Urban Irrigation and Cooperative Organisations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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"Recent years have seen the continuing increase of population in urban areas, persisting problems of food supply, availability and distribution, and in some cases worsening hunger for many millions of people in Third World cities. Often, urban supplies are the first to suffer whenever food production declines for whatever reason, as farmers keep their products for their own needs. The urban poor depend on the market system for their food, while the rural population depends on both its own production and trade or markets: therefore, the urban poor are more vulnerable to market disorders and food interruptions. This paper summarises current understanding of the character and role of urban agriculture in Addis Ababa, and the organisation of producers for whom urban agriculture is the sole means of survival. The study first summarises the socio-economic situation of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. It then looks at the contribution of urban agriculture to the provision of food to the population, employment and income to the producers in the city. Finally, it reports the experiences of the cooperative in organisation, irrigated production, sales and income. The formation of the cooperative is seen as one of the urban farmers' survival strategies. Positive action, hard work and commitment by members, and technical assistance from government agencies have helped the cooperatives' development. However, the concerned authorities cannot give them the legal status that would give access to credit facilities and other services because of the urban location of the cooperative."
irrigation, agriculture, cooperatives