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Strengthening horticultural innovation systems for adaptation to effects of urbanisation and climate variability in peri-urban areas

Strengthening horticultural innovation systems for adaptation to effects of urbanisation and climate variability in peri-urban areas

Joshua, Miriam Dalitso Kalanda, Ngongondo, Cosmo, Chipungu, Felistus, Malidadi, Charles, Liwenga, Emma, Majule, Amos, Stathers, Tanya ORCID: 0000-0002-7767-6186, Kosgei, Job Rotich and Lamboll, Richard (2020) Strengthening horticultural innovation systems for adaptation to effects of urbanisation and climate variability in peri-urban areas. In: Matondo, Jonathan I., Alemaw, Berhanu F. and Sandwidi, Wennegouda Jean Pierre, (eds.) Climate Variability and Change in Africa: Perspectives, Experiences and Sustainability. Sustainable Development Goals Series . Springer, pp. 137-156. ISBN 978-3030315429 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-31543-6_11)

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Abstract

The significance of urban agriculture is increasingly being recognised across the globe. Urban agriculture’s contribution to food security and poverty reduction, especially for the urban poor, has received increasing attention in urban policy discourses (Satterthwaite et al. in Adapting to climate change in Urban areas; the possibilities and constraints in low- and middle-income countries. IIED, London, 2007; Mutonodzo in Agriculture in urban planning: generating livelihoods and food security. Earthscan, London, 2009; Mkwambisi in Agriculture in urban planning: generating livelihoods and food security. Earthscan, London, Mkwambisi 2009). The impacts of climate change, climate variability and urban growth reduce the benefits derived from agro ecosystem services in peri-urban areas in most developing countries. Peri-urban areas play a significant role in providing ~80% of the vegetables consumed in urban areas of Malawi. However, the vegetable production is dependent on stream water or residual moisture from wetlands, which are being affected by climate change. This study investigated the viability of multi-stakeholder experimentation with sustainable technologies for improving vegetable production in a peri-urban setting experiencing water shortages due to climate change and variability in the Mulanje district in Southern Malawi. Using a participatory action research (PAR) approach, farmers, researchers, extensionists and village leaders worked together to source, test and evaluate various different horticultural production practices. Over a two-year period, they experimented with technologies such as bag (vertical) gardening, differential use of manure and fertiliser, new crops and crop varieties, seed bed preparation techniques and judicial use of pesticides. Those practices identified as successful in 2011 were replicated in 2012 for further evaluation. In general, the study found considerable improvements in vegetable production resulting from the improved agronomic practices. Further, many farmers found bag gardening more convenient due to reduced irrigation requirements, lower labor demands, all year round seasonal production, ease of access and crop security. Improved quality of produce, earlier harvest and increased total number of harvests of leafy vegetables due to manure incorporation, use of improved varieties and high yields in general were among other advantages that were realised. In addition, the technologies promoted minimal use of chemicals, which resulted in reduced seepage of inputs, thereby maintaining agro-ecosystem health. Most communities in the area have adopted the technologies as strategies for climate change adaptation. Scaling up these practices can therefore improve vegetable supply challenges arising from urbanisation, climate change and variability while reducing impacts on agro-ecosystem services.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: agro-ecosystem services, climate change, urbanisation, vegetable production, vertical gardening, adaptation
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food Systems Research Group
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2020 15:17
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28322

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