The choice of crop species, varieties and their likely performance

For both genders, the growth of vegetables on allotments is controlled by the desire to grow pota­toes. There is a key requirement to avoid repeated growth of potatoes on the same ground each year, to avoid the build up of two major pest species of potato cyst nematode (Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida) (Winfield, 1990). This necessitates the development of a crop rotation on most allot­ments (Perez-Vazquez and Anderson, 2000), such as the example in Figure 20.4.


Figure 20.4

There is generally an increasing diversity of crop species and varieties within species seen on allot­ments in Britain, reflecting not only gender differ­ences but also an increase in the ethnodiversity of participants (Garnett, 1996a; P...


Allotment plot design

The design of an allotment plot needs to take account of its intended purpose: therapeutical, hobby or recreational, commercial, self-consump­tion, or mixed purpose. Allotment gardening is one of the most popular leisure or hobby pursuits in Britain (Crouch and Ward, 1988; Garnett, 1996a). Indeed, allotment management is considered by many people as a leisure activity rather than as a means of growing food (Thorpe, 1975). Thorpe has mentioned that the word ‘allotment’ should be


Figure 20.3

replaced by the concept of ‘leisure gardens’ because the former has an historical stigma of low income and relative poverty...


Allotment size

Allotment sites vary in terms of their size, services and facilities provided. The average size of the allot­ment is ten rods or 300 square yards (250 m2) (Crouch and Ward, 1988; Perez-Vazquez, 2000). This plot size was originally set by law, to meet the needs of households and not for trade or other busi­nesses (Blackburn, 1998). However, demands for increased housing and commercial capacity in urban areas has led to land scarcity for allotment provision (Perez-Vazquez, 2000). This has resulted in reduced allotment size (Radice, 1997) and some people in urban areas have had to try and utilise much smaller parcels of land (plots) in a less – controlled way than for allotments. Thus, space­demanding crops such as potato are not cultivated in many urban plots (Perez-Vazquez, 2000)...



H. F. Cook, H. C. Lee and A. Perez-Vazquez

In Britain, the allotment garden has long been a part of working-class culture, and the practice has sur­vived the widespread availability of cheap food, post Second World War. Today, urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in Britain continues to be useful as a means of supplying some food and financial income to urban people (Garnett, 1996a, b; Rees and Wackernagel, 1996; Dunnett and Qasim, 2000), but it also has many other important benefits:

1. social (leisure, empowering local groups of peo­ple such as women, therapy for people with spe­cial needs, rehabilitation for young offenders).

2. environmental (renovation of derelict urban sites, diversifying urban land use, increasing biodiver­sity, reducing the ecological footprint).




Andre Viljoen and Katrin Bohn

Figure 19.1 (photo of Moulsecoomb) shows an allotment site in Moulsecoomb, a suburb on the edge of Brighton, on the south coast of England. The site, on a south facing slope is small, having nine stan­dard allotment plots, with an area of 250 m2 each, and an overall site area of about 3200 m2.

It is occupied by the Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project, which serves a number of different groups, including community garden vol­unteers, unemployed people and young children. The project is self-regulated and has financial sup­port from a number of local organisations (Carter, 2001). This diverse group of users, with different backgrounds, desires and interests, has created a
usage pattern by which a network of public spaces has been overlaid onto regu...



The rise of urban agriculture as a component of development policy has been noted above. This is associated with poverty alleviation projects and has drawn in all key international development agents although few are at present clear as to how urban agriculture can be turned into a viable development programme. In Tanzania, GTZ has supported the Dar es Salaam Urban Vegetable Promotion Project for many years and has collaborated with other donors to host conferences and publicise urban agriculture (see Bakker et al., 2000). In its attempt to find a role for urban agriculture, the FAO has recently supported a number of expert group semi­nars in Southern Africa...



Although the scholarly work shows that urban agriculture or the growing of food in urban and

Figure 18.3

peri-urban areas (UPA) is not new in Africa (Freeman, 1991; Mbiba, 1995; Grossman et al., 1999; Rogerson, 2001), the phenomenon is now different and requires our attention in several respects. Firstly, since the collapse of formal urban economies in Africa and the debilitating impacts of economic structural adjustment programmes since the late 1970s, both the rich and the poor in Africa’s cities have had to seek alternative ways of survival. The new development is that the spatial scale of UPA has grown tremendously and its contribution to household economies has risen to far greater proportions than previously imagined (MDP, 2001).

Probably, the most critical new development arising f...


Country focus and regional patterns

In terms of countries, although Zambia had an early start, it was soon overtaken by Kenya (1980s) and subsequently Tanzania (early 1990s) and Zimbabwe

Подпись: Graph 1: total publications on urban agriculture, 1970-1998

(mid to late 1990s). As noted above, Zambia’s research was dominated by foreign researchers compared to Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa where a crop of local researchers competed for research space. However, the more northerly one goes, the higher this research has been donor dependent in terms of research funds. Pure aca­demic research not linked to donor programmes is hard to find except probably in South Africa (see Stren, 1994; Mbiba and Huchzermeyer, 2002).. .

By 2000, certain features were clear:

• Countries in the South dominate, especially Zimbabwe and South Africa. South Africa is now

attracting funds from key d...



Dr Beacon Mbiba

This chapter seeks to identify key aspects of the research record on urban and peri-urban agriculture in Southern and East Africa using a bibliography compiled by Obudho and Foeken (1999) as the start­ing point and main data base. The dominant status of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in East and Southern Africa reflects a restructuring (and col­lapse) of urban economies in the region since the 1970s. This has attracted increased scholarly atten­tion as well as interest from local NGOs and interna­tional development organisations that desire to use urban and peri-urban agriculture as an entry point for urban environment management poverty alleviation and food security...



We were interested to find out if organic production was seen as an integral feature of urban agriculture.

Our research revealed that many biological control methods were also proving to be effectively employed on many of the agriculture sites. For example banana stems are grown on many of the urban agricultural plots. Once cut and baited with honey they are extremely effective in attracting insects that otherwise might be tempted by local crops. Such a technique has proved particularly useful in the control of sweet potato weevil.

Another area of bio-development has been the emergence of vermi-compost centres (using worms to promote composting)...