." Population Bulletin55(3): 48.

Enyedi, G. (2003). The social sustainability of large cities. International Conference on Social Science and Social Policy in the 21st Century, Vienna, ISSC.

IDRC (2006). Urban Poverty and Environment (UPE) Program. Linking environmental management, natural resource use, and urban poverty. Ottawa, IDRC. 2006.

Lwasa S., Pulling the Strings for Policy; The urban bias and environmental challenges in Uganda, IHDP Update, 3 No. 4, 2006

Walter V. Reid, H. A. M., Angela Cropper, Doris Capistrano (2005). Ecosystems and Human Well-Being.Millennium Ecosystems Assessment. A. W. Jose Sarukhan. Washington, World Resource Institute: 131.

Urban Harvest, 2004, Identifying Market Opportunities for Urban and Peri-Urban farmers in Kampala, Uganda