Urban agriculture: addressing practical and strategic gender needs

This paper considers the role of urban agriculture in addressing the practical and strategic needs of African women, and assesses the gender implications of embracing urban agriculture as a development intervention strategy. Empirical evidence from Botswana and Zimbabwe points to the multi-faceted role of urban agriculture whereby some women use this activity to support their households on a daily basis, and others use it as an avenue for social and economic empowerment over the longer term. In order to benefit rather than burden women, the promotion and support of urban agriculture must take on an emancipatory agenda, which supports individual practical and strategic goals, and ultimately challenges the structural conditions that give rise to women’s involvement in the activity in the first place.