Potentials of urban horticulture for poverty reduction in Dar es Salaam: a case of Kinondoni municipal

15 05 2009


Authors: Masashua,H.E.; Dimoso,P.J.; Hawassi,F.G.H.
Produced by: Eldis Poverty Resource Guide (2009)

Although urban agriculture plays an important role in economic development, activities that support urban agriculture are rarely included in programmes for urban development and poverty reduction. Likewise, not many attempts have been made so far to provide empirical evidence related to contribution of the urban agriculture to poverty reduction. In this context, new research at the Institute of Rural Development in Tanzania attempts to assess urban agriculture’s contribution to poverty reduction, focusing particularly on the impact of vegetable production.

Approximately one third of the people of Tanzania are living in abject poverty: the urban poor constitute 13% of the poor. Urban poverty is the outcome of persistent economic uncertainty in urban areas, where households confront unemployment and declining purchasing power. To improve food security and diversify livelihood options, therefore, households have increasingly embarked on urban agriculture.

Using primary and secondary data, the study examines the effects of vegetable production on 55 households in Dar es Salaam’s Kinondoni municipality.

Amongst others, it finds that:

  • farmers prefer to cultivate vegetables with high profitability and suitable to the local climate – this means favouring amaranthus species and pumpkins over tomatoes and okra
  • locally available agricultural inputs such as modern seeds, manure and manpower make it easier for farmers to take up vegetable production
  • vegetable production has had a significant positive influence on reducing income poverty, increasing food availability and increasing accessibility to educational and health services, among households in the study area

The study report concludes that urban horticulture is contributing to poverty reduction in urban Tanzania. In order to make horticulture activities sustainable, it calls on the relevant authorities, including those in Kinondoni, to improve land access for poor people by legally allocating specific areas in the municipality for horticulture. In addition, urban extension services need to be improved and the prices of agricultural inputs reduced.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=43098&em=130509⊂=agric

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