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The Role of Urban Agriculture in Addressing Household Poverty and Food Security: The Case of South Africa

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Name of the Asset | The Role of Urban Agriculture in Addressing Household Poverty and Food Security: The Case of South Africa
Type of Asset | Working Paper
Date | September 2009

Summary

The available literature is ambivalent in its assessment of the role of Urban Agriculture (UA) in addressing poverty and ensuring larger degrees of food security in South Africa. The aim of the paper is to determine the role played by UA in the income patterns of households involved in UA activities, to provide empirical evidence on its effectiveness as a poverty reduction measure.

This paper aims to compare data with information in an earlier report, and also to assess the role of UA in terms of income and food security activities. It is based on 396 interviews conducted across South Africa. A snowball sampling approach was used, since it was not possible to identify the sampling population in advance, and included practitioners using communal land and back-yards, as well as those involved in animal husbandry.

The study did not find any evidence to support the idea that UA can address poverty and the targets set in the MDGs. Yet in the context of multiple livelihoods and incomes, UA probably makes a significant contribution, which cannot be ignored and should, therefore, be provided support at planning levels.

Authors:

  • Jan Cloete, Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
  • Molefi Lenka, Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
  • Lochner Marais, Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
  • Anita Venter, Centre for Development Support, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Country and/or Region | South Africa
Name of the Program | GDN’s Global Research Project Institutional Capacity Strengthening of African Public Policy Institutes to Support Inclusive Growth and the MDGs
Funder(s) | United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) and Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA)

Download the Full Study here

If you cite this resource, please notify communications@gdn.int with the subject line 'GDN citation'.

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