Urban and peri-urban farming

Last changed: 24 October 2019

The main activities in this theme is all about analyzing the pros and cons in urban and peri-urban farming and providing science-based data for policies or practices.

Today more than half of the planet’s inhabitants live in cities. The world-wide migration of rural people to cities is particular prominent in Africa and Asia. Besides the demographic aspects, these dynamics do also change the conditions for agriculture, livelihoods and food production. There are new opportunities and challenges to which science can contribute.

The activities within the theme relates to several of the Sustainable Development Goals within the Agenda 2030, primarily these ones:  

People in cities or towns in low-income countries, do demand and eat a more varied diet than rural dwellers. This more varied diet comprises more legumes, fruits, meat milk, egg and fish compared with the rural staple food-based diet. The demand for these different components of an urban diet opens for urban and peri-urban farming. This kind of farming is mainly small-scale and often operated by women, yet contributing to a significant share of the food in many cities in low-income countries. Also, the rural dwellers moving to cities often bring agricultural practices with them for making an income and food and nutrition security reasons. Often there are no policies about or infrastructure for urban and peri-urban farming and sometimes it is illegal but still there.

Unfortunately, there are also downsides related to urban and peri-urban farming. For instance, threats to the public health from zoonotic diseases in livestock, sanitary issues from cultivation and livestock-keeping and local environmental degradation from pollution and deforestation.

Analyzing the pros and cons in this farming-practice as well as suggesting policies or interventions to balancing the up- and down sides are main activities within this theme.

Urban and peri-urban farming in 2017
Entrepreneurial urban and peri-urban agriculture in Tanzania

A new SLU project that will research to what extent entrepreneurial urban and peri-urban agriculture in Tanzania is empowering women, men and youth. Read more.

Theme leaders 

Theme leader: Ulf Magnusson  ulf.magnusson@slu.se
Deputy theme leader: Johanna Bergman Lodin johanna.bergman.lodin@slu.se