Contribution of urban farming to urban household livelihood and organic waste management : a case study of Bungoma Town, Kenya
Sindani, Billy W
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Urban farming is the production of agricultural produce through the growing of crops, keeping of livestock and poultry in an urban setup. The study focused on the contribution of urban farming to urban household livelihoods and organic waste management. The study also established the environmental effects of urban farming. The study addressed a number of study objectives: to examine the agricultural systems in Bungoma town, to determine the importance of urban farming to urban farmers, to examine the contribution of urban farming to organic waste management and to assess the environmental effects of urban farming. In addressing these objectives, the study used both primary and secondary data. The secondary data was collected from government publications, council by-laws, journals, published and unpublished documents, maps among others. The primary data was collected from field surveys through field observations, administering of questionnaires to 120 urban farming households and 60 non farming households, photographing, key informant interviews, measurement and counting among other methods. Key informant interviews were conducted to the Municipal council of Bungoma employees, Bungoma south district departmental heads and local leaders such as councillors among others. The collected data was then analyzed by use of statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Mann-Whitney U test and sign test was used to test the study hypotheses. The study established that urban farmers in Bungoma town grew a variety of crops as well as keeping of livestock and poultry. Urban farming was viewed as a responsibility of all the household members. The practice was mainly undertaken as a source of food contributing approximately half of the urban farmers' daily food demand. In addition it was established that urban farming generates additional household income. The study established the use of urban organic waste as manure for crop cultivation and as food for livestock and poultry. The research therefore concluded that urban farming could minimize waste left for council disposal at household level hence waste management. The study also established that urban farming results to a number of environmental effects such as bad smell from cow dung, noise and soil erosion among others. Based on the research findings, the study recommends that Bungoma Municipality and Ministry of Agriculture should seek means and ways of encouraging urban farming. This could be achieved through development of policies, council by-laws and provision of adequate extension services. The study also recommends for a further research to establish the nutrients content of urban organic waste.