A REVIEW OF URBAN AND PERI-URBAN VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IN WEST AFRICA
After a long history of opposition, urban agriculture was gradually accepted as a solution to food shortages caused by adverse economic and climatic events in West Africa. In the last two decades, vegetable production has become increasingly important in many West African capitals. It is the main source of income for an estimated 1000 to 3000 producers per capital, and benefits people all along the supply chain. In Dakar, for example, urban production supplies 60% of all vegetables consumed in the city, and 15000 people are estimated to benefit indirectly from vegetable production. Produce includes exotic vegetables (e.g. tomato, sweet pepper, carrot, lettuce, and cabbage) grown in every country and indigenous vegetables (preference being given to leafy indigenous vegetables in the humid tropical countries, and to fruits of indigenous vegetables in the Sahelian countries). In spite of the multiple benefits, many concerns continue to be raised about the quality of vegetables produced in and around the cities. Producers frequently use banned or inappropriate pesticides in excessive quantities, and also polluted irrigation water, wastewater, and untreated sewage sludge. These problems are exacerbated by the lack of enforcement of environmental legislation from local authorities and lack of support given to farmers (in the form of credit, secure tenure, extension services, etc.). This paper reviews available literature on the characteristics of urban vegetable production systems (e.g. types of crops grown, scale of production, farming constraints, health risks, etc.) from six West African countries. By contrasting the case studies set within the context of their respective urban policy environments, the paper seeks to provide an up-to-date evaluation of the potential of urban vegetable production for a modern West African city, highlighting priority areas for research and development.
Levasseur, V., Pasquini, M.W., Kouamé, C. and Temple, L. (2007). A REVIEW OF URBAN AND PERI-URBAN VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IN WEST AFRICA. Acta Hortic. 762, 245-252
production systems, development challenges, stakeholder perception