Workshop on (Peri - ) Urban Agriculture in Namibia

7 – 8 December, 2015

NamPower Convention Centre, Windhoek

Garden in Windhoek, Namibia

Food and water are most essential for life and both resources are increasingly under stress and will further be affected by the impacts of climate change.

Namibia, already the direst country in southern Africa is expected to be highly vulnerable to climate chane, is suffering severely from alarmingly low rainfalls in recent years leading to draughts, floods and desertification.  The people who are affected the worst are the most vulnerable groups of the population. According to FAO statistics 43 percent of the population were malnourished in 2014.  

The toll the lack of rainfall is taking on agriculture, on which the majority of the Namibian population relies, is further contributing to the continuous urbanization, taking hunger from rural to urban areas and confronting local authorities with numerous challenges.

Since 2013 we have been collaborating with the local government of the City of Windhoek on promoting urban food security through actions like

·         Study Tours to the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, which the WFC awarded with the first FPA in 2009 for its successful and exemplary food security framework

·         Food and Nutrition Security Workshop for Namibia’s Mayors in July 2014

·         Celebration of World Food Day by distributing donated food and kick-starting the food bank initiative

·         And support in the implementation process of the first Namibian Food Bank

The Workshop on (Peri-) Urban Agriculture (UPA) builds upon the commitment of Namibia’s Mayors at the 2014 Workshop to promote UPA for food and nutrition security of their people. It brings together policymakers, agricultural experts, civil society actors, urban and (peri-) urban farmers and private sector to engage in an open and constructive dialogue on the future of agriculture in and around urban areas of Namibia.

The various benefits of (peri-) urban agriculture have been widely recognized. Food cultivation in and around cities is rapidly increasing in scope and has become an important strategy to adapt to an urbanizing world. With yet another year of low rainfall however, the availability of water for urban agriculture is posing an enormous challenge in Windhoek.  The focus of the workshop will thus lie on sharing experiences about agriculture in arid regions, re-use of wastewater and innovative technologies that allow to practice (peri-) urban agriculture in face of water scarcity.

As the promotion of existing and new practices in (peri-) urban agriculture also requires a thorough assessment of the institutional and policy environment, a policy review for urban and peri-urban agriculture development in Namibia, with a focus on Windhoek, will form the basis of the discussion. 

Related Documents

Draft Policy Review For Urban And Peri-Urban Agriculture Development In Namibia


SEKEM - Agriculture in Desert Areas 
- Decentralized Waste Water Treatment System
(Peri-) Urban Agriculture under existing policy framework
Policy Recommendations Urban for (Peri-) Urban Agriculture in Namibia
Integrated Initiatives to Support (Peri-) Urban  Horticulture in Namibia
Update on Urban Food Security Activities in Windhoek
Water Scarcity in Windhoek
Seawater Greenhouse
- Urban Agriculture Project of Namibian University for Science and Technology






Food and Nutrition Security Workshop
21-23 July 2014, NamPower Convention Centre
Windhoek, Namibia

Ending hunger and malnutrition must be a top priority on political agendas, since the number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition worldwide is still astonishingly high. According to FAO estimates, 842 million people suffered from hunger worldwide in 2013, 200 million of them children (USAID). This translates into a ratio of 1 in 8 people worldwide, in Sub Saharan Africa the ratio is as high as 1 in 4.Malnutrition of children under five leads to the unnecessary death of 3 million children each year (UNICEF) and early childhood malnutrition has a lifetime impact on a child’s ability to develop and to reach its full potential, leading to a trapping cycle of poverty for the poor and costing the global economy tens of billions of dollars every year (Save the Children).The tragedy behind these numbers is that it is not the lack of food globally available that is causing hunger. About one third of the food produced for human consumption - approximately 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted every year (UNEP). Especially in urban areas, food is available plentiful but the urban poor are often unable to access it. By 2050, about 70 % of the population is expected to be urban  by 2050 (UN). Although urban growth is expected in all regions of the world, it will mostly affect the global south where the number of food insecure urban dwellers is already high and is expected to increase further.

Food security workshop in Windhoek

Click here for more pictures

This very well-attended three-day workshop was a collaborative consultative event enabled by the World Future Council, the City of Windhoek, the City of Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Its objective was to enable a multi-stakeholder dialogue on food and nutrition security governance and interventions at different levels.

Experts from the Food Security Secretariat of Belo Horizonte, international experts from the food security arena, local and national government representatives from Namibia, civil society and private sector representatives gathered to share experiences and ideas to develop local strategies for interventions in food and nutrition security, focusing on the themes urban and peri-urban agriculture as well as food loss and waste reduction. Click here for the final declaration.

Workshop Contents:

Click on the titles to download the presentations.

Day 1

Introduction by Municipal Deputy Secretariat of International Relations of Belo Horizonte by Rodrigo Perpétuo 

Zero Hunger Strategy in Brazil and the Right to Food by Flávio Duffles

Day 2

The Food System of Belo Horizonte by Flavio Duffles

The Food Bank of Belo Horizonte  by Maria Angela Girioli

Food Loss and Waste Reduction by Camelia Bucatariu

Day 3

Potential of Urban Agriculture for Food and Nutrition Security by Takawira Mubvami

Urban Agriculture programmes in Belo Horizonte by Flavio Duffles 

Outapi Agricultural City by Matheus Ndeshitila  

Aquaponics: A Fresh Approach to Establishing Urban Food Security by Jurgen Brand


  • Commitment to engage in a multi-stakeholder dialogue on food and nutrition security governance and interventions at different levels: from local to national, from public to private, including but not limited to civil society and international organisations, and media.
  • Establishment of a task-force to monitor implementation progress of identified solutions.
  • Focus on region-sensitive solutions by reviewing the policy and legal framework on national level, developing solutions for financing efforts on local level, and connecting political with technical will.
  • Harmonization of efforts by different actors.

Click here for workshop agenda, background, list of participants and the final report

Sharing Solutions: Future Policy Award

The good news is: solutions to tackle urban food security effectively do exist.

The WFC identifies policy solutions and every year awards an outstanding one with the Future Policy Award. The winner in 2009 was the comprehensive policy framework for food and nutrition security of the Brazilian city Belo Horizonte. The system is based on the Right to Food for all citizens and incorporates a set of 20 interconnected programmes that ensure compliance. It has proven effective in fighting hunger and malnutrition and improving the livelihoods of citizens by supporting the local economy. Due to its effectiveness, it has strongly influenced Brazil’s national Zero-Hunger Strategy. The WFC and the FAO strongly believe that this policy framework can work as a model for cities in the global south.

A feasibility study regarding a transfer of this system approved its model character. Click here for the study.

Study Tour to Belo Horizonte

As a first step, the World Future Council invited local government representatives from four African cities, including the City of Windhoek, Namibia, to Belo Horizonte in Brazil to share and disseminate the model that the city implemented for food and nutrition security. Participants included: Deputy Mayor M. Kazapua, Windhoek – Namibia, Mayor C. Bweupe, Kitwe – Zambia, Mayor S. Mnyonge, Kinondoni (District of Dar es Salaam) – Tanzania, Mayor C. Ketcha Bangangte – Cameroon.

Deputy Mayor Muesee Kazapua and Mr. Chris Eita, City of Windhoek at the Food Bank in Belo Horizonte

The delegation from Windhoek identified some of the applied programmes in Belo Horizonte as suitable solutions for addressing Namibia’s food and nutrition security challenges. Deputy Mayor of Windhoek, M. Kazapua, concluded at the end of tour: "This study tour was an eye-opener, as it brought about a better understanding of the role of local authorities in food security, the importance of establishing municipal food banks and the minimization of food waste."

Click here for Report about the Study Tour to Belo Horizonte by City Council of Windhoek. For our Report about the Study Tour, click here.

Context in Namibia - Increasing urbanization and urban food insecurity

All urban areas in Namibia have been experiencing growth over the past decades, a phenomenon which was enhanced by the drought of the recent years and subsequent migration from rural areas. Chronically poor Namibian households living in rural, urban and peri-urban areas, are vulnerable to a number of threats. The country experienced severe droughts on a national scale that required state interventions six times in the period from 1992 to 2013 (FAO, 2014).

The increasing number of urban dwellers looking for food and jobs are confronting Namibia’s local authorities with new challenges. City-regions and local governments are the agencies to assume responsibility and authority in implementing programs and policies that ensure the urbanisation development can occur as smooth as possible and enable a healthy diet for the high number of poor urban dwellers.

In order to create awareness for the role local authorities have to play in fighting hunger and malnutrition and to share the successful system of Belo Horizonte for urban food security with Mayors and local government authorities of Namibia, the City of Windhoek and the World Future Council are organizing a Regional Workshop on Food and Nutrition Security in Windhoek, Namibia.

Click here for FAO Country Programming Framework for Namibia.

Short film: The City that Beat Hunger

Our documentary "The City that Beat Hunger", briefly presents the programme for the creation of food security in the city of Belo Horizonte and reports on its success.

The City that Beat Hunger from World Future Council on Vimeo.







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