Urban farming continues

Despite the recent ban on urban agriculture, and the subsequent green light from the police to cut maize, urban farming is continuing in most parts of the city.

Harare city bylaws forbid urban agriculture.
Harare city bylaws forbid urban agriculture.

Urban farmers who were interviewed by The Zimbabwean said they would take their chances with the city fathers who have, in the past, slashed maize crops. Police said that crops were ideal hiding places for thieves and they also contributed to the blockages of drainage systems.

“I have been a farmer since the 1980s. Despite the fact that the city sometimes slashes our maize, I still go on farming because it provides food for my family,” said Anorld Tsunga from Sunningdale.

Though there are no available statistics on urban farming productions, it is an old practice in Zimbabwe with some families producing enough to last them between rain seasons.

The favourable rain conditions in Harare, which lies in region two of the country’s climatic areas, makes farming more sustainable. However, urban expansion has seen people losing ‘their land’ to housing schemes and this has indeed raised conflicts between the new land owners and those who have lost their farming land.

“Harare should leave us to do our farming because it is a means of earning a living and also a tradition. We have been farming for years, only that the farms are getting smaller with new houses everywhere,” said Amai Precious from Sunningdale.

Police spokesperson for Harare, Inspector James Sabau said that banning urban agriculture was one way of curbing crime, referring to the increase in rape cases.

The urban farmers who are accused of causing environment degradation and the siltation of drainage systems vowed to continue farming until the city of Harare provided them with alternative farming land.

Post published in: News

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