URBAN HORTICULTURE IN MATARA CITY OF SRI LANKA: A CASE STUDY

M. De Zoysa
Although urban horticulture (UH) is viewed as solely for subsistence purposes, it has many additional social, economic, and ecological benefits in the urban areas. The main objectives of the study are: to ascertain the livelihood conditions of urban households; to identify their UH production systems; and to examine their environmental concerns with regard to UH. The primary data were collected through a field survey conducted in Matara Municipality area by interviewing 85 randomly selected households. It has been revealed that their involvement is significantly influenced by the family size of the households (Kruskal-Wallis test: H (1, N=85) = 5.657451 p=.0174). However, there are no significant relations of the household involvement in UH with size of land holding (Kruskal-Wallis test: (H (1, N=85) = .0530899 p=.8178), their occupation (chi2=0.2995, p=0.8609) and their monthly income (Kruskal-Wallis test: (H (1, N=85) = .7494120 p=.3867). The majority (51%) of the households involved in UH are middle-income group (Rs. 10,000 ≤ 20,000). Many households mainly grow floriculture (71%) and fruits (42%) as the common components. Almost all the households (91%) who are involved in floriculture do it as a hobby while many vegetable growing households (75%) produce vegetables only for domestic consumption. Only commercial floriculture and vegetable producers apply fertilizer and agro-chemicals for their plants. Pleasant surroundings (85%), protecting the environment from sun burn, heat, dust, smoke, noise and heavy rain (69%), and safe food (57%) are the common interests of urban households. Among the main challenges, most of the households are facing the problems of lack of quality planting materials (87%) and difficulties in finding organic fertilizer (80%). They are concerned about the opportunities such as convenient compost making (87%), watering techniques (72%), simplified hydroponics system (76%) and organic farming practices (92%) in order to promote their UH.
De Zoysa, M. (2007). URBAN HORTICULTURE IN MATARA CITY OF SRI LANKA: A CASE STUDY. Acta Hortic. 762, 263-270
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.762.25
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.762.25
livelihood conditions, horticultural systems, instigations, challenges, promotional opportunities
English

Acta Horticulturae