The socio-economic contribution of urban community gardens as a food security strategy in Highfield district
Food insecurity is a major problem in urban areas because of low-income. The majority of the poor people in urban areas receive incomes that are too low to adequately cover their basic needs. They spend most of their household budgets on food. Food insecurity in urban areas is less visible than other problems like sanitation and overcrowding, this therefore is not on the policy priority agenda of the city leaders. This study seeks to assess the contribution of a community garden in Highfield District in an attempt to curb food insecurity. Assessments of the nature of the community garden, the contribution of community gardening in alleviating food insecurity and the challenges being faced in community gardening in Highfield District were done to establish the effectiveness of the community garden in achieving food security in the area. The research utilised both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in which questionnaires, key informants’ interviews, focused group discussions and observations were the main data collection instruments. Data obtained was summarised and presented by means of tables, graphs and charts. A sample size of 35 garden beneficiaries was selected using random sampling in carrying out the research. 83% of the respondents confirmed the effectiveness of the community garden in achieving food security because they are having three meals per day. The garden was identified as the beneficiaries’ livelihood base because it was noted as their main source of both income and food. The researcher recommended the community gardeners to initiate a greenhouse. This is to overcome the challenge of being limited by weather conditions on what to cultivate during a season. They were also recommended to employ a proffessional security guard company and abandon their rotational guarding system. The local authority was recommended to set up a tower light nearby the garden in order to minimise the issue of theft in the community garden during the night.
- Department of Geography