Adoption status of multi-storey gardens and opportunities for vegetables production in Pumwani division, Nairobi
Karimi, W. Julia
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Pumwani division is one of the areas that have been affected by the high rate of urbanization in Nairobi. Land for agricultural production has greatly reduced posing a threat to food security among the urban poor. The contribution of urban agriculture to food security and nutrition is critical. In the recent past, the government and other stakeholders have enhanced the growth of vegetables by using multi-storey gardens. However the adoption rate among potential users remains low. This research focused on the adoption status of multi-storey gardens in the division with the aim of contributing to scaling-out this technology for increasing vegetable production. A descriptive survey with both quantitative and qualitative aspects was adopted as the research design. Data were gathered using questionnaires, observation and photography from 90 households who live in both formal and informal settlements. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The results showed that 80% of the respondents were aware of multi-storey garden farming system but the adoption rate was 60%. This was attributed to the various challenges faced by respondents such as inadequate land size, income and lack of technical skills. It further revealed that those who adopted the technology 65% grew exotic vegetables where 40% used no organic fertilizers. Social factors such as education, age, attitude and customs played a major role in the consumption of the indigenous vegetables in the division. The conclusion drawn from the results of the study was that multi-storey gardens systems were not fully adopted by the community. Most of the farmers grew exotic vegetables and organic fertilizers were not utilized to increase production. Scaling-up and out the multi-storey gardens by planting indigenous vegetables and use of organic fertilizers to increase vegetable production. This would contribute to better health and achieve food security in the division. The researcher recommends that the extension staff on the ground should continue to educate the community on the nutritive importance of indigenous vegetable and need to increase production and consumption. Further they should sensitize and train the community on the available resources that can be utilized to make organic fertilizers locally. City by-laws that do not allow farming should be revised to incorporate urban farming as a mean of improving food security in the urban setting. There is need for further study to assess the effectiveness of extension services in improving food security in the division. More should be done on vegetable value addition to ensure continuous supply throughout the year.