Meeting the urban challenge? Urban agriculture and food security in post-conflict Freetown, Sierra Leone

Lynch, Kenneth and Maconachie, Roy and Binns, Tony and Tengbe, Paul and Bangura, Kabba (2013) Meeting the urban challenge? Urban agriculture and food security in post-conflict Freetown, Sierra Leone. Applied Geography, 36. pp. 31-39. ISSN 01436228

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Abstract

Sierra Leone has recently emerged from a long period of political instability and is ranked among the world's poorest countries. During the decade-long civil war of the 1990s, widespread forced out-migration left much of the countryside abandoned, as rural residents fled to the safety of the capital city, Freetown. Consequently, food production became severely dislocated and, in the post-conflict era, the state of the agricultural sector has become a major concern to governmental and non-governmental development agencies. Focussing on the question of urban food security in Freetown, this paper examines the incidence, dynamics and significance of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) among households, at a crucial point in Sierra Leone's post-conflict reconstruction phase. Drawing on recent field-based data, the paper contributes to the growing debate concerning how urban planning and development might be reconciled with the promotion of an ‘enabling environment’ in which UPA is encouraged and supported. It is argued that in the case of Freetown, a detailed evaluation of UPA is urgently needed to determine how agricultural activities can fit in with urban structure, urban problems and the livelihoods of a wide range of actors in and around the city. The paper concludes that not only is UPA a vital element in ensuring household food security, but it could potentially play a fundamental role in safeguarding the urban food continuum and promoting sustainable urbanization in the post-conflict period and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 submission. Urban agriculture, Freetown, Postconflict reconstruction, peri-urban agriculture
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Natural & Social Sciences > Environmental Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Kenny Lynch
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2015 16:12
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 15:52
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1317

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