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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters on urban agriculture

There’s no doubt that urban agriculture is growing, encouraged by factors such as migration to cities and the rising cost of food. Studies consistently show that an increasing number of people rely on food grown in cities. But urban agriculture presents its own difficulties. Farmers in peri-urban areas face challenges of transporting their produce into cities. This story from Guinea shows the threat of urbanization on farming and the difficulty of finding land for agriculture near urban centres.

You can read more about the growing trend of urban agriculture in these past FRW news stories:
“Kenya: Urban agriculture greens metropolis” (Issue #40, October 2008)
“Africa: Wastewater in urban agriculture is harmful to health, but it also ensures subsistence for urban poor” (Issue #34, August 2008)
“Africa: Urban agriculture provides relief from high food prices” (Issue #23, June 2008)

Farm Radio International has also produced a number of scripts on urban agriculture, many of which offer suggestions for growing food in small spaces: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/urban.asp

Finally, here are some ideas for a call-in/text-in show to further explore this issue:
-Have members of your audience grown food in an urban or peri-urban area for a long period of time? How much food do they produce and what impact does this have on their family’s food security?

-What materials (such as organic fertilizer or planters) do they use to make the cultivation of food possible in very small spaces?

-Which crops grow best with the limited space and resources they have available?

-What tips or innovations can they share?
-Have urban farmers found their land reduced or threatened by urban development? If their growing space was reduced, how did they cope? If their land is threatened by urban development, what steps have they taken to protect it?

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