By Ronald Chuma & Faith Muringai
Urban agriculture in Midlands province has gained acceptance and recognition over the years for its contribution to urban economies and general wellbeing of urban residents however hunger is pushing residents to rebuff city council by laws.
Competition for limited urban resources in an ever-increasing population and decreasing economy brings about unsustainable urban farming practices which put residents at loggerheads with city council as residents utilise open spaces.
In an interview with residents who are farming on open spaces, they blamed council for failing to put up notices to inform them of areas which are suitable for urban faming.
“I am trying to survive while l know it is illegal for me to grow crops here, I used to vend in town but due to Covid 19 lockdowns and skyrocketing food prices I was forced to close my routine vending business.” Chenai Mugove said.
Another resident Joseph Marumise said lack of communication between council and residents has forced them to use any open space for farming.
In a statement, Gweru city council spokesperson Vimbai Chingwaramusee said while urban agriculture has gained acceptance it did not condone farmers who cultivated on illegal areas.
“We encourage people not to cultivate at undesignated areas as well people should approach Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement offices to enquire pieces of lands for legal urban farming,” she said.