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Urban agriculture promotes sustainable livelihoods in Cape Town

David W Olivier

Development Southern Africa, 2019, vol. 36, issue 1, 17-32

Abstract: Urban agriculture has long been endorsed as a means to promote food security and economic wellbeing in African cities. However, the South African context presents mixed results. In order to establish the contributions of urban agriculture to sustainable livelihoods, the sustainable livelihoods framework is applied to a case study on cultivators from Cape Town’s Cape Flats. This study contributes to the empirical literature on urban agriculture by providing a deeper understanding of the benefits cultivators themselves attribute to urban agriculture. The key finding is that cultivators use urban agriculture in highly complex ways to build sustainable livelihoods. NGOs are central to this process. Distrust, crime and a lack of resources are, however, limiting factors. The paper concludes with policy recommendations to support pro-poor urban agriculture in African urban centres.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2018.1456907

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