Urban Agriculture and Landscape Challenges in African Cities: An Illustration of the Bamenda City Council, Cameroon

Bongajum Simplice Ngoran, Suinyuy Derrick Ngoran


As population continue to surge in number, the challenges of urban agriculture and landscape dynamics in African cities is becoming increasingly important. Bamenda, a city known to be one of Cameroon’s breadbaskets is not only threatened by urbanization and poor agricultural practices, but the negative ramifications are felt by-and-large. Food production in Bamenda in many cases is a response of the urban poor to insufficient, unreliable and irregular access to food, health, income, well-being and the low purchasing power. Urban agriculture improves access to a cheap source of protein and the quality of the food in the households is improved as poor families get to eat more fresh vegetables produced by them. Though it is reckoned that the practice of urban agriculture provides an alternative solution and complementary strategy to cope with the problems of rapid population growth, reduces urban unemployment, poverty and food insecurity, it is also accompanied by negative consequences on the landscape. Soil degradation due rampant poor techniques of production, places the population at risk and thus, engenders out-migration. This study, therefore, addresses population quest for food security within the urban landscape and how this interplay influences each other. More-so, the role of stakeholders and types of agricultural practices within the Bamenda urban landscape are examined.

Both past international and domestic measures to ensure sustainable food production and to curtail adverse anthropogenic impacts on the urban landscape have proven counter-productive. Therefore, a re-awakening of positive mindsets, especially on the sides of Cameroonians as concerns best agricultural practices and state-of-the-art landscape management is needed. Considering the current economic setbacks, it is recommended that the acquisition of novel approaches in addressing poor urban agriculture strategies and its nefarious impacts on the landscape should be carefully studied and adapted such that it is at the reach of many.

Keywords: Urban Agriculture, Landscape Challenges, Environment, Bamenda City Council, Cameroon

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