Urban agriculture is becoming both a fad and an additional investment for city dwellers beyond their normal activity in Ethiopia. Urban agriculture introduces new and easy technologies and modern agricultural activities with limited space and resources. In particular, the agricultural system in vegetable and fruit crops, urban agriculture plays a crucial role both in the production of fresh produce for households and for the market, while helping to produce fresh air in cities. polluting.
Two years ago, the Municipality of Addis Ababa launched a new campaign to encourage city dwellers to start producing urban agricultural products in their environment, in their garden and by the river individually and in an organized manner. However, the practice was there in an unorganized manner by different households, following the city’s campaign, many households began to cultivate mainly by producing vegetables for home consumption on limited land. In addition, people organized mainly under the safety net program have started to invest by taking land from their local governments, which is currently showing significant progress.
Endale Getachew is a resident of Yeka Sub City in Addis Ababa. Since 2013 he was engaged in commercial urban agriculture. Speaking to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Endale said its investment in integrated agriculture is based on 800 square meters of land. It produces spinach, salad, cabbage, carrots and other vegetables on one side and dairy farming, animal fattening and fishing.
According to Endale, he started farming with cows to produce milk for home consumption, mainly for his children. Through the process, he evolved his business into integrated commercial agriculture. Its urban agriculture integrates vertical agriculture to produce vegetables, a hydroponic system to produce vegetables without soil where water is used to produce fish, dairy cows and poultry.
For him, his integrated farming system supplies various agricultural products to the market and supplies products to more than 20,000 households. “To produce agricultural products mainly vegetables for household use, it does not require a lot of space and resources. It only requires careful management using different mechanisms, even this helps to use unnecessary wasted water for this purpose, ”he said.
“Well-managed urban agriculture is a beauty for the garden in addition to its benefit for household consumption and income generation,” Endale said, adding “it helps to have a green garden and fresh air in the garden. our home ”Therefore, he said, there should not be any land that is wasted calling on every household to apply garden gardening alongside their normal activities.
Market gardening in urban areas helps citizens meet their consumption needs mainly in the market gardening sector. In addition to that, it helps households to green their enclosure and motivates them to develop the habit of physical exercise during their product maintenance.
Endale reiterated that now its integrated agriculture is taking it to the next level and is developing from time to time and expanding its agricultural fields. “Currently, more than 20,000 households use our products like milk, vegetables, eggs, fish and chicken,” he noted, adding that “we are working to reach more people in the city and to long term to produce for export “
Meanwhile, Eshetu Molla, a resident of Akaki-Kaliti sub-city of Addis Ababa city is among those people who started urban farming after the Addis Ababa campaign in 2020. He said he started farming with his friends who were on the Safety Net Program. After taking a small plot near a school, they started vertical farming and other farming activities focusing on the production of vegetables and fish from small man-made water sports.
Currently, they produce salad, carrots, beets, fish and other fast growing vegetables. Eshetu said their farming is now becoming a source of income for the team and producing fresh produce for locals at affordable prices. “The area is densely populated due to the existence of condominium houses in the surrounding area which are far from the main vegetable markets.”
Eshetu added that “the locals now come to the farm and collect fresh vegetables every day.”
Speaking to local media, Addis Ababa Deputy Director of Agriculture and Urban Agriculture Mohamed Legani said that so far urban agriculture in major urban centers is limited and that the expansion of urban centers has affected agricultural activities in the urban surroundings. Because of this, farmers around Addis Ababa were forced to take their land for urbanization and ceased their farming practices. It affects the livelihoods and income of farmers and plays an important role in providing agricultural products to the city.
In view of this, the city administration of Addis Ababa began giving due attention two years ago by establishing the commission to give due attention to the development of urban agriculture and the development of urban agriculture. ” help farmers at the city’s borders to continue their agricultural activities. More than 20,000 farmers live in the vicinity of the capital investing in different agricultural activities; he said adding that these farmers are blessings for the metropolis agricultural market.
For the deputy commissioner, by supporting the farmers who surround the capital by introducing new technologies and protecting them from the effects of the city’s expansion, the administration aims to protect both the livelihoods of the farmers and the farmers. encourage them to supply their agricultural products directly to the market. In addition to this, the city is investing in urban agriculture by focusing on limited available space using simple and modern technologies.
According to him, the new urban agriculture initiative is booming. Households produce vegetables in their gardens and even on their roofs using readily available materials and using more water. The development of urban agriculture plays an important role in many households to meet their needs for vegetables in their garden. Various associations have also started to generate income by supplying their products to the market.
In addition to income-generating activities intended for household consumption, the implementation of urban agriculture radically changes different spaces that served as dumping grounds in different parts of the city, mainly along rivers. Groups that have started investing in urban agriculture are turning these areas into green and productive areas. This plays its role in maintaining the hygiene of the area and at the same time protecting the toxic gases from the garbage areas.
BY DARGIE KAHSAY
THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD DECEMBER 14/2021