The Urban Agriculture Program (UAP)
Within The Help Self Help Centre (HSHC)
The Urban Agriculture Program is one of the focal points themes within the Help Self Help Centre (HSHC) A Kenyan Non-governmental Organization registered under the NGO Act since 1992. The Centre has been implementing an UAP since 1995 in selected slums in Nairobi. The overall objective of the Centre is to help improve the livelihood of the urban and rural poor through poverty alleviation, enhanced food security, and mitigating against natural resources degradation. Other programs implemented by HSHC include Sustainable Agriculture and enterprise and enterprise development mainly in the footsteps of Mt. Kenya (near Narumoro) about 150 km North of Nairobi.
B PROBLEM STATEMENT
While implementing the UAP which is practiced by an estimated 20% the residents of greater Nairobi with direct effect on over 80% of the total population (over 2 million) the centre has identified the following problems:
- Lack of policy support from Nairobi City Council and the Central Government.
- Lack of an enabling framework for policy generation, technology generation and delivery pathways.
- In adequate technical knowledge of urban agriculture by practitioners and beneficiaries.
These problems are exacerbated by the continued declining performance of the Kenyan economy in a highly competitive global environment coupled with the ever rising incidence of HIV Aids and related infections in the urban slums. Moreover, it is estimated that by the year 2020, 40 million people will be living in urban areas with about 33% in Nairobi. To address these and other emerging problems the centre proposes to network establish an Urban Agriculture Network (UAN), based in Nairobi with community based resource country wide.
C. WHY THE PROPOSED URBAN AGRICULTURE NETWORK (UAN)
Although, Urban Agriculture is a fairly old practice it has no institutional niche in Kenya. Urban Agriculture can help alleviate poverty generation through improved food security and provision of alternative income, that will put money in urban dwellers pockets. The gains made from other initiatives e.g. by UNDP (united Nations Development Progrmme and International Development Research Centres (IDRC) have largely not been felt by beneficiaries and other stakeholders in the country. In addition the experiences by practicing urban farmers have in most cases not been documented and disseminated. The centre propose to establish the Urban Agriculture Network (UAN). The main objectives of UAN will be to:
- Provide a multisectoral platform for sharing experiences and skills by practitioners and beneficiaries of urban agriculture through organizing exchange visits, workshops and exhibits.
- To promote and Provide an electronic service/database to local stakeholders and others in accessing technologies changes/experiences in urban agriculture to key stake holders.
- Publish and disseminate a user friendly quarterly newsletter on urban agriculture
- Provide a multisectoral framework for partnerships, policy dialogue, quality control advocacy and lobbying for support to current and emerging challenges in urban agriculture.
- Establish community based urban agriculture resource centres in Nairobi and other towns.
To help achieve the establishment of the UAN., HSHC is looking for partners, collaborators and donor support. In establishing the network HSHC will take cognizance of current policies, existing partnerships and institutional collaboration, experiences in the region and elsewhere. It is to be noted that the centre envisages UAN to be predominantly grassroot driven, non-political, gender responsive and multisectoral in terms of themes.
To enhance sustainability the proposed UAN will forge partnerships with community groups, local governance authorities including relevant ministries in the central government. Ultimately the UAN will:
- Put in place a functional and sustainable participatory community based urban extension system with resource centres distributed countrywide.The resource centres (community managed) will take lead in validating, disseminating and scaling up of promising technologies. They will also be focal points for lobbying and advocacy on issued pertaining to urban agriculture with opportunities for intersectoral synergy.
- Help forge and consolidate creative alliances with organizations that have complimentary interest, expertise, resources and geographical access to generate adoption and impact on a large scale.
Currently the Centre has collaborative partnerships with over ten development research and community organizations e.g. the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI) the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) the Industrial and Development Research Institute (KRDI), the Kenya Alliance for Advanced Children Rights (KAACR) and Environmental Liason Centre International (ELCI) among others.
WHAT WILL UAN DELIVER
- Improved food security, nutrition and alternative income to thousands of urban and peri-urban dwellers.
- Skill improvement through enhanced Partnerships at practitioners, researchers and urban dwellers levels.
- Improvement in policy generation, synthesis and formulation that affect urban agriculture by municipal authorities, Land Agencies, Civil Society and Central Government.
- A news letter where stake holders can continue to benefit from methods and approaches in urban agriculture.
- Geographical focus for Kenya and the region.
- A lobby movement in support of urban agriculture and its governance.
- Increased environmental management from improved urban agriculture practices
- Alternative delivery pathway for innovations and validated technologies.
On its part HSHC will provide an enabling environment for the network through a compelling agenda combining food security, poverty reduction with environmental protection. This is in addition to institutional track record and a participatory team based learning institution.
The proposed UAN under the auspices of the HSHC will consolidate experiences while establishing new partnerships with others in the region and else where.
For more information on the proposed UAN and HSHC please contact
Help Self Help Centre
P.O. Box 40603
Tel: 02 - 254 - 448166
Fax: 02 - 254 - 445351
Search Our Site