chapter
3 Pages

Methods

Research on UA in Kinshasa was undertaken using the multi-actor ecosystem participation approach (MEPA). According to this approach, UA is thought of as an ecosystem, with different actors and physical milieus involved in complex and multiple interactions. The actors are market gardeners, civil society, the private sector, public power and researchers. The market gardener is the central actor of the agro-ecosystem. Civil society represents organized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or individuals and households who influence the agri-ecosystem by sustaining agricultural production. The private sector comprises all micro enterprises or enterprises influencing UA through inputs and outputs. Public power is represented by the state as the regulator of land in the city, sometimes to the benefit and other times to the detriment of UA. Researchers look for solutions to the problems of UA through observation, experiments or scientific analyses. Physical milieus are places where UA activities such as production, transportation, marketing and consumption take place. Interactions between the elements of this agriecosystem are material and observable or virtual and non-observable. Furthermore, these interactions are categorized as ‘synergistic’ if they promote the safe practice of UA or ‘antagonistic’ if they limit it.