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Building capacities of local researchers in Benin

Workshop on developing a site selection tool for allotment gardens development
Workshop GCP project allotment gardens
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In the context of the Global Challenges Programme (GCP) project “Allotment gardens and food security in urban Africa” a workshop was organized from March 18 to 20, 2019 by the Amsterdam Centre for World Food Studies to train local researchers in Benin on the development of a site selection tool.

Urban agriculture is currently in the full spotlight as viable intervention to improve food security among urban poor, prevents heat islands while creating a pleasant environment in predominantly grey cities. Yet, achieving these objectives requires well-informed decision makers that have to allocate expensive land to gardens. The GCP project on enhancing urban food security through development of allotment gardens in and around the cities of Benin, supported by NWO-WOTRO and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, develops an analytical framework to optimize allocation of urban gardens in cities of Benin. Next to two pilot sites, surveys among experienced gardeners and interviews with policy makers, the project designs a site allocation tool that supports decision makers on selection of areas for urban gardens. The tool uses a formalized relationship between expert judgments on area suitability against a set of spatially explicit variables like natural resource quality, water availability, distance to markets, and safety for women.

In a three-day workshop in Benin from March 18 to 20, 2019, the Amsterdam Centre for World Food Studies organized a training on the development of the site selection tool for 13 staff members from the Centre d’Actions pour l’Environnement et le Développement Durable and the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of University of Abomey-Calavi. During the workshop, key variables were selected based on explanatory power and spatial availability. A field visit trained participants in suitability assessment of randomly selected sites.

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