Growing Greener Cities in Africa: first status report on urban and peri-urban horticulture in Africa

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"Africa’s urban population is growing faster than that of any other region. By the end of the current decade, 24 of the world’s 30 fastest growing cities will be in Africa" states the report of the FAO. The report provides a small insight in the amount of food produced in various African cities. These are the first and valuables estimates for many cities, as only Accra has gathered information on urban farming consistently (page 19 &20 and more in-depth country insights from page 35 onwards).  

The urban growth means that the slums will probably grow bigger and that the number of urban poor will increase even more, with the effect that more facilities (energy and water) and food are needed in the city. The FAO registers that the practice of urban and sub-urban agriculture is growing, which provides for food and jobs for many, and is a very important contributor to food security in cities. Growing food within 30 Km of the city centres will help the urban poor to be self supportive, or to ensure that nutritious food is available all year around. However, without support of city planners and municipality, it often becomes an unsustainable practice .

On page 21 to 26, the report explains the state of urban market gardening, and provides suggestions on how to render it more sustainable: 

1. Provide political and institutional support

2. Integrate market gardening into urban planning

3. Increase production and improve the quality of produce

4. Build an efficient horticulture supply system