Sometimes, but even in those cases, it’s not for the reason most people usually invoke:
Urban agriculture may have an important role to play in addressing food insecurity problems, which are bound to become increasingly vital with the secular trends towards the urbanization of poverty and of population in developing countries. Our understanding of the importance, and food security implications of urban agriculture is however plagued by a lack of high quality, reliable data. While studies based on survey research data do exists for several major cities, much of the evidence is still qualitative if not anecdotal. Using a recently created data set bringing together comparable, nationally representative household survey data for 15 developing or transition countries, this paper analyzes in a comparative international perspective the importance of urban agriculture for the urban poor and food insecure. On the one hand, the potential for urban agriculture to play a substantial role in urban poverty and food insecurity reduction should not be overemphasized, as its share in income and overall agricultural production is often quite limited. On the other hand, though, its role should also not be too easily dismissed, particularly in much of Africa agriculture provides a substantial share of income for the urban poor, and for those groups of households for whom it constitutes an important source of livelihood. We also find fairly consistent evidence of a statistical association between engagement in urban agriculture and dietary adequacy indicators.
In other words, though those who engage in urban agriculture are better off from it, urban agriculture itself does not look like it can ensure food security. From a new working paper by the University of Rome Tor Vergata’s Sylvester Jatta.