The relationship between household food gardens and household food security in an urban area in Harare, Zimbabwe : a right to food perspective

Chikoto, Lorner. L. (2016-03)

Thesis (MNutr)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Introduction: It is now widely accepted that hunger constitutes a violation of the human right to food. Urban agriculture may have a role to play in realising the right to food as it addresses hunger in the form of urban food insecurity, which is bound to become increasingly important with the secular trend towards the urbanization of poverty. This research is focused on Zimbabwe; one of the many African countries in which urban agriculture is a common occurrence. Urban agriculture in Zimbabwe is not directly supported by any piece of national legislation and this provides for a poor foundation in advocating for and promoting its practice. However it would do more harm to encourage the establishment of food gardens in households if they made no or insignificant contribution to food security and their maintenance became more of a burden on households. Aim: This study investigated the relationship between household food gardens and household food security as well as dietary diversity in Zimbabwe’s urban population; adding to knowledge on whether urban agriculture is indeed one of the solutions to urban food security concerns and ultimately if it can be considered as a strategy for implementing the right to adequate food in Harare, Zimbabwe. Methodology: This study was cross-sectional and quantitative. A questionnaire consisting of validated tools and a researcher-designed food garden questionnaire was used to collect data from 113 households in Harare. The tools captured scores on dietary diversity, food garden use and food insecurity levels of households. Food garden scores were correlated with food insecurity scores and dietary diversity scores to assess whether there was an association between food security, dietary diversity and urban agriculture. Results: Results show that a significant number of households in the sample population had food gardens despite experiencing a number of barriers including land tenure, water supply and the availability of financial resources. High levels of food insecurity also existed within this population. There were no significant associations found between household food gardens and household food security or dietary diversity thus this study did not provide sufficient evidence to support urban agriculture as a solution to combating food insecurity or improving dietary diversity in Harare. Conclusion: Presently, based on available research evidence, urban agriculture cannot be advocated as an effective approach to realizing the right to food in Harare. However urban agriculture remains a widespread practice in households in Harare, which may help them cope with worsening food insecurity. From a human rights perspective, urban agriculture can be viewed as an entitlement in that people in Harare are using it to feed themselves in a dignified manner thus claiming their right to food. By removing barriers impeding urban agriculture, such as prohibitive by-laws, the potential of urban agriculture may be better realised and observed. More research should be conducted on how it can be turned into a means of addressing food insecurity and hidden hunger, ultimately contributing to realizing the right to adequate food.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Inleiding: Dit word nou algemeen aanvaar dat honger ‘n skending is van die mens se reg op voedsel. Stedelike landbou kan ‘n rol speel in die vewesenliking van die reg op voedsel as dit honger in die vorm van stedelike voedselonsekerheid aanspreek.Met die sekulêre neiging tot die verstedeliking van armoede word dit al hoe belangriker om voedselonsekerheid aan te spreek. Hierdie navorsing is gefokus op Zimbabwe, wat een van die baie Afrika-lande is waarin stedelike landbou algemeen voorkom. Stedelike landbou in Zimbabwe word nie direk deur enige stuk nasionale wetgewing ondersteun nie, en daar is dus ‘n swak fondament vir die bevodering van die praktyk. Dit sou meer skade doen om die vestiging van voedseltuine in huishoudings aan te moedig as dit slegs ‘n geringe bydrae tot voedselsekerheid maak, en hul onderhoud ‘n las op huishoudings sou plaas. Doelwit: Hierdie navorsingstuk ondersoek die verhouding tussen huishoudelike voedseltuine en huishoudelike voedselsekerheid, sowel as die dieetdiversiteit van die stedelike bevolking van Zimbabwe. Die doel voor oë is om by te dra tot die kennis oor stedelike landbou, en te ondersoek of dit inderdaad een van die oplossings bied vir stedelike voedselonsekerheid, en of dit uiteindelik beskou kan word as ‘n strategie vir die implementering van die reg op voldoende voedsel in Harare, Zimbabwe. Metodologie: Hierdie studie was ‘n deursnit-kwantitatiewe ondersoek. ‘n Vraelys wat bestaan uit gevalideerde instrumente en ‘n groentetuin-vraelys (ontwerp deur die navorser) is gebruik om data van 113 huishoudings in Harare in te samel. Data oor die dieet- diversiteit, voedselinname, groenteverbouing en voedselonsekerheidsvlakke van huishoudings is ingesamel. Groentetuinpraktyke is gekorreleer met voedselonsekerheidsvlakke en dieetdiversiteit om te bepaal of daar ‘n verband bestaan tussen voedselsekerheid, dieetdiversiteit en stedelike landbou. Resultate: Resultate toon dat ‘n beduidende aantal huishoudings in die steekproefpopulasie voedseltuine verbou, ondanks ‘n aantal struikelblokke, insluitende grondbesit, watervoorsiening en die beskikbaarheid van finansiële hulpbronne. Hoë vlakke van voedselonsekerheid bestaan ook in hierdie bevolking. Daar was geen beduidende verband tussen huishoudelike voedseltuine en huishoudelike voedselsekerheid of dieetdiversiteit nie. Die studieresultate ondersteun dus nie die bevording van stedelike landbou as ‘n oplossing vir die bekamping van voedselonsekerheid of verbetering van dieetdiversiteit in Harare nie. Gevolgtrekking: Tans kan stedelike landbou nie op grond van beskikbare navorsingsresultate bepleit word as ‘n effektiewe benadering tot die vewesenliking van die reg op voedsel in Harare nie. Stedelike landbou bly nietemin ‘n algemene praktyk in huishoudings in Harare wat dit moontlik kan help as die voedselsekerheidsituasie versleg. Uit ‘n menseregteperspektief kan stedelike landbou beskou word as ‘n reg, omdat mense in Harare, as regtehouers, geregtig is daarop om hulself met waardigheid te voed. Deur hindernisse wat stedelike landbou belemmer, bv streng plaaslike verordeninge, te verwyder, kan die potensiaal van stedelike landbou beter vewesenlik word. Meer navorsing moet gedoen word oor hoe stedelike landbou verbeter kan word om voedselonsekerheid en verborge honger aan te spreek, en by te dra tot die uiteindelike verwesenliking van die reg op voldoende voedsel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98335
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