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Urban Agriculture as a Global Economic Activity with Special Reference to the City of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

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image of African and Asian Studies
For more content, see Journal of Asian and African Studies.

According to the UNDP (1996), about 800 million people are involved in urban food production with 200 million doing so for commercial reasons. Considering its rapid expansion all over the world, especially in African countries, urban agriculture is mostly regarded as a survival strategy. The attempt in this paper is to answer the following question: are people pushed into urban farming because they have no choice or are they engaged in urban agriculture because they know they can make a good living out of it?

The article identifies several factors that force urban dwellers to resort to agricultural activities, as well as those that attract them for nutritional, financial and social reasons. These factors include, structural adjustment programs, decline in world prices of the primary commodities, economic crisis, low wage or salary, unemployment, rapid population growth, war, poverty, etc., which have led urban people to cultivate or raise animals or livestock. At the same time, urban agriculture has been proven as source of food, income and employment. The study is based on documentary sources, including books, articles, magazines, the Internet and the online publications. It also relies on primary sources from semi-structural interviews conducted in the city of Lubumbashi from November 2004 to March 2005.


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