A socio-geographical approach to the diversity of urban agriculture in a West African city


There is a substantial body of literature addressing urban agriculture (UA) and its diversity. But the reasons for this diversity and the perseverance of UA in today's cities are complex, and few studies have been conducted on a regional scale that focuses on the UA dynamics involved. We took this approach in a multi-scale and space-time analysis of UA in the African city of Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso). In order to identify determinants of the transformations in agriculture within the city and its urban fringe we analyzed interactions from two main perspectives: (i) between urban and agricultural dynamics in both the city and on a regional scale, and (ii) between land status and actor strategies at the intra-urban scale. The analysis is centered on three areas of urban fringe that have been subjected to various land use changes over time and illustrate the different ways that farmers have adapted to urbanization. On a regional scale, results show how agricultural and regional market dynamics foment UA development by providing commercial outlets and producing agricultural inputs. At the local (city) scale, results show how and why different forms of UA have emerged in specific locations that reflect the socio-economic profile of farmers (ranging from autochthonous urban farmers to relatively wealthy urban dwellers), their access to resources, the possibility of intensifying farming activities, and the formal or informal land negotiations and transactions between the various categories of actors. We conclude with a discussion of the theoretical implications of this research and its relevance to public policy. Our analysis underlines the pertinence of comprehensive and qualitative approaches for analyzing the complexity of UA dynamics and enhancing the position of agriculture in land planning for geographically-specific urban contexts. (Résumé d'auteur

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oai:agritrop.cirad.fr:586460Last time updated on 2/11/2018

This paper was published in Agritrop.

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