Urban Agriculture in Mogadishu: Opportunities and Constraints
Urban and peri-urban agriculture is crucial for improving food security among urban households and reducing the food mileage between urban and rural areas, especially with the unprecedented increase in urban populations. This study used a snowball sampling method to assess the opportunities and constraints faced by urban horticulture farmers in Deynile and Darusalam of Mogadishu. The findings of the study revealed that temperature, wind, pest and disease outbreaks, and water access for irrigation are the main constraints that urban farmers encounter. The study also found that the type of farming is another challenge that urban farmers face. Urban farmers who grow inside greenhouses have fewer challenges in terms of wind protection, which reduces crop evapotranspiration and improves crop quality, such as the appearance of fruits and leafy vegetables. Conversely, urban farmers who grow in the open fields encounter major challenges such as high irrigation and water requirements, frequent pest and disease infestations, and poor appearance of fruits and leafy vegetables, which are unattractive to buyers. The study discovered that farmers use two types of conventional protected farming: plastic greenhouses with net walls and houses that are entirely covered with net clothes. Farmers use undeveloped techniques to decrease the skyrocketing temperature during hot seasons. The study found that market availability, an increase in supermarkets in the city, an increase in displaced people from rural areas, the return of diasporas, and the shortage of fresh vegetables in the city due to regular droughts in rural areas had encouraged urban people in Mogadishu to begin farming in and around the city.