Uprooting patriarchy: gender and urban agriculture on South Africa’s Cape Flats

Much of the talk around urban agriculture in Africa deals with poverty, hunger and accessing food. And rightly so, as 40% of Africa’s urban residents practice some agricultural activity. These activities include producing eggs, fruit or milk, but the majority farm vegetables.

In countries like Cameroon, Malawi and Ghana at least one in four urban households grows vegetables. Doing so helps to buffer these households against seasonal shortages or food price hikes. But for real, long-term sustainability, households need to have strong community networks and relationship bonds, also known as social capital.


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand

David Olivier is a researcher part of the Africa Climate Change Adaptation Initiative (ACCAI) programme entitled “Co-producing knowledge on food systems for development in Africa” which is funded by the Open Society Foundation, via the Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute. Empirical findings are based on research funded by the National Research Foundation.