Windhoek secures funding to improve urban agriculture

Austin Kwenani

The City of Windhoek has secured funding of N$728 000 from AfriFOODlinks for a project aimed at enhancing the food environment, urban agriculture and sustainability efforts within the city.

The project will be implemented in 2025.

AfriFOODlinks aims to improve food and nutrition security, while delivering positive outcomes for the climate and environment, and building socio-ecological resilience in over 65 cities in Africa and Europe, including the City of Windhoek.

City of Windhoek local authority councillor Austin Kwenani, who also serves as the chairperson of the Economic Development, Public Safety and Citizen’s Welfare Advisory Committee, says the workshop aims to stimulate mutual knowledge exchange and skills sharing in the field of urban food and nutrition systems improvement, collaboration and innovation.

He underscored that urban agriculture presents a unique opportunity to explore how other cities are paving the way towards a greener, more resilient future.

“In this forum, we seek to foster meaningful dialogue, share best practices, cultivate and further strengthen partnerships that will not only enhance food and nutrition security, but also accelerate economic development and environmental sustainability in urban landscapes,” says Kwenani.

“I fully understand and appreciate the pivotal role that urban agriculture plays in ensuring food security, enhancing urban resilience and fostering sustainable development within our community.”

He says to strengthen food security and nutrition, the Windhoek municipal council established Farm Okukuna in 2017 as an urban agricultural hub with a focus on social protection and empowerment of residents by implementing integrated community development programmes.

Since then, Kwenani says Farm Okukuna has evolved into a model centre for capacity building, food production and entrepreneurship activities, hence transforming the lives of beneficiaries from consumers to suppliers and eventually contributing to improved livelihoods.

“Our focus, moving forward, is to achieve improved access to markets, increasing scale of production and value addition.

Despite resource limitation challenges, we are committed to finding sustainable solutions and partnerships for urban agriculture in our city.

We are currently exploring innovative practices such as vertical farming, rooftop gardens and hydroponics to maximise the use of limited space,” he says.

Additionally, Kwenani stresses that the City of Windhoek is actively promoting community gardens to increase local food production.

“Importantly, we are working to address water scarcity through the implementation of water-efficient irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting techniques.

By integrating these sustainable practices into our urban landscape, we aim to create a more resilient and food-secure city for all residents.”

AfriFOODlink recently concluded a city-to-city five day exchange visit to Windhoek. – thebrief

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