Water for Food in the Cities: The Growing Paradigm of Irrigated (Peri)-Urban Agriculture and its Struggle in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Cofie O
  • Drechsel P
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Abstract

The urban population of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will soon exceed its rural population, which demands for a paradigm shift in agricultural research and development. Besides urban sanitation, feeding the cities will become a major challenge of the urban millennium. Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) has significant share in the food supply of many cities in SSA as it supports non- traditional urban diets, particularly with perishable vegetables, fresh milk and poultry products. It also contributes to employment, livelihoods and poverty alleviation. Urban and peri-urban vegetable production, which is intensive throughout the year, depends largely on the availability of water for irrigation. As urban and peri-urban water sources are often polluted, vegetable contamination is common and limiting the official recognition of this informal sector. There are, however, increasing signs of support taking advantage of different options for health risk reduction, which go beyond restrictive irrigation water guidelines.

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Authors

  • Olufunke O. Cofie

  • Pay Drechsel

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