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Land accessibility and urban agriculture in Freetown, Sierra Leone

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Abstract:

Urban agriculture enables many urban dwellers to eke out their incomes but it has to compete with other land uses for land. In many cities in sub-Saharan Africa, where land is communally owned, access to land has often not been difficult for the urban farmer. In Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, land is held in individual freehold ownership and access to land is dependent on one's financial capacity. This is critical, as Sierra Leone has just emerged from a long civil war, which has destroyed the basis of livelihood for many urban residents. The paper examines the approach currently adopted by urban farmers – many of who are women – to obtain land. Access to land by two groups of women farmers from Leicester and Goderich is examined. While the Leicester farmers compete in the market for land, the farmers in Goderich have access to land which is owned by government and is virtually free. The policy implications for urban agriculture are discussed. Journal of Science and Technology Vol. 25(2) 2005: 103-109

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