Submitted by RUAF West Afric... on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 10:21
Date of RUAF intervention: 2005-2008
Introduction | Urban agriculture in Pikine | Multi stakeholder action planning| Products | Contact
INTRODUCTION: CITY CONTEXT
The city of Pikine is located in the Niayes Valley, 15 km from Senegal’s capital city of Dakar. In October 1990 the Pikine sub-district was created as a result of a territorial reform and decentralisation process. With 1.2 million inhabitants, Pikine is the second-largest city in Senegal after Dakar. Pikine is an agglomeration of traditional villages, well-established settlements and a number of recent settlements, the latter mostly located in flood-prone areas, where housing is officially forbidden.
The activities of RUAF in Pikine take place in the Niayes Valley which stretches 450 km along the coast between Dakar and St. Louis covering an area of 4,800 ha and which forms the “green lung” of the region. The valley has a beneficial climate for plant and animal production. It comprises a succession of dunes, basins and inter-dunal depressions. The zone also accommodates a huge biological diversity of fauna and flora. Historically, the Niayes Valley provided for 80 per cent of the national demand for vegetables and flowers, but it is currently threatened by heavy urbanisation pressure, also resulting in increased incidences of flooding in the city. Protection of the Niayes Valley is thus key to RUAF’s work in the city.
URBAN AGRICULTURE IN PIKINE
In Pikine a diversity of agricultural activities are carried out by individuals and by groups, especially vegetable gardening (leafy vegetables, tomatoes, onions, egg plants, chillies, etc.), floriculture, fruit production (papayas, melons, strawberries) and fishing. Most products are sold at nearby urban markets. The majority of the 1,500 farmers in Pikine are men, while women play an important role in marketing.
|B. M. was born in 1956. He worked for ICOTAF for over 10 years before moving to Ivory Coast to work for the taxi-drivers syndicate. He returned to Senegal in 1992. Presently he is divorced and the father of five children. B.M. now supports his family exclusively through urban agriculture. The income thus generated is also shared with his mother, brothers and sisters, with whom he shares a house. He manages to earn a seasonal income of 609-762 euros, and would not want to go back to earning a living in any other way: his passion is to take good care of his fields.|
According to an exploratory survey conducted by RUAF in 2006, agricultural plot sizes in Pikine vary between 100 m2 and 5 ha. Over 75 per cent of the plots are acquired through inheritance and about 20 per cent of the land is newly bought. The survey also showed that only 3 per cent of the farmers have a title deed, making them vulnerable to land use changes. Urban development threatens the area, while another problem is saline intrusion. Over the past 30 years, the area of land used for agriculture in Pikine has shrunk by 85 per cent to 56 ha.
MULTI STAKEHOLDER ACTION PLANNING
The RUAF Cities Farming for the Future programme (RUAF-CFF) facilitated participatory and multi-stakeholder policy formulation and action planning (MPAP) on urban agriculture in Pikine.
|Participatory and Multi-stakeholder Policy formulation and Action Planning (MPAP) is a process of collaboration between the urban authorities with citizens, farmers, civil organisations, private sector companies and other governmental entities in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of policies and related action plans. This approach brings together major stakeholders in communication, dialogue, co-determination of issues, joint decision making, planning, policy-making and implementation of projects. The main output of a MPAP is the joint development of a City Strategic Agenda on urban agriculture.|
A Technical Assistance Committee (TAC) was established to coordinate the multi-stakeholder planning process. The TAC includes representatives from NGOs, research institutes, producer organisations and various Municipal departments.
The institutions participating in the TAC are:
- Pikine City Council.
- Department of Technical Services.
- Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research.
- Horticultural Development Centre.
- Fundamental Institute of Black Africa (Cheikh Anta Diop (IFAN/CAD) of the University of Dakar.
- Urban Green Spaces.
- Farmers’ Association of the Niayes Valley. PROVANIA).
- Departmental Authority for Agriculture.
- ENDA RUP.
- National Agency for Rural and Agricultural Advice.
- Professional Training Centre on Horticulture.
The TAC identified the following three key issues for the development of (peri)urban agriculture:
- Secure access to land.
- Access to water, other inputs and equipment.
- Development of a facilitating normative and legal framework for urban agriculture.
These issues were further studied and discussed in three working groups, which developed strategies and operational plans, identified potential funding sources and agreed on their roles in the implementation of these plans. Results of the working groups were shared with a broader group of stakeholders during consultative meetings and included in the Pikine City Strategic Agenda on Urban Agriculture.
City Strategic Agenda
Until 2008, the Pikine stakeholders have undertaken the following activities which are part of the Pikine City Strategic Agenda on Urban Agriculture (CSAU):
- Guidelines for the development and institutionalisation of a municipal urban agriculture programme and the inclusion of urban agriculture in the municipal budget have been developed and shared with the (new) City Council.
- Existing legal texts related to urban agriculture land use and tenure have been analysed and disseminated in simple language to urban farmers. Also a methodological guide on securing access to land under the current legal situation has been prepared and distributed.
- Materials on the use of treated wastewater have been developed and disseminated
- The Pikine urban farmers’ organisation has received training and support in the strengthening of its organisation, financial management and lobbying power vis-a-vis the local authorities.
The CSAU will continue to guide the work in Pikine on urban agriculture, supported by RUAF in the forthcoming years.
One of the realised activities under the CSAU was with a project implemented by the Pikine urban producers’ organisation PROVANIA, funded by RUAF-CFF. The project aimed to improve the producers’ access to inputs and farming equipment and to set up a rotating group saving scheme. Seeds, fertilisers and pesticides were provided at low cost to the farmers’ organisation. Farm equipment was provided to the organisation for rental to members. In this way the organisation was supported in slowly building up a financial base and rotating fund. PROVANIA was also supported in the development of internal procedures for the management of such a rotating fund.
Key results and lessons learned
The urban farmers’ organisation has been strengthened, which also facilitates the farmers’ participation and influence in the decision making process regarding urban agriculture within the municipality. Increased notifications of illegal housing construction are a direct result of this empowerment.
- Pikine producers are increasingly aware of required behaviour regarding safe wastewater use in urban agriculture. Use of stabilisation ponds, direct irrigation to plant roots rather than to the leaves and washing of produce with clean water before marketing are some examples.
- Urban agriculture has been included in the master programme of the Health Faculty of the University of Dakar, which will start in 2008 or 2009 (Dakar).
- Urban agriculture is now firmly on the political agenda of Pikine, and the City Council has included urban agriculture in its development strategy. Urban agriculture is also a feature in the Municipal Investment Plan currently being developed. The linkages between urban farmers, local authorities of Pikine and other relevant stakeholders (researchers, experts) have improved.
- The Pikine City Council decided to secure some spaces for agriculture in the North.
A principle lesson learned, however, is that preservation of agricultural land depends not only on governmental recognition of urban agriculture, but also on the integration of urban agriculture in the Municipal land use zonification and effective enforcement of that zonification by the municipality. Control of illegal construction of houses in the Niayes Valley has so far been insufficiently enforced, resulting in continued loss of agricultural fields. By the time the Pikine government has integrated urban agriculture into its land use plan (a process that takes quite a long time), there may not be enough arable land left to supply agricultural products to a large part of the urban market. Preservation of other areas of the Niayes Valley - located further away from the capital city - should now become an urgent priority for the national government and local governments.
Other urban agriculture projects in Dakar
1. Dakar Municipal Nursery and Vegetable Gardens Project, see: http://www.sustainablecities.net/index.php/our-work/sustainability-projects/where-we-work/africa-tag/item/21-dakar-municipal-nursery-and-vegetable-gardens-project
El Hadji Alé SECK,
Chief of Development Service
Pikine Municipal Technical Service
P + 221 77 653 71 10 /+ 221 33 834 87 16
Regional Coordination of the RUAF Cities
Farming for the Future Programme
IAGU (Institut Africain de Gestion Urbaine)
BP 7263, Dakar, Senegal
F +221-33-827 2813
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