Economic crisis and food security in Africa: Exploring the significance of urban agriculture in Zambia’s Copperbelt province

Urban agriculture is gaining increasing recognition as a key urban survival strategy in the rapidly growing, but food insecure, cities of the South, and in Africa in particular. The overall significance of the activity has been the subject of considerable academic debate. This paper contributes to this debate through the presentation of the findings from recent field-based research in the Copperbelt province of Zambia, a region where the practice of urban agriculture and the role it plays in urban livelihoods appears to be more significant than in many other urban contexts. The region was characterised by a historical dependence on copper mining and associated industries which experienced a severe economic downturn from the late 1980s. In this context, urban agriculture has become a key livelihood strategy and a means to assure food security. Participation rates in urban agriculture in the region are much higher than in other African urban centres and experiences in the Copperbelt province could inform policy and practice in other areas which are experiencing economic crises.

Full paper by Geoforum via ScienceDirect

Photo credit: Alice Henneman

Details

Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Elsevier
Year 2015
Author(s) Jessie Smart, Etienne Nela, Tony Binns
Other Numbers Vol. 65, p. 37–45
DOI 10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.07.009
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