The Integration of Urban Agriculture into Sustainable City Development. A Case Study of Accra and Kumasi Cities

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The concept of sustainable city/urban development have emerged over the last decades as a new requirement for metropolitan and urban level public action which involves conceptual principles and practices as applied in land use planning. The need for sustainable urban planning and development reached an important point in 2007, when half of the world’s population was defined as living in cities. A sustainable city enables all its citizens to meet their own need and to enhance their well-being, without degrading the natural world or the lives of other people, now or in the future. Planning as the framework within which urban development occurs, can and should play a major role in helping to ensure sustainable urban development. The main thrust of this research was to identify the potential role of planners and policy in the urban food security debate and how to incorporate urban agriculture into urban planning and management. A triangulation of both quantitative and qualitative methods was used in order to give the research statistical and conceptual significance. A two-stage stratified sampling design was followed. The study focused on the two largest cities in Ghana, Accra and Kumasi. The primary sampling units were Urban Agriculture zones drawn from research from International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in these two cities. Within each stratum three major sites in each region in relation to probability proportional to size (PPS) of the zones were looked at. The Simple Random sampling method was used to interview the Urban Farmers. The Purposive Sample which involves selecting “typical” individuals or cases from the population based upon professional experience, knowledge, or judgment was adopted. For the purpose of this research, a sample of 129 respondents from the two Metropolises was used considering a confidence interval of ninety based on the population of urban farmers. The research demonstrates that urban agriculture is an important feature of the urban land use system. Since the colonial era, urban agriculture remains outside the urban land use system. Despite the fact that it is not integrated into the urban land use system, it is an important feature of the urban economy. It is evident that urban agriculture makes important contribution to employment, income and food supply. The urban economies can greatly benefit from urban agriculture, if all the Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies can develop a policy and institutional framework on the sector. It is therefore clear from the study that adoption of polices by Urban Planners is key to the realization of urban food security and sustainable city development. In order to realize the full potential of urban agriculture, there is need to develop a policy and institutional framework for the sector. This would enable urban farmers unlock critical technical and financial support services. Also, urban agriculture would be carried out in designated and safe places. This would be mutually beneficial to the farmer as well as the unsuspecting consumer who would be guaranteed of safe produce.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements for a Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE (Development Planning and Management)