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By : M. Redwood

Cities are shaped by many elements, but undoubtedly one of the most significant factors is the urban land market. Urban farmers, often producing food on land with limited or no security of tenure, are exposed to the risk of being evicted in order for land to be used for more profitable uses such as housing development. In the absence of a system of land titling, advocacy groups, or secure tenure, urban farmers are pushed to the margins. It then becomes difficult to support, manage and/or regulate the sector. More importantly, without legal status, most forms of credit are inaccessible to farmers and they must rely on kinship and illicit sources for credit. The influence of land tenure on the security of urban farmers to practice their livelihood is significant. Recent IDRC supported projects suggest that banking systems and economists need to develop a methodology to value lands that are informally controlled by farmers or where there are customary legal systems in place. Moreover, evidence suggests that advocacy groups have manage to increase security and access to land for urban farmers.
Keywords : Urban Agriculture, Land Tenure, Informal Economy, Urban Development.

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