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International: $20
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Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
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1.1. Background of the study

Urban agriculture can be defined as the cultivation of food within metropolitan areas (Golden2013, Lovell, 2000). Unlike rural agriculture, urban food production is embedded in the urban ecosystem (Mougeot2005).

Urban agriculture includes a range of activities such as growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs as well as raising conventional (chickens, goats, pigs) and unconventional livestock (rabbits, guinea pigs, bees) and fish (aquaculture).

Urban agriculture can also be the growing of plants and the raising of animals for food and other uses within and around cities and towns, and related activities such as production and delivery of inputs, and the processing and marketing of products.

Urban agriculture encompasses a variety of production systems, ranging from subsistence production and processing at the household level to fully commercialized agriculture (Smith and Bailkey, 2006).

Urban farmers typically engage in the processing, marketing and distribution of their products through farmers’ markets locally, regionally and globally.

Formally, about 2% and 14% of the world’s population lived in the cities around the 1800sand 1900s respectively (Orsini et al., 2013); Nowadays, about 54% of the world’s population lives in cities compared to 43% in the 1990s and this figure is projected to rise to about 66% by 2050 (UN-Habitat, 2016a).

Thus, globally, future population growth will be in towns and cities and will mainly take place in developing countries where cities and towns are expected to host 80% of world’s urban population by 2030 (UN-Habitat,2007).

Furthermore, the urban population of Asia and Africa are expected to double by 2030 compared to 2000 (UN-Habitat, 2007; Orsini et al., 2013) and nowadays, Asia is already 48% urbanized and home to 53% of the world’s urban population (UN-Habitat, 2016a).

The number of people around the world who live in and around cities is increasing steadily. The “State of the World Cities” (UN-Habitatl,2004) predicts that by 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities.

The growth of cities is due to the natural growth of the urban population and to migration from the rural areas to the cities, with the former gradually becoming more important than the latter (Drescher and Iaquinta, 1999).

There is a general consensus that urban populations will continue to grow rapidly in most developing countries in the decades to come.

The extent of urbanization varies by region. In Latin America, which is the most urbanized region in the developing world, it has more than 75 percent, or 391 million of its people living in cities and the urban population in the region will approach 539 million, or 81 percent of its projected total population of 665 million, by 2020.

With the exception of Brazil, the urbanization pattern in most countries in the region typically involves one very large city that accounts for much of the country’s urban population.

In 2005, sub-Saharan Africa’s urban areas accounted for 34 percent of the total population of 611 million, which will approach 440 million, or 46 percent of its projected total of 952 million, by the year 2020.

Global economic processes have stalled in sub-Saharan Africa, while the urban population is quickly growing, causing severe consequences for the livelihoods of people in urban areas.

In Asia and the Pacific, urban areas today account for 35percent of the total population of 3,515 million and is expected to grow to 1,970 million or 46percent in the next 15 years.

An increasing number of the region poor live in urban areas. (UN Habitat, 2004).

According to De-bon et al (2010), urbanization in developing countries is exacerbated by poverty and causes problems of employment, rural-urban migration, transportation, and food shortages alongside the need for environmental protection.

Besides, Orsini et al (2013) suggest that being unforeseen, urbanization has huge consequences in small cities.

Indeed, as highlighted by Baud (2000), urbanization comes with series of environmental and social challenges, including reduction of fertile lands, deforestation, air/water pollution, drainage problems, and the creation of peri-urban areas where socio-economic constraints are exalted and poverty is rapidly increasing.

Food security appears as one of the critical issues resulting from rapid urbanization (De Bon et al., 2010, Prain., 2010, Orsini et al., 2013, Magnusson et al., 2014).

Most of urban poor spend at least between 60% and 80% of their income just to feed themselves but their food consumption remains insufficient in quality and quantity (Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 2001; Orsini et al., 2013, Magnusson et al., 2014).

Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is “one mechanism that plays a key role in enhancing access to and distribution of food in urban areas and, thus filling the hunger gap” (Lee-smith, 2010).

Most people within urban areas farm to supplement their diet and save food expenses, but many, especially urban livestock keepers, also sell part of their production, such as milk and eggs, which provides a secondary source of income (Bruceet al., 2010).

In Dar-es-Salaam and Tanzania, urban farms provide 90% of the city’s leafy in the 1990s and 60% of its milk (16% intra, 44% peri-urban), (Warren,Hawkesworth, and Knai, 2015).

In Africa, urban agriculture traditionally constitutes a risk-sharing strategy for household (Parrot et al., 2009a, 2009b; Debon et al., 2010) butthis is also part of Africans culture and urban agriculture traditions (Page,2002; Dongmo et al., 2010; De-Bon et al., 2010).

Moreover, being close to local markets, UPA is expected to become increasingly important for food supply and nutrition in developing country cities, particularly for perishable products (Lagerkvist, 2014).

In Cameroon, the history of UPA is traced back to the colonial era around the 18 centuries when the first cities were created.For instance, in Yaoundé, military stations were hiring workers who were also farmers to ensure that German settlements remain self-sufficient in food (Bopda et al., 2010; Prain, 2010).

However, UPA witnessed a significant development in the 1980s. When the economic crisis followed by structural adjustment policies slowed down rural agriculture, reduced public sector employment, and increased urban unemployment; U.P.A appeared as a means of survival and an additional source of income and food for the population (Musa, 1996).

About, 70 percent of Cameroon’s population depends on agriculture and pastoralism for their livelihood (World Bank, 2011).

Urban agriculture is growing in popularity and becoming “an integral component of the push to improve food quantity and quality in neighborhoods where healthy food is scarce or not readily available” (Asongwe et al., 2014).

While there are no figures on urban agriculture in Yaoundé and Buea in Cameroon, government officials estimate that the number of farmers in Cameroon’s capital city and Southwest regions headquarter all add up to thousands of urban farmers.

They range from unemployed citizens to public servants forced to engage in urban agriculture in order to supplement their meager salaries.

1.2. Statement of the problem

The perception of urban agriculture is seen as a clean and modern way of food production which is aimed at improving the food varieties, increase available fresh vegetables fruits, meat for consumption, to reduce food shortages and food insecurity, for commercial and financial purposes, to limit the destruction of the environment and to manage waste disposal on the environment through the transformation of organic waste in to organic manure.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with most urban areas in developing world.

In the locality of Buea, urban agriculture is becoming a popular activity in the livelihood of urban dwellers.

Looking at the present state of urban agriculture in the Buea municipality, there is the need to sensitize to the general population on the benefits of urban agriculture, and to create an awareness of the socio-economic and environmental implications of urban agriculture in order to improve on the production scale and methods used.

Based on the aforementioned issues raised, this study seeks to address the following.

1.3 Research Question

1.3.1 Main Research Question

The main question for this study is: What is the nature of urban agriculture and what related socio-economic and environmental implications does it have in Buea municipality?

1.3. Specific research questions

The specific research question includes:

  1. What is the nature and characteristics of urban Agriculture in Buea municipality?

  2. What are the socio-economic implications of urban agriculture in the Buea municipality?

  3. What are the environmental implications of urban agriculture in Buea Municipality?

  4. What measures can be put in place to resolve the implications of urban agriculture in Buea municipality?

1.4 Research Objectives

1.4.1 Main objective

The main objective of the study is to examine the nature of urban agriculture and its socio-economic and environmental implications in the Buea municipality.

1.4.2 Specific objectives

The specific objectives of this study include:

  1. To examine the nature and characteristics of urban agriculture in Buea municipality.
  2. To assess the socio-economic implications of urban agriculture in Buea municipality.
  3. To assess the environmental impacts of urban agriculture in Buea municipality.
  4. To propose planning measures to help improve on urban agriculture in Buea municipality
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