Integrating urban agriculture into urban Landuse planning of Eldoret municipality
KAMWELE, Hellen Wafula
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Urban agriculture is practiced globally as a livelihood strategy; in Kenya it is in response to the current food insecurity situation. However, spatial development plans do not provide for urban agriculture in the urban core, rendering it marginalized and under theorized.. The purpose of this study is to identify the contribution of urban agriculture to food accessibility for all income groups as a basis for proposing a spatial framework for its integration into landuse planning. The objectives are to: examine the contribution of Urban Agriculture to food accessibility of households; examine determinants of spatial location affecting the integration of Urban Agriculture, examine policy and legal framework on the integration of urban agriculture into land use planning and examine challenges for integrating Urban Agriculture into land use planning. The study was guided by Sens’ entitlement Approach to food accessibility, and Critical Urban Theory. It was conducted through cross-sectional survey design. Questionnaires were administered randomly to 402 households sampled from 12,554 households. These were proportionately selected from the low, medium and high density estates through stratified sampling technique. Key informants’ interviews were done with government agencies. Qualitative data was analyzed through content analysis and presented in narrative form. Quantitative analysis included percentages, mean, and cross tabulations while findings were presented in tables and figures. Pearson’s correlation analysis and Principal Component Analysis were used in the study. The study established that Urban Agriculture contributes to livelihoods through food accessibility by availing food for consumption, employment and income for all income groups. Determinants of spatial location of Urban Agriculture were found to be unavailability of land zoned for Urban Agriculture in the core of the town, security of tenure, accessibility, proximity to market and security of the area. The study established that there is lack of specific policy on Urban Agriculture to guide and control its development, while some existing laws were restrictive. Planning challenges were inadequate land, food safety issues, nuisance, poor market structures, low awareness and overall apathy towards the role of Urban Agriculture by government agencies. In conclusion, Urban Agriculture contributes to livelihood through food accessibility for all income groups. Its location in the core of urban areas offers it a comparative advantage with readily available market for the produce. This study recommends the integration of Urban Agriculture into land-use planning by formulation of specific policy on Urban Agriculture, reviewing and harmonizing Acts of Parliament, and implementing those that promote Urban Agriculture. A planning model of multifunctional land-use is proposed. These findings will be beneficial to national and county governments in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals on reducing hunger and poverty. They will also contribution to the pool of critical literature on urban political ecology that seeks to thrust activities such as urban gardening into the core of city making process in Africa and elsewhere.