Strengthening Food Security through Peri-Urban Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria
This study examined the practices of peri-urban agriculture (PUA) in Ibadan by identifying its prevailing opportunities, challenges and farmers’ perception of its prospects for enhancing food availability in the city. Primary data were collected through personal observations, key informant interviews and the administration of a structured questionnaire to 230 randomly selected farmers in the six peri-urban local government areas (LGAs) in Ibadan. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data while Chi-Square analysis was used to test the hypotheses of the study. Findings revealed that the peri-urban farmers enjoyed opportunities such as abundance of land for farming(47.4%); good soil suitable for farming (32.2%); nearness to market (8.7%); good roads to market (6.9%) and water availability (4.8%). The major challenges of the peri-urban farmers were inadequate finance (43%), farm encroachment by urban development (15.7%), erosion and flooding (13.5%), long distance to farm (13.0%), scarcity of labour (8.7%), and poor access to land (1.8%).The study concluded that opportunities for PUA abound in Ibadan and can be used to strengthen food security. To ensure sustainability of PUA in the city, the government is called upon to provide farmers with financial assistance to enhance their productivity, enforce development control regulations to halt encroachment on farm lands, prohibit development in floodplains, and establish additional farm settlements.