Prospects and Challenges of Urban Agriculture In Nigeria: Towards A Policy Framework For Sustainable Food Supply In Urban Centres
The influx of migrants from rural areas in search of better economic prosperity has led to a double edged tragedy. First, it accounts for less food production from rural areas. Secondly, it has led to continuous increase in urban population causing congestion, food insecurity, poverty and deteriorating quality of life. Elsewhere, many nations have incorporated urban agriculture (UA) as a supplementary effort to food supply to urban centres and the food and agricultural organization (FAO) is encouraging this trend vigorously. Urban agriculture is not new or geographically isolated to a country. The United Nations Development Program estimated that fifteen percent of food worldwide is grown in cities. Countries such as Cuba successfully used UA as a means to evade food shortages, while many developing countries have long been farming within cities for income and subsistence. This paper reviewed the status of UA in Nigerian cities, its challenges and prospects for augmenting food supply to urban centres. In Nigeria, UA is practiced but in uncoordinated manner and not much can be deduced from its contribution to food supply in the urban centres due to lack of statistics and none inclusion in urban planning. Scanty literature is available for some cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Jos and Kwara but none exists for several fast growing urban centres such as Port Harcourt city where 90% of petroleum production takes place. Urban agriculture can become a strategic means of meeting the increase demand for food in such cities if well harnessed.