Agriculture is a long-standing feature of urban and peri-urban West Africa. The technical, environmental, social and political implications of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) have been researched throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Such work starts with description (Rakodi 1988; Lee-Smith 2013), and moves through valorization of UPA’s environmental and social benefits (Smit and Nasr 1992) and identification of the technical complexities (Lado 1990; Obayelu et al. 2015) to consideration of the social and political implications (McClintock 2010; Maxwell 1995). To date, most investigations have been qualitative, examining niche concerns and locations (Naab et al. 2013; Drechsel et al. 2007), or have involved haphazardly sampled quantitative investigations and general descriptive summaries (Drechsel and Dongus 2010) rather than using randomly sampled surveys of entire cities. As a sound foundation for research, policy-making and planning related to agriculture in West African cities, however, a more systematic approach towards analyzing urban and peri-urban farming systems is needed.


Bellwood-Howard, I.; Haring, V.; Karg, Hanna; Roessler, R.; Schlesinger, J.; Shakya, M. 2015. Characteristics of urban and peri-urban agriculture in West Africa: results of an exploratory survey conducted in Tamale (Ghana) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute (IWMI) 38p. (IWMI Working Paper 163) [DOI]  | Fulltext (2 MB)