Developing countries are going to experience a demographic explosion in the coming years: one that will be felt particularly strongly in cities. Over the next 30- years, food production will have to double and the output of wastes and effluents will increase four-fold. Urban agriculture, which draws on the resources of the city and in turn supplies its markets, can help to address these twin challenges. Yet, the potential of urban agriculture is often overlooked by both researchers and local authorities, many of whom are unable to come to terms with its dynamic and informal nature.
Primarily intended for researchers and development practitioners, this book presents the issues as well as the methods and tools to study urban agriculture in West and Central Africa. It describes the main features of urban agriculture as well as its functions, its impacts, and the factors that shape it. The book goes on to examine the place of agriculture in urban planning, focusing on participatory methods as the best way of integrating such activities into local social and economic development strategies. Truck gardening and livestock raising, the two most common forms of urban agriculture, are discussed and specific diagnostic and intervention approaches are proposed. Finally, the book considers methods and techniques whereby urban agriculture can help to recycle city wastes and effluents.