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Mapping and Theorising the Spatiality, Scale and Functionality of Urban Agriculture in Ghana
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis mapped and investigated the form and function of UA in two intermediate-sized cities (<500,000 population) of Ghana: Techiman and Tamale. The research questioned the spatial expression, scale and functional characteristics of UA in these cities, and how findings related to theory. A mixed method approach was employed using literature review, remote sensing, in-field survey, interviews and a geographical information system (GIS).

Analysis revealed UA’s function predominantly as a food supplementation strategy. Relations between spatial expression and scale of UA with land tenure and average neighbourhood income were highlighted. Land availability was of principal importance: wherever land was accessible it was farmed, by local residents, and by workers on institutional land. The greatest land area under UA in both cities was land that belonged to institutions. Most common was farming on undeveloped housing plots and home gardens. Findings suggest that the scale of UA is significant in terms of the number of people involved (>80% of the population but not full-time involvement), the contribution to farming households’ food supplies (often self-sufficient in maize) and household expense alleviation. Findings for per capita farm size (average of 0.5 ha per capita in Techiman, 1.1 ha per capita in Tamale) suggest that UA in Ghana could be of as much importance as rural agriculture. There was little evidence of UA being practiced by the poorest of the poor, by migrants, or being a predominantly female occupation.

Examining the findings against market crisis and market opportunity theories illuminates the challenge in merging theory and practice. The more market-oriented theories, however, had greater validity for this context, particularly aspects of pro-poor agricultural growth and food regime theory. The findings from this research support the assertion that urban agriculture may be a resilient farming tradition that is locally-embedded in a city’s unique land use patterns, climatic, cultural and economic characteristics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 97 p.
Keyword [en]
Urban Agriculture, Ghana, Tamale, Techiman, Remote-sensing, Mapping, Geographic Information Systems, GIS, Market crisis, market opportunity, pro-poor agricultural growth, Food regime theory, Structural transformation of agriculture, Metabolic rift theory, Political Economy, Food security, Agricultural research, Africa
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81582OAI: diva2:656811
Subject / course
Examensarbete i Geografi för Masterexamen
Educational program
Programme in Urban and Regional Planning
African urban agriculture: social, economic and environmental challenges and prospects under changing global and demographic realities. Lund University and SLU
Available from: 2013-10-17 Created: 2013-10-17 Last updated: 2013-10-17Bibliographically approved

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