Potential for Sustainable Urban and Peri-Urban Agricultural Practices in Nairobi County
AbstractThis study purposed to identify the sustainable potential of urban and peri-urban agriculture practices in Nairobi county as a contribution towards a sustainable food system. A sustainable practice provides a balance between optimal environmental, social and economic dimensions. The study was conducted in Nairobi county, utilised a survey method and employed purposive, stratified and random sampling methods of 149 respondents. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse data. Findings indicated that the most popular urban and peri-urban practices were open field farming, composting and vegetable nurseries which required minimal inputs and low management skills. These popular methods were not the most profitable. The most profitable practices were cattle, chicken rearing, mushrooms and hydroponics production. Profitable practices were not common due to high input requirements and the need for specialized management skills. They were also found to require a controlled environment for production and were found to be the most sustainable. The study recommended a transformation from the current popular, unprofitable and environmentally unfriendly practices to sustainable practices by lobbying the county government and other stakeholders to provide subsidized inputs and specialized skills by the county government and other relevant stakeholders. This change with policy support will contribute to providing a permanent solution to the unstable food systems in the city
Key terms: Urban and peri-urban agriculture, Sustainable practices, Nairobi County.
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