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Frameworks as an aid to promoting cooperation in urban agriculture.

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Cities, particularly in developing countries, are faced .with the challenge of population increase aggravated by rural to urban migration. This has increased the level of unemployment since job creation does not keep up with the rate at which population influx to cities occurs. This leads to poverty that undermines the economy of the city. Urban agriculture (UA) has the potential to improve livelihoods of the urban poor people through contributing to food security and generating income. However, UA has generally not been practised successfully and in a sustainable manner, owing to the lack of resources (land and finance), farming skills, and inadequate support services from organizations. This study presupposes that the inadequacy of resources in support of UA strongly reflects the level of co-operation and co-ordination among those who are, or could support UA. It will also reflect the levels of commitment of a shared vision. It thus sets out to explore the prospects of organizational collaboration to support UAand uses the Greater Pietermaritzburg Area (PMB) as a focus for the study. The local organizations in PMB were found to have frameworks through which they supported UA and other development projects. They were however found not to have any strategic plan, clear definition of organizations' roles, no common understanding of UA, nor a shared mission or vision of UA. As a result there was poor coordination and commitment to collaboration. It appears that a successful collaboration requires most importantly, an acknowledgement of the complexity of collaboration and a clear understanding of its purpose among the collaborating partners. Also required is accepting the need for leadership, integration of ideas when planning and implementing, clarification of roles and accountability. To appreciate this, organizational and individual empowerment is needed. Empowerment could take three forms: objective (knowledge of collaborations' aim, objectives, and procedures), subjective (assertiveness to undertake work involved), and competency (acquisition of skills to enhance ability to perform). The study believes these .factors could help improve the performance of organizational frameworks in developing UA to a point that its full potential is realized. The findings emphasized the value of adopting a systems approach in organizing delivery of services in support of UA.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2003.


Urban agriculture., Urban agriculture--KwaZulu-Natal--Pietermaritzburg., Sustainable agriculture., Cities and towns--South Africa--Growth., Theses--Environmental science.