Community Gardens as a Form of Urban Household Food and Income Supplements in African Cities: Experiences in Hammanskraal, Pretoria

Food insecurity on the African continent is no longer experienced only in rural areas. Instead, it has become a very common occurrence in cities. Millions experience the unaffordability and inaccessibility of food for themselves and their families due to a myriad of reasons. In an effort to address this ill, people in a number of residential areas have started cultivating community food gardens. The gardens are viewed as a viable and feasible vehicle for increasing food access and availability, as well as reducing the cost of food. A case study of food gardens was conducted in the Hammanskraal township in Pretoria, to better understand and appreciate the role of these community gardens in the food availability and income generation. The study highlighted how community food gardeners in Hammanskraal are reaping meaningful benefits in terms of food supplementation and income that is generated from the sale of their produce. This policy brief proffers that a lot still needs to be done to support and encourage communities to expand and sustainably maintain their food garden projects. Long-term success can only be achieved if all relevant and critical stakeholders, including central and local government authorities, nongovernmental organisations, local communities and individuals, make a concerted effort to support organised urban farming.