Assessing benefits and challenges facing urban farmers in Hoima district
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Gender issues in agricultural production are one way for women and men to benefit equally from economic development. As urban population increases, there is growing interest in developing sustainable urban farming practices and other strategies to address key barriers in urban agriculture that impede improved food security and sustained urban livelihoods. Using a mixed method research, this study sought to assess the different types of urban agriculture, agricultural practices, benefits derived from urban agriculture and the various barriers to urban agriculture. Results revealed that although subsistence urban farming was practiced, emphasis was on commercial farming. Backyard gardening, vertical and animal husbandry were the most common types of urban farming. Livestock practices included deworming, feeding and drinking water while crop practices included weeding, spraying and pruning. Although farmers faced theft, diseases, limited land among other challenges, benefits derived were sources of food, income and employment. While urban agriculture addresses issues of food crisis, poverty and environmental management, there is need for government support and to invest in education outreach, training and research and better access to land through favorable urban policies.