A livelihood analysis of the contribution of community gardens to food security in Msunduzi and uMngeni Municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Mudzinganyama, Tatenda Charmaine.
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South Africa is a net food exporter, however, scores of households in the rural and peri-urban and urban areas are food insecure. Some households in the peri-urban areas of uMngeni and Msunduzi Municipalities of KwaZulu-Natal have sought to alleviate their households from food insecurity through community gardens, which are widely promoted and used as a means to increase food supply. This study was centred on a livelihood based analysis of the contribution of community gardens to food security in Msunduzi and uMngeni Municipalities, KwaZulu-Natal. A survey was conducted among 46 participants and data was collected through the use of Livelihood- based Participatory Analysis (LiPA) tools. LiPA emerged as a tool for analysis with the development of sustainable livelihoods approach. Livelihood analysis made use of participatory methods to evaluate the following Framework of African Food Security indicators: improvement of risk management and resilience; increase in supply of affordable food; increase in economic opportunities for the vulnerable; and improvement in dietary diversity. Gardening helped to supply the participants with fresh produce, however, gardening did little to improve the participants risk management and economic opportunities. Drought, theft and insects were identified as the major factors limiting the success of community gardens. Despite the challenges, the community gardeners were indeed benefiting from community gardening therefore, further research could be carried out to compare food security among households involved in community gardening and those not involved.
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