Germans, Africans Team Up To Boost Urban Farming For Increased Yields

Germans, Africans Team Up To Boost Urban Farming For Increased Yields

 From Wired.co.uk.

Most produce eaten by Africans living in urban areas is grown illegally in urban areas. A five-year project by German and African agriculturalists and other academics aims to boost urban African farming.

Germans have teamed up with 14 African institutes to boost urban farming in a number of African countries faced with soil infertility and limited water.

The UrbanFoodPlus Project is headed up by Kassel and Bochum universities, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to the tune of 7.5 million Euros over five years.

Initial research will take place in Burkina Faso and Ghana, before extending to other West African cities including Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria.

Around 90 percent of vegetables and up to a third of the total food eaten by those living in urban areas in Africa is grown locally on patches of wasteland beside roads, in dry riverbeds and between housing. This is generally illegal, but can be more labor-efficient than traditional agriculture in rural areas.

However, Professor Andreas Bürkert, who is coordinating the project, says that these illegal “fields” are often destroyed by authorities. He believes that more attention needs to be paid to urban food production, which “offers far greater possibilities for increased yields.”

Read more at Wired.co.uk.