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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Nonini, Donald M. 2014. A Companion to Urban Anthropology.

    Salako, Valère Kolawolé Fandohan, Belarmain Kassa, Barthélémy Assogbadjo, Achille Ephrem Idohou, Alix Franck Rodrigue Gbedomon, Rodrigue Castro Chakeredza, Sebastian Dulloo, Mohammad Ehsan and Glele Kakaï, Romain 2014. Home gardens: an assessment of their biodiversity and potential contribution to conservation of threatened species and crop wild relatives in Benin. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, Vol. 61, Issue. 2, p. 313.

    Gallaher, Courtney M. Kerr, John M. Njenga, Mary Karanja, Nancy K. and WinklerPrins, Antoinette M. G. A. 2013. Urban agriculture, social capital, and food security in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Agriculture and Human Values, Vol. 30, Issue. 3, p. 389.

    Galluzzi, Gea Eyzaguirre, Pablo and Negri, Valeria 2010. Home gardens: neglected hotspots of agro-biodiversity and cultural diversity. Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 19, Issue. 13, p. 3635.

    Linares, Olga F. 2009. From past to future agricultural expertise in Africa: Jola women of Senegal expand market-gardening. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, Issue. 50, p. 21074.

    Wiggins, Steve 2000. Interpreting Changes from the 1970s to the 1990s in African Agriculture Through Village Studies. World Development, Vol. 28, Issue. 4, p. 631.


Cultivating biological and cultural diversity: urban farming in Casamance, Senegal


At the present time, urban agriculture—that is, the growing of food crops in backyard gardens, unused city spaces and peripheral zones—is an economically viable alternative for many African migrants. Although previously ‘invisible’ to most developers and economists, urban farming is now recognised as playing a crucial subsistence role in the household economies of lower-income people living in major West African cities. But the practice does more than feed the urban poor. Using the example of Ziguinchor in Casamance, Senegal, it is argued that growing crops in peri-urban and intra-urban zones, on otherwise neglected or half-built-up land, also protects and enriches the city environment while increasing the primary productivity of the inhabitants. Directly, or in more subtle ways, the practice strengthens bonds of friendship, and promotes inter-ethnic co-operation while at the same time helping to maintain biological complexity in interesting and previously unexplored ways. City farming may provide a context through which the urban poor can relate to debates about biodiversity.


A notre époque, l'agriculture urbaine-c'est à dire, la cultivation de cultures alimentaires dans les jardins d'arrièrecours, les espaces urbains inutilisés et les zones périphériques—est une alternative économiquement viable pour beaucoup de migrants africains. Bien qu'auparavant ‘invisible’ aux yeux des promoteurs et des économistes, il est maintenant reconnu que l'agriculture urbaine joue un rôle essentiel en ce qui concerne la subsistance des économies de ménages chez les gens ayant les revenus les plus bas dans les grandes villes de l'Afrique de l'Ouest. Mais ces pratiques font plus que nourrir les pauvres. En se servant de l'exemple de Ziguinchor à Casamance, au Sénégal, cet article démontre que les cultures agricoles à la périphérie des zones urbaines et à l'intérieur des zones urbaines, sur une terre autrement négligée ou à moitié urbanisée, protègent et enrichissent aussil'environnement de la ville tout en augmentant la productivité de base de ses habitants. Directement, ou d'une manière plus subtile, ces pratiques renforcent les liens amicaux, et promotent la coopération entre les groupes ethniques tout en aidant en même temps à maintenir la complexité biologique d'une façon intéressante et auparavant inexplorée. L'agriculture urbaine pourrait fournir un point de contact à travers lequel les pauvres des villes pourraient établir un rapport avec les débats sur la biodiversité.

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P. Ali Memon , and D. Lee-Smith 1993. ‘Urban agriculture in Kenya’, Canadian Journal of African Studies 27 (1), 25–2.

B. Sanyal 1987. ‘Urban cultivation amidst urbanization: how should we interpret it?’, Journal of Urban Planning, Education and Research 6(4), 197207.

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  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
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