Academic journal article African Studies Review

"To Subsidise My Income": Urban Farming in an East African Town

Academic journal article African Studies Review

"To Subsidise My Income": Urban Farming in an East African Town

Article excerpt

ECONOMICS AND DEVELOPMENT Dick Foeken. "To Subsidise My Income": Urban Farming in an East African Town. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2006. Copyright by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands, xvi + 224 pp. Maps. Photographs. Tables. Annexes. Footnotes. References. Index. $39.00. Paper.

With growing consciousness of the complicated rural-urban connections within the worldwide urban demographic explosion, 2006 has seen a similar explosion of publishing on urban farming-until recently considered by many as a lunatic fringe concern. Probably the best of all the 2006 releases, this comprehensive academic study of a single town-Nakuru, in Kenya-continues (and improves upon) the style of the 1990s studies of East African towns that first brought the subject to worldwide attention. Its painstaking presentation and its examination of original empirical data accurately portray how such an urban center feeds itself.

As the title suggests, urban farmers try to save money by producing some of their own food. This is not news in itself: many other studies confirm this, and the growth of urban farming in response to Structural Adjustment policies and the general lack of employment are well known. However, with recent studies such as this volume, the phenomenon can now be much better understood in its complexity. We know there is a relationship between urban farming and poverty, but what is it? Foeken (and his colleagues Sam Owour and others who contributed to different chapters) show that proportionately more rich people than poor people farm; they also benefit more from farming than the poor do because they have more secure access to land, while the poor, who need to farm more, benefit less.

Farming families are larger than nonfarming families (they farm because they need to feed more hungry mouths), and they are also healthier, with their children growing better. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.