October 23rd, 2017

Urban agriculture

Published by Spore,

This Spore dossier discusses micro-gardening and urban farming initiatives, which help to address increased pressure on Africa’s food security as urban populations continue to rise. When correctly planned and managed, urban agriculture can provide fresh produce and increased dietary diversity, a source of income, and an opportunity to recycle waste products. Farmers are adopting and adapting technologies suited to urban environments, including vertical farming, aeroponics and hydroponics. Vertical farms are being installed in areas where land is limited to grow leafy greens and vegetables in vertically stacked containers. An added advantage of vertical farms is that they recycle water and nutrients within the system and therefore require far less water. Esther Ngumbi’s viewpoint discusses barriers for adopting vertical farming and possible actions to promote urban farming. African innovators are also developing low-tech systems that use crates and even hanging pipe gardens in which plants are grown hydroponically (in a reservoir of nutrients and water). In systems where aquaculture is combined with hydroponics, known as aquaponics, water and nutrients are recycled between the two systems. In high-tech systems, plants can be grown aeroponically by dangling roots in a fine mist, which provides the plants with nutrients and water. This case study shows the use of soilless organic micro-gardening in Senegal, which requires less water than conventional gardening.

Curated from spore.cta.int