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Growing greener cities in Africa

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Africa's urban population is growing faster than that of any other region, but many of its cities are not keeping pace with the increasing demand for food that comes with that growth. A new FAO publication says policymakers need to act now to ensure that African cities will be "green" enough to meet their nutrition and income needs in a sustainable way.

The publication, Growing greener cities in Africa, is the first status report on African urban and peri-urban horticulture - the home, school, community and market gardens that produce fruits and vegetables in and around the continent's cities.

The report draws on surveys and case studies from 31 countries across the African continent, and makes recommendations on how cities can better prepare to face the rapidly increasing demand for food and other basic amenities. The publication urges national governments and city administrations to work together with growers, processors, suppliers, vendors and others to give market gardens and urban and peri-urban agriculture the political, logistical and educational support necessary for sustainable development.

Among the specific recommendations, policymakers are advised to zone and protect land and water for market gardens, and encourage growers to adopt FAO's "Save and Grow" farming model. Save and Grow seeks to boost yields while conserving and enhancing natural resources. It includes applying the right amount of appropriate, external inputs at the right time - such as pesticides, fertilizers and seeds.

Source: FAO

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