Determinants of growth of urban agricultural projects: case of Lang’ata subcounty, Nairobi county, Kenya
In recent years, urban agriculture has flourished in many urban areas. The purpose of this study was to investigate the determinants of growth of urban agriculture in Lang‟ata Sub County, Nairobi County. The objectives of this study were to establish the influence of consumer demand for fresh produce on growth of Urban Agricultural Projects in Lang‟ata Sub County, Nairobi County, to examine the influence of space availability on growth of Urban Agricultural Projects in Lang‟ata Sub County, Nairobi County. To assess the influence of Non-governmental Organizations intervention on growth of Urban Agricultural Projects in Lang‟ata Sub County, Nairobi County and to evaluate the influence of technology on growth of Urban Agricultural Projects in Lang‟ata Sub County, Nairobi County. The study adopted a descriptive and qualitative design in case and field study. The primary data was collected by use of questionnaires and notes as the data collection instruments to record respondents‟ responses that in this study were Urban Agriculture producers who dwell in Lang‟ata Sub County. The target population was Lang‟ata Sub County which has a population of 176,314 but due to time and budgetary constraints the researcher picked a sample of 384 respondents from Karen ward which has four divisions of which three represented the three socio-economic classes. This study showed that the demand on croplands can be reduced by growing crops in urban settings where land is available for cultivation. This does not require the conversion of valuable natural habitats, such as forests or wetlands, but rather uses underutilized, derelict or vacant land. The benefits of urban agriculture have been documented widely, and include environmental, social, economic and structural benefits. Urban Agriculture is the production of food through crops, fruit and nut bearing trees, livestock and bees within a city. Crops are grown in on-ground gardens, in pots, without soil through hydroponics, on green roofs and vertically along walls. Urban Agriculture has appeared in various forms. The research study advocates for policies that promote smallscale urban and peri-urban farming and thereby prepare the next generation of urban farming leaders. The task is to increase public knowledge and support, in order to transform urban agriculture from its cottage industry status into a major instrument against hunger and poverty.