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Nakuru's urban crop cultivators

Submitted by Nitya Jacob 23rd November 2022 10:55
Urban farming

Urban farming


A large majority of households in Nakuru Municipality, Kenya, practice urban farming on small plots of land. This case study shows how people living in medium-sized towns grow some of their food, and a new approach towards urban planning and management. As many as 25% of Nakuru households could be classified as ‘urban crop cultivators’ and about 20% as ‘urban livestock keepers’.

About 95% of both the poor and the non-poor households said they had access to land. They used 80% plots for crop cultivation and about half for livestock; mixed farming is common. But there were differences in the number and size of their plots.

How important are farming activities for the livelihoods of Nakuru urban dwellers? Farming – both urban and rural – is more important as a food than as an income source. But there are limitations to the commercial gains, as produce quantities are small. There is additional income from livestock, though.

However, it emerged that rural farming is more important as a livelihood source than urban farming. The crucial factor was access to land (‘natural resource’ in livelihood terms). In the rural areas, this resource was accessed through either inheritance or rural kin at the ‘rural home’. In town, land is scarce (many of the poor have no compound) and if available, often too expensive to rent.