Research on Urban Farming

This theme will cover vital aspects of the required information for benchmarking other project activities. Specifically, it will enhance:

  1. Mapping of the urban food systems: The food system as used here includes all those activities involving the production, processing, storage, transportation and consumption of food. This will take into consideration drivers of urbanization, trends, growth in the housing industry and general infrastructural development, and its impact on the farming in the KMA.
  2. Creating Resilience in Urban Food Security and Livelihoods

The project aims at creating resilience for the urbanizing regions, districts and the rural communities. With the increasing population most especially in the urbanizing areas in Uganda and the developing world at large, the relationships: urban to urban and rural to urban need to be redefined in terms of the food systems. To be food secure, people living in poverty need access to sufficient and nutritious food but also, among other things, economic opportunities in a stable enabling environment. The project aims at redefining the relationship between the rural producers and the urban consumers in relation to enabling urbanizing places to produce food through employing the available resources.

  • Changing life Style and Food Culture

Urban life styles are rapidly changing not only in structures and leisure, but also in terms of food systems. However, few people (consumers) are concerned about the food they eat in terms of where it comes from, and the quality. Not even the sustainability of their new preferences in relation to their traditional or conventional sources of food. This has impact on food culture in terms of practices and perceptions. The major question here is what implications these changing lifestyles have on environment and health.

  1. Integrated Urban Farming and Food Policy: The notion of regulation for all activities carried out in our modernizing cities, municipalities and towns of all sizes is more important than ever before. This can be attributed to diminishing space and increasing commoditization of land in the developing countries. Whereas the city like Kampala and other municipalities have laws regulating agricultural food related activities, comprehensive engagement of the citizens to consider farming as a strong alternative source of employment, income and food is not a major governance issue. The project seeks to work with authorities in the cities and towns places in Uganda to popularize the existing urban farming policies and laws.
  2. Sustainable Land use of Urban Ecological Resources

In the era of rapid urbanization, cities face many environmental challenges, including air and water quality issues, lack of sufficient green space, excess heat capture, polluted storm water runoff and lack of ecological biodiversity. Urban agriculture presents a unique opportunity to utilize vacant or idle land and rooftops throughout cities, other urbanizing areas for the production of healthy, pesticide-free food at the same time conserving the environment. Adding green spaces to a neighborhood, including community gardens and urban farms, street fruit trees, will have potential to provide a number of social, healthy, economic and environmental benefits. Unfortunately, most studies have neglected to analyze the potential contributions of urban agriculture to improvement of ecological sustainability in cities and urban areas in general. This project will integrate the environmental benefits of urban agriculture on unused, vacant real estate or rooftops as compared to the alternative of leaving the land or space in its current state.

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