Legal and policy framework affecting the development of a market in Eldoret Municipality, Kenya
Kamwele, H.W., Wagah, G.G., Onyango, G.M. & Nyström, M.
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Globally the UN Development Program estimates that 800 million people are involved in urban farming worldwide. Of these, 200 million produce food primarily for the market, providing 15 to 20 percent of the world’s food. But the majority raises food for their own families. With the increase in urban poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition in urban areas due to increasing urbanization, many citizens have turned to urban agriculture as a livelihood strategy and source of income for a substantial number of urban households. However, many urban farmers operate without formal recognition of their main livelihood activity and lack the structural support of proper municipal policies and legislation. Contradictions exist between legislation, policy and actual practice. This paper examines legal and policy framework affecting development of urban agriculture. Using Eldoret Municipality case study, purposive sampling was employed and targeted Land Use Policy of 2009, Urban Areas and Cities Act 2011, Physical Planning Act Cap 286, Public Health Act Cap 242, Environment Act, Agriculture Act Cap 318, Local Government Act Cap 265 and Eldoret Municipal Bylaws. Key informant interviews were conducted with top government officials of the Ministries of Lands, Public Health, Local Government, Environment, and Agriculture, Eldoret Municipal Authority and Physical Planning Department. Data was analyzed by reviewing the contents, identifying contradictions between the laws and describing them as correctly as possible in finding out how the existing policies and acts have affected the development of urban agriculture According to the national legislation in Kenya, urban agriculture can be forbidden, restricted, allowed, controlled, facilitated or even promoted as expressed in the various policies and acts.. But there is no specific policy on urban agriculture. Eldoret Municipality recognizes the importance of urban farming as an important livelihood component, by tolerating the practice though it is illegal. But the translation of this awareness into a formal recognition in by-laws and ordinances has not been done. The study recommends that policy on Urban Agriculture should be enacted and the Physical Planning Act Cap 286 revised and municipal by laws harmonized in line with Urban Areas and Cities act 2011, and the New Land Policy(2009) to legalize the activity to enable maximum realization of its benefits and ensure sustainable land use management.