City gardens supply 50% of fruit and vegetables in Dakar

In the region round the capital Dakar in Senegal less and less horticulturists are active. This year they will supply 1.7 million tons of fruit and vegetables, which is 45% of the food to feed this town. This as announced on the website of One World Magazine.
"My field supplies 12 tons of vegetables every quarter," forty year old Ahmadou Sene proudly tells One World. Like him other horticulturists are also intensively busy with the production of fruit and vegetables in their fields in and around the Senegalese capital Dakar. Three months each year he calls for the help of about ten youngsters to control the weeds and during four months a group of twenty women assist with the harvest and selling of the vegetables. In Dakar they are being noticed more and more: men and women working with watering cans and hoes to look after and harvest carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, but also fruit such as palms, coco, papaya and bananas.

450 million dollar
The Regional Bureau for Statistics and Demography (SRSD) calculated that in 2011 in the region Dakar 3,200 people were active on 113 agricultural sites. According to the report in October of last year the production, compared to the same period in 2010 increased from 750,000 to 860,000 tons. For this year production is estimated at 1,780,000 tons. According to the same report the quantity of food produced by city agriculture generated 450 million dollar in 2011 and supplied 45 percent of the food required for the city.

Competition from town planners
But whilst city agriculture grows the farmers are also confronted by problems in connection with obtaining land, selling of vegetables, irrigation and finance. "In 2010 I had 800 m2 of land. This year I only was allowed 350 m2, because the government
took over a part to build a dam to hold the water," Cheikh Mor Ndiaye from Cambérène, a suburb of the capital mentions. "Most growers work land which is the property of the government," the chairman of the Federal Cooperative of Senegalese Gardeners (CFAHS). Cheikh Ngane says. "There are many competing claims of developers, who want the same land to build houses. Bankers are also not always prepared to grant a loan to horticulturists." 
Nevertheless horticulture is a profitable business for many, as per grower Ahmadou Sene and a number of his colleagues. The Ministry of Agriculture and Countryside Development have promised measures to support the development of city agriculture.

Source: One World Magazine


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