To meet one’s nutritional needs, humans need quality food at an affordable price. But because of the variability of the seasons, the availability of certain food products causes a problem of insufficient quality product. We are very often aware of shortages of agricultural products that have consequences, the high cost of available supplies and the supply of products of dubious quality. According to the 2016 SDG Report, “more than half of the adult population in sub-Saharan Africa experienced moderate or severe levels of food insecurity in 2015; A quarter faced serious levels. ” Eliminating hunger, ensuring food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture is the wording of Goal 2 of the SDGs. “It assumes that everyone should have access to sufficient and nutritious food, which will require large-scale promotion of sustainable agriculture.” So sustainable agriculture would be an appropriate solution to the eradication of hunger … So is it important to know what is sustainable agriculture?By definition, sustainable agriculture is the application to agriculture of the principles of sustainable development. It is therefore a question of ensuring the production of food, wood and fibers while respecting the ecological, economic and social limits which ensure the durability of this production. Less pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers etc., more use of organic techniques. But access to sufficient and nutritious food at lower cost requires the establishment of sustainable food production systems based on resilient agricultural practices. In this respect, urban agriculture seems to be able to play a pivotal role. Indeed, according to FAO, “vegetable gardens can be up to 15 times more productive than farms in rural areas … And an area of one square meter can provide 20kg of food per year.” Here, in this picture, we are in the heart of the city of Cotonou, more precisely in the Fiji neighborhood. Between the islands of residence, an urban agricultural farm that serves a local market for the inhabitants grows. From this exploitation come fresher and more nourishing food products such as carrots, cabbages, lettuce, basil, nightshades, peppers etc … Consumers – particularly residents of low-income cities – have easier access to fresh produce and they have more choice and better prices. The valorization of these agricultural systems promises to be of crucial importance, because of the increase of the urban populations. Indeed, “by 2030, it is expected that 6 out of 10 people will be city dwellers” according to the SDGs report. And so at present more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. In West Africa and Benin in particular, the massive displacement of young people from rural areas to cities is increasing for a number of obvious reasons. Therefore, to ensure a certain availability of healthy and affordable food products, urban agriculture should be more appropriately adopted and developed.
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|| Cotonou, Rep. Bénin ||