Investigation of the contribution of urban agriculture to food security and employment creation in Dzivarasekwa 3, Harare
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The study aimed at investigating the contribution of urban agriculture to food security and employment generation in Dzivarasekwa 3 as well as identifying challenges which are faced by urban farmers. The contributions of urban agriculture has not been supported and fully recognized especially by the local authorities and this has resulted in it being undermined. The area of study was divided into two; thus for the Dzikwa trust forest farmers and for the Snake Park farm farmers close to Dzikwa trust forest area. A total of 50 farmers were identified to represent a total population of 500 farmers. For Dzikwa trust farmers, the snowball technique was used to identify 10 farmers and for the Snake Park farm, 40 farmers were identified through purposive sampling and the simple random technique. Data collection was carried out using structured questionnaires, key informant interviews and observations. Data were analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 16 through the Pearson chi-square test .The survey showed that urban agriculture contributed significantly to food security, (46%) depended on urban agriculture as a source of food, (60%) grew maize (Zia may) which is associated with high food security levels since it is a staple diet. However there was an insignificant difference of household food sufficiency in relation to household size. The results of the study also showed a significant contribution in employment creation .The majority (76%) was employed under urban agriculture, 44% were hired as laborers seasonally and 32% on part time basis. Employment was not only created for the urban dwellers but the survey also showed that labour to work under urban agriculture also came from the rural areas. There was an insignificant difference in household sizes in relation to hired labour, number of hired people per household varied across all household sizes. Most prevalent challenges faced by urban farmers identified in the survey were lack of adequate inputs due to lack of finance, theft, lack of reliable markets to sell produce and also changing conditions. An average of 34% of the respondents faced security of tenure problems, 8% faced infringing laws by failing to meet the regulatory standards set by the Council and EMA and 26% noted insecurity from other residents as to who owns the land. The research therefore recommends that farming inputs for urban farmers should be made available and also land should be set aside specifically for urban agriculture through zoning so as to fully embrace the contributions of urban agriculture in ensuring food security ,employment creation as well as finding solutions to the challenges faced by urban farmers.