Urban agriculture in Botswana
Botswana, a middle-income country, is experiencing a sluggish economic growth and a rapid urbanisation which has brought in its wake high unemployment, poverty and food insecurity. This has led some people to engage in subsistence and commercial urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) to address these problems. However, in spite of its known advantages, uptake of UPA has been low for a number of reasons including: high GDP before the economic meltdown of recent years; a harsh climate; lack of water; poor access to land; and over-reliance on generous government handouts. Nevertheless, the extent of its practice and its contribution to food security – albeit modest – shows that it is a sector that needs to be encouraged and supported. Both central and local government can play a big role by providing land and infrastructure, and also by implementing an enabling policy and regulatory environment which promotes small- and medium-scale urban food production.
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