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Mapping and characterising the urban agricultural landscape of two intermediate-sized Ghanaian cities
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5516-1109
2018 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 70, p. 182-197Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Extending beyond previous research biases towards large cities or analyses based largely on one type of urban agriculture (UA) (such as market gardening, or home gardening), this research aimed to investigate all forms of UA within two intermediate-sized Ghanaian cities (Techiman and Tamale). Where was being farmed? For whom, and why? The paper considers how findings compare to Ghana’s larger cities, and possible implications for theory and for planning. Methods included remote sensing, field mapping, interviews and a 1000-household per city questionnaire. The most common reason for farming was food supplementation. This was often via staple foods, particularly maize, rather than the leafy vegetables common in larger cities’ market gardening. Farming was predominantly via home gardening, particularly for the better off. The larger city of Tamale also sustained organised irrigated-vegetable market gardens.

Findings suggest a picture not dissimilar to Ghana’s larger cities but with greater prevalence of home gardening, and a dominance of staple foods rather than perishable or high value crops. A compelling finding, which has received less attention in the literature, is the extent of, and roles played by, what this study refers to as ‘institutional land. Both Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s policy framing, and market crisis theorising, of the drivers and role of UA were not found to be an accurate reflection of Techiman and Tamale’s UA. Rather than being a localised survival activity of the poor or marginalised, of recent migrants, or of predominantly women, these cities contained a large scale and diverse spatiality of UA mainly for non-poor and non-migrants’ supplementation of their staple food larder. Results emphasise the context-specific nature of a city’s urban agriculture, and underline the need for researchers and UA advocates to be specific about the form of UA under the microscope when making claims for ‘an urban agriculture’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 70, p. 182-197
Keywords [en]
urban agriculture types, Tamale, Techiman, staple foods, urban food, urban land use
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-141462DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.10.031ISI: 000419416600018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-141462DiVA, id: diva2:1154883
Projects
Agriculture and Double Burden Malnutrition in Urban AfricaFormas 225-2012-609Sida SWE-2011-028
Funder
Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, 250-2014-1227Available from: 2017-11-06 Created: 2017-11-06 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Mackay, Heather

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