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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science in Geography
Title Exploring the link between urban agriculture, food security and the role of community development: a case study of Soweto, South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
This MSc thesis is aimed at assessing the food security of people actively participating in urban
agriculture. In addition, it aims to assess the role of community projects that are involved in urban
agricultural activities in Soweto. The fieldwork took place in five suburbs of Soweto; Meadowlands,
Chiawelo, Mzimhlophe, Motswaledi and Nancefield Hostel. The findings suggest that there is a link
between urban agriculture and food security in Soweto. Field based research revealed that the
participants who engage in urban agricultural activities are doing so to supplement their households’
daily dietary needs. The community projects that mainly engage in food gardening are doing so for
the same reasons as the individuals. However there is a greater potential for the community projects
to grow into more sustainable micro-economical entities that can supply the community and local
retailers with locally grown cheap vegetables. Hampering this potential is the need for continuous
skills development and training in agriculture and financial management. In addition, there is a
problem pertaining to access to resources and funding than could assist both the community
projects and individuals to grow good quality food. There is however a need for more data to assess
the spatial distribution of the urban cultivators, livestock keepers and community projects.
Nonetheless, it is important to note that urban agriculture is quite significant in the lives of those
involved as it has helped reduce food insecurity in their households and encourages social
networking among cultivators.

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