The contribution of urban agriculture to sustainable development: potential role in improving food security and reducing poverty

Siborurema, Esperance (2019-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : The current global environmental degradation, climate change as well as socio-economic changes and challenges that are reflected in various problems such as the ones associated with malnutrition and diseases have called for adequate and adapted measures to solve these unprecedented difficulties. This global burden is being driven mainly by increasing global urbanisation and the pursuit of economic growth and globalisation. Due to this dilemma, the developing world suffers most because it does not have the means and measures in place to combat uncertainties, let alone food insecurity, that are aggravated by conflicts, especially on the African continent. The implication of expanding urbanisation is the increased reliance on buying instead of producing food, leading to various complications, such as deteriorating health, making it ultimately more difficult for governments to deal with. South Africa already has an unemployment rate of over 26%, with more than 60% of the population living in urban areas. Access to food is mostly through retail stores, which increases the burden on the urban poor, who are highly dependent on the prices of the food purchased, leading to the consequences of consuming affordable unhealthy food and increased food insecurity, such as stunted children in poor urban households. While striving to achieve sustainability is increasingly gaining a place at the core of developmental strategies, finding solutions to problems related to global food insecurity is crucial and this is reflected in the first two United Nations (UN) goals of sustainable development. In the search for adequate alternative means to produce enough quality, accessible and affordable food, urban agriculture is gaining popularity as the most promising means. Urban agriculture, which can be defined as the production of food in and around cities, is being explored as one of the sources of supply in urban food systems. It is claimed to be the key to not only achieving the first three UN goals of sustainable development, especially in growing cities, but also one of the many options to make productive use of urban open spaces because it recovers and/or treats urban liquid and solid waste. Further, it is also claimed to generate employment, save income, and manage freshwater resources in an effective way. Despite all of these claims, and increasing practices across the globe with adaptations and innovative means, this sector is still criticised for not producing enough empirical evidence. The main aim of this research is to explore and discuss critically those aspects and current trends of urban agriculture in relation to food security and poverty alleviation among the urban poor as a step towards sustainable development. This discussion will help to raise awareness and distribute information about the crucial impact of urban agriculture in the provision of food, income and employment, further discussing the sustainability of this achievement as well as possible gaps and potential recommendations in this area. The information gathered will provide support to policymaking processes as well as the implementation of urban agriculture.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Voldoende en aangepaste maatreëls word verlang om by te dra tot die oplossing van ongekende probleme soos wêreldwye omgewingsverwaarlosing, klimaatsverandering asook die gepaardgaande sosio-ekonomiese veranderinge en uitdagings, insluitend ondervoeding en siektes. Hierdie wêreldwye las word aangedryf deur toenemende verstedeliking, die najaag van ekonomiese groeie, en globalisering. In hierdie dilemma ly ontwikkelende lande die meeste omdat hulle nie oor die nodige vermoëens beskik en geskikte maatreëls het om uitdagings soos voedselonsekerheid, wat vererger word deur konflikte, veral in Afrika, die hoof te bied nie. Die implikasie van toenemende verstedeliking is dat ál hoe meer staatgemaak word op die koop pleks van vervaardiging van voedsel, wat lei to verskeie komplikasies - soos mense se gesondheid wat agteruitgaan - en dit moeliker maak vir regerings om aan te pak. Suid-Afrika het reeds 'n werkloosheidskoers van 26%, met meer as 60% van die bevolking wat in stedelike gebiede woon. Die verkryging van kos vind hoofsaaklik plaas deur supermarkte, wat die las op stedelike armes verhoog omdat hulle baie afhanklik is van die kospryse wat betaal word. Dit het tot gevolg dat bekostigbare maar ongesonde kosse geëet word, asook toenemende voedselonsekerheid, met kinders in arme stedelike huishoudings wie se groei belemmer word. Terwyl die strewe na volhoubaarheid toenemend 'n vername deel uitmaak van ontwikkelingstrategieë, is dit belangrik om oplossings te vind vir die wêreldwye probleem van voedselonsekerheid, en dit word weerspieël in die eerste twee van die Verenigde Nasies (VN) se doelwitte vir volhoubare ontwikkeling. In die soeke na nastreef en alternatiewe maniere om genoeg gehalte, bekostigbare en toeganklike voedsel te vervaardig, word stedelike landbou ál hoe gewilder. Stedelike landbou, wat gedefinieer kan word as die vervaardiging van kos in en om stede, word nagevors as een van die voedselbronne in stedelike voedselstelsels. Daar word aangevoer dat dit nie net die oplossing is om die eerste drie van die VN se doelwitte vir volhoubare ontwikkeling te bereik nie, veral in groeiende stede, maar dat dit ook een van die vele opsies is om produktief gebruik te maak van ruimtes in stadsgebiede omdat dit bydra tot die behandeling van vloeibare en vaste stedelike afval. Navorsers voer ook aan dat dit werk skep, geld bespaar, en help om varswaterbronne doeltreffend te bestuur. Ondanks al hierdie redes, en toenemende praktyke wêreldwyd met aanpassing en innovasies, lok die stedelike landbou sektor steeds kritiek uit omdat daar nie genoeg empiriese bewyse is dat dit wel resultate lewer nie. Die hoofdoel van die navorsing is om daardie aspekte en neigings van stedelike landbou te verken en krities te bespreek sover dit voedselsekerheid en die verligting van armoede onder die stedelike armes betref, en hoe dit bydra tot volhoubare ontwikkeling. Hierdie bespreking sal help met bewusmaking en inligting wat na vore gebring word oor die uitwerking van stedelike landbou op die verskaffing van voedsel, inkomste en werk. Die volhoubaarheid hiervan sal ook bespreek word, asook die leemtes en aanbevelings gemaak word. Die inligting wat ingewin is sal goeie ondersteuning bied vir die bepaling en toepassing van beleidsrigtings, asook die praktyk van stedelike landbou.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107084
This item appears in the following collections: