Submitted by RUAF Eastern an... on Fri, 11/19/2010 - 11:35
Date of RUAF intervention: 2005-ongoing
Introduction| UA in Bulawayo | Multi stakeholder action planning | From Seed to Table | Products | Contact
INTRODUCTION: CITY CONTEXT
Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe and is located 435 kilometres from Harare in the south western part of the country. It was declared a municipality on 27th October 1897 and was the hub of heavy industry in the country up until the late 1990s when most firms moved to Harare. It has a mild climate (temperatures between 14 and 22 degrees) and average rainfall is 575 mm. The city covers an area of about 700 km2 and has an estimated population of 700.000 (in 2009). Bulawayo’s geographical position within the Southern African region is very central.
Poverty levels in Bulawayo have increased as a result of the recent economic crisis. Most firms have closed or relocated to Harare, resulting in high unemployment levels estimated to be at 80%. Poverty is estimated to be around 60% of the population based on the average household monthly basic food needs. Most people have turned to other means of survival and urban agriculture is one of those activities.
URBAN AGRICULTURE IN BULAWAYO
Urban agriculture in Bulawayo is an important activity for many people. Those engaged in it realise commercial benefits, or practice it for subsistence to supplement their meagre incomes or simply for survival. At the moment, the City has nine irrigated garden allotments totalling about 25ha that are managed by the Social Services Office of the Department of Housing and Community Services. The beneficiaries (over 5000) grow vegetables predominantly for domestic consumption. The City also manages the Gum Plantation Allotment, a massive community garden project on an estimated 450 ha. Also here, preference in allocation of plots was given to the elderly and the poor, comprising about 75% of the beneficiaries. Each household is allocated 6 long-beds for free, making up a total of 200-400m2. But there is increasing demand for land, and youths started to practice agriculture in the city recently also. Some of the produce is sold to generate income.
Major challenges experienced by the Bulawayo producers are access to water and land. All the waste-water from the city’s treatment works is channelled for irrigation to the garden allotments and council farms (free of charge), where three different crops are grown on a rotational basis every year: vegetables, sugar beans and maize. The community gardens established with support of World Vision get their irrigation water from hand pumps. Here a larger variety of vegetables is grown.
There is competition between land for agriculture and for other uses like housing and industrial development. Most of the farmers cultivate similar crops resulting in a glut or shortages in the market. Other main challenges are marketing and adding value by processing.
Under the current political and economic conditions of food shortages the plots play a key role for household food security. Ninety five percent of the producers in the allotment gardens indicated that urban agriculture contributed significantly to their livelihood, by providing them assisting the farmers with food and money (99.1%), school fees (44.6%), medication (9.8%) and clothing (29.5%).
MULTI STAKEHOLDER ACTION PLANNING
RUAF Cities Farming for the Future Programme (RUAF-CFF) facilitates participatory and multi-stakeholder policy formulation and action planning (MPAP) on urban agriculture in Bulawayo.
|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 the form of communication, dialogue, co-determination of issues, joint decision making, planning and implementation of projects. The main output of a MPAP is the joint development of a City Strategic Agenda on urban agriculture in Bulawayo.|
The MPAP process in Bulawayo is led by a core group consisting of the Municipal departments of Health, Town Planning, Housing and Social Welfare and the Town Clerk of the Bulawayo City Council, SNV, World Vision, the Environmental Management Agency, the National Department of Agriculture and Extension Services (AGRITEX) and the Department of Physical Planning, the Zimbabwe Open University of Bulawayo, farmer representatives and Agribank. This core group reports to the Stakeholder Forum on Urban Agriculture (made up of a wider group of about 50 stakeholders) , and to the Bulawayo City Council’s Lands and Planning Committee.
|Based on an exploratory survey on urban agriculture in the city, the core group identified a number of important issues related to urban agriculture in Bulawayo. |
- Access to land for urban agriculture.
- Revision related by-laws.
- Access to adequate water for irrigation.
- Funding opportunities.
- Diversification in agricultural production.
For each of these issues, working committees further elaborated on these issues and made recommendations for the City Strategic Agenda.
City strategic agenda
The Bulawayo City Strategic Agenda on Urban Agriculture (CSAU) includes a vision on the desired development of urban agriculture in the city, the key issues identified during the exploratory survey, the strategies regarding each issue, the main actors responsible for each action, and actual or potential funding. The central aim of the CSAU is the development of urban agriculture in the city that is vibrant, diversified and environmentally sustainable for subsistence and commercial purposes.
The core team is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the CSAU and monitoring progress and reports to the Multi-stakeholder forum. The CSAU will continue to guide the work in Bulawayo on urban agriculture, supported by RUAF under the From Seed to Table programme (2009-2010).
The results from the project include:
- Awareness has been improved on urban agriculture and its contributions to the various facets of the city.
- A policy on urban agriculture has been developed, which has officially been adopted by City Council, and which is guiding the development of the sector in the city.
- Interest in urban agriculture has increased and there has been an increase in the applications for leasing land for urban agriculture.
- A specific unit on urban agriculture has been created within the City Planning section.
- The MPAP process has managed to bring together a diverse range of stakeholders, who did not meet before, and who are now working together on the subject in a coordinated manner.
- Urban agriculture has been integrated in the Bulawayo Master Plan 2006-2015, in the Luveve Local Plan 2007, the Phillipi (Cape Town) Development Plan and in the Ndola Strategic development Plan. In these cities, various stakeholders participated, through the MSF, in the revision of the policy and its approval, which facilitated the coordination of activities of these actors. In addition, urban producers now actively participate in municipal discourse on urban agriculture. In Zimbabwe, a national policy is currently being developed.
FROM SEED TO TABLE (FSTT)
World Vision International, one of the partners of the CFF project, coordinates the FSTT project. A group of 100 farmers were identified to improve their production and find new ways to access markets. The farmers identified products that they could produce for the market, analysed the market, and selected their most promising option (MoPO). The two most promising options for them were poultry and mushroom. They finally chose to produce "dressed poultry" to supply to retail and institutional organisations, branded and packed as whole chickens as well as in portions.
After the diagnostic phase, the Bulawayo team joined the other cities at the second regional training that was held in Ndola, Zambia. The team was exposed to Business Planning, Project Planning, and planning for the Urban Producer Field Schools (UPFS). At the training, the team produced drafts of all the plans and proceeded to finalise these upon their return from Zambia. The team has since submitted a draft Business Plan. They are now planning to purchase the chickens and start project implementation.
The City Strategic Agenda was updated and is being implemented. The MSF has focussed on complimenting the project by sourcing additional resources to fund the agenda. Amongst others, an additional 300.000 Euros has been sourced for bringing electricity and other infrastructural improvements to the project site.
Contact Bulawayo Core Group:
J.J. Ndebele, Town Planning Division
Cynthia Chaibva, Bulawayo City Council
Tower Block, 7th Floor
E email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Coordination of the RUAF Cities Farming for the Future Programme
MDPESA (Municipal Development Partnership Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office)
M 7th Floor, Hurudza House
14-16 Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Regional coordinator: Mr. Takawira Mubvami
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