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The contribution of community gardens to food security in the Maphephetheni uplands


  • Stephen O Shisanya
  • Sheryl L Hendriks


Although community gardens are widely promoted, very little empirical evidence exists of their contribution to food security. This study evaluated the contribution of community gardens to alleviating food insecurity for 53 community gardeners in Maphephetheni, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Using the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale, it was found that 89% of these households were anxious about food supplies, consumed insufficient food and were severely food insecure. In addition, 72% consumed poor quality food. Community gardens were unable to solve the problem of food insecurity, but their contribution to consumption cannot be entirely ignored. Improved productivity and appropriate agricultural and nutritional advice are necessary. Land availability needs to be addressed through community and other redress systems to grant communities access to less marginal and more accessible productive land close to water. Programmes to support non-farm income are needed and could provide incentives for increased production.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen O Shisanya & Sheryl L Hendriks, 2011. "The contribution of community gardens to food security in the Maphephetheni uplands," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(4), pages 509-526, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:4:p:509-526
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2011.605568

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Shisanya & Paramu Mafongoya, 2016. "Adaptation to climate change and the impacts on household food security among rural farmers in uMzinyathi District of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(3), pages 597-608, June.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:473-:d:131236 is not listed on IDEAS

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