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A review of practices for sustaining urban and peri-urban agriculture: Implications for land use planning in rapidly urbanising Ghanaian cities

Ayambire, Raphael Anammasiya, Amponsah, Owusu, Peprah, Charles, Takyi, Stephen Appiah
Land use policy 2019 v.84 pp. 260-277
Internet, cities, container gardening, databases, ecological function, environmental impact, food availability, green infrastructure, herbs, home gardening, land use planning, laws and regulations, models, sustainable development, urban agriculture, urbanization, vegetable growing, vegetables, zoning, Ghana
Agriculture, through its economic, social and ecological functions, presents potentials for meeting some of the targets of the 11th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The targets include: a) reducing the adverse environmental impact of cities (target 11.6), b) providing access to green spaces (target 11.7) and c) promoting resource-use efficiency in cities (target 11b). Nevertheless, cities, especially those in the global south, are struggling to sustain agriculture due to rapid and uncontrolled urbanisation. How to maintain (peri-) urban agriculture in cities and their peripheries in an era of increasing land scarcity is unclear in the conventional literature. In this regard, this study set out to determine appropriate practices globally that can foster the sustenance of urban and peri-urban agriculture and determine their applicability to the Ghanaian context. Even though Ghana remains the focus of the discussion, the generality of the characteristics of the cities in Sub-Saharan Africa makes the practices useful to Sub-Saharan African region. The study obtained the required data, through a review of literature, from databases such as Scopus, PubMed, MeSH and ProQuest. The authors complemented the literature from these conventional sources with literature from grey sources such as institutional websites and online media publications. The results of the literature review show that container gardening, backyard gardening, and farming on vacant lands and marginal lands can hold the key to preserving agriculture within the cities. However, these models are more appropriate for the production of vegetables and herbs. Therefore, urban and peri-urban agriculture may concentrate on the production of herbs and vegetables, to complement the food supply from rural agriculture. The Purchase of Development Right and expropriation and zoning of peri-urban land for agricultural purposes appear to be important strategies for promoting access to land for peri-urban agriculture. The strategies call for revisions of city legislation and the land use planning process to legitimise and promote agriculture in cities and their peripheries.