A City of Farmers: Informal Urban Agriculture in the Open Spaces of Nairobi, Kenya

Hardcover | March 1, 1991

byDonald B. Freeman

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In an insightful new study, Donald Freeman examines the development and significance of urban agriculture in Nairobi, Kenya, overturning a number of common assumptions about the inhabitants and economy of African cities. He addresses the ways in which urban agriculture fits into a broader picture of Kenyan social and economic development and discusses the implications of his findings for development theory in general. Freeman begins by exploring the context of urban agriculture, tracing its development in the colonial and post-colonial city. He then provides a detailed description of urban farmers, their land use practices, and their crops. Freeman gathered this rich body of information through on-site surveys of 618 small-scale cultivators in ten different parts of Nairobi. He concludes by considering the implications of the burgeoning practice of urban agriculture for the cultivators themselves, for the city, and for the developing economy of Kenya. Although the empirical work is focused on Nairobi and its informal sector, the scope and implications of the study are broader and the conclusions relevant to other parts of the Third World. "Urban" productive activities in the Third World, Freeman suggests, need redefining to take account of basic food production in the city and its interrelationships with other informal and formal sectors. A City of Farmers will interest not only economic geographers and students and scholars of development studies and African history but anyone concerned with economic and social conditions in the Third World.

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In an insightful new study, Donald Freeman examines the development and significance of urban agriculture in Nairobi, Kenya, overturning a number of common assumptions about the inhabitants and economy of African cities. He addresses the ways in which urban agriculture fits into a broader picture of Kenyan social and economic developm...

Donald B. Freeman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, York University."

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:184 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:March 1, 1991Publisher:McGill-Queen's University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0773508228

ISBN - 13:9780773508224

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"[Draws attention] to a grossly neglected topic, and valuable material is presented where previously only speculation was possible ... There is no other book on this topic for Nairobi, [or] any other African city." Anthony O'Connor, Department of Geography, University College, London. "rich in detail ... forces one to consider a variety of perspectives on the African urban experience that depart from the conventional wisdom." Charles Good, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.