Assessment of practices, challenges and benefits of urban agriculture in Kamukuzi Division, Mbarara Municipality
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This study is an assessment of practices, challenges and benefits of urban agriculture in Kamukuzi division, Mbarara municipality. The specific objectives of the study were to assess the types of UA practiced in the area; to determine environmental challenges faced by the community in the area; and to assess the environmental benefits of UA found in the area. Field data collection methods involved interviews and evidence collection. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used in data analysis. The findings show that; Poor waste management (12.1%); over usage of pesticides (11.1%) and poor water quality (11.1%) are the greatest environmental challenges due to UA. The practice was reported to bring environmental benefits and the highest reported is reduced soil degradation(16.1%) due to use of animal waste as organic fertilizers , climate change mitigation contribution (15.3%) due to green spaces formed by forests and food security (15.3%) . The highest effect is poor waste disposal with 14.9% as reported. The study recommends building capacity on good agricultural practices to enhance quality control in feed formulation and safe use of agrochemicals to protect the environment and more as reported in the report. In conclusion, there is potential for UA to be environmental sustainable due to the different types of UA practiced which are eco-friendly and work in accordance with the environmental sustainability ways like soil conservation. This is evidenced by UA as a good environmental practice. This is due to usage of inorganic wastes like plastics as planting materials hence reduction of environmental pollution. The findings further show the need to explore effect of urban agriculture on water supply and treatment technologies which are cost effective and easily maintained in the environment.