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Lusaka residents and urban farming, need for supporting policies

Filed under: Business,Health & Nutrition,Latest News |
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The concept of urban farming or agriculture has over the years been gaining momentum in Zambia and other countries in the continent.

It has brought about positive influence on household wellbeing and enhanced nutrition at the time prices of basic commodities are going up.

For farmers, agriculture-based activities are a promising option for sustaining their livelihoods, in terms of food intake and income generation.

On the other hand, research have shown that farmers face various constraints in the form of limited access to land, as in most cases their activities are not sanctioned by local government.

One farmer, Jairos Muchekela says urban agriculture have over the years improved his family’s health by providing nutritious food.

“During good seasons, I can produce enough food for my family, which consists of I, my wife and my four children.

“However, this year I am expecting a reduced yield because there has been too much rain and some of my crops were submerged,” he says.

Another farmer who declined to be named called on the government, through the local authority to put in place bylaws that support urban farming.

“Urban farming has contributed to food security mostly at household levels, but in most cases clash with city bylaws,” she said adding that supporting policy should be put in place.

In the same light, farming in undesignated places can cause health problems as the crops may provide breeding ground for mosquitoes.

In some instances, robbers may find cover by hiding in the fields, before or after muggings.

Apparently, despite the contribution of urban farming to food security, urban agriculture in Lusaka has remained a peripheral issue in urban development strategies and planning policy.

Government Act, Control of Cultivation, CAP 480, Section 110 of the laws of Zambia (1995) states: except with the permission of the Council, no cultivation of any kind will be permitted on un-alienated or unoccupied land within the boundaries of the township.

Another such Act is the Public Health Act 13 of 1994, CAP 295 of the laws of Zambia, which stipulates that “a person shall not within a township permit any premises or lands owned or occupied by him or over which he has control to become overgrown with bush or long grass of such nature as in the opinion of the Medical Officer of Health, is likely to harbour mosquitoes”.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31