Urban Agriculture: Food Security and Relief for Covid-19 in Cities

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Ogunjimi, T.F.
Ekpeni, N.M.
Ayeni, A.O.
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University of Lagos Press and Bookshop Ltd
Over the past few decades, food security has been a major problem facing the world. Developing countries in particular have mostly felt the brunt of food security as most of the food supply of the urban areas is imported and agricultural production has been relatively discouraged for innumerable factors. The rapid growth of African cities in population and physical expansion has, thus, raised concerns for urban agriculture, which is a key theme on the international development agenda. In addition, population growth and physical expansion in African cities have further stimulated considerable interest and growing relevance to researchers as an area of research and policy focus. However, there have been limited studies that provide a clear understanding of the difference between urban agriculture and peri-urban agriculture. Also, the potentials of urban agriculture are severely criticised in the face of shrinking urban spaces and population growth without any serious consideration for the strategies of overcoming the lack of farm space for food production in urban areas. With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, food security in urban areas is further threatened as a result of the various control measures such as lockdown and inter-state travel restrictions imposed by governments to checkmate the spread of the disease. Some of the government interventions put up to minimise the effect of the pandemic have achieved minimal success as the search for food has led to non-compliance by the people and this has led to the eventual easing of the lockdown strategy. More so as government palliatives alone were insufficient to meet peoples’ need for food. This paper presents a systematic differentiation between peri-urban agriculture and urban agriculture. The paper examines their benefits during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. It also assesses methods that can be adopted for planting within the built environment to overcome the challenge of limited land spaces for food production. The paper concludes that, while humans need for food to survive is a task that must be met; the effectiveness measure to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on food security in the cities should consider and encourage urban agriculture.
Scholarly articles
Urban Agriculture , Food Security , Vertical Farming , COVID-19 , Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Ogunjimi, T. F., N. M. Ekpeni and A. O. Ayeni (2021). Urban Agriculture: Food Security and Relief for Covid-19 in Cities. In: Bammeke, F., Akinleye S. O. and Ayeni A. O. (Eds), “The Social Impact of COVID-19 on Nigerians: Experiences, Lessons and Reflections.” University of Lagos Press and Bookshop Ltd, Chap. One, pg. 19 - 35