chapter  5
16 Pages

Gender, Commercial Urban Agriculture and Urban Food Supply in Greater Gaborone, Botswana

ByAlice Hovorka

This research addresses the above issues by focusing on formal commercial UA systems, highlighting gender as a means by which to disaggregate data, and exploring the socio-economic, locational and human-environment factors influencing the quantity and type of crop and livestock species produced. Gaborone, Botswana, was chosen as a case study given that agriculture in and around the city is primarily commercial as opposed to subsistence-oriented, and that an equal number of men and women participate in this activity, a scenario not often found in commercial agriculture sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.2 Botswana also presented a favourable policy environment, whereby the Government expressed an interest in baseline information exploring the present form and future potential of UA in national development plans. Finally, with little research conducted on UA in Botswana to date, this research adds to the growing literature on agriculture in and around cities of Southern Africa.

The objective of the research is to understand the relationship between a gendered commercial UA sector and the nature of urban food supply in Greater Gaborone, Botswana. This requires an exploration of the productivity of male-and female-owned agricultural enterprises in and around the city. Specifically, the research investigates how and why gender influences the net outcomes of commercial UA systems. It is expected that gender differentials in socio-economic status, location and human-environment interactions in the city will affect the type and quantity of crop and livestock species produced by men and women. Such differences may generate a segmented labour market within the commercial agriculture sector or encourage varying levels of productivity amongst the urban entrepreneurs. In turn, a gendered UA sector will have implications for the ability of local production to contribute foodstuffs to the urban food supply, ultimately shaping the accessibility and appropriateness of crop and livestock products available for city dwellers.