Sustainability leadership : pursuing a circular economy in urban agriculture

14 Dec 2020

Africa faces a rapidly growing food security dilemma unless the required policy and strategy imperatives are addressed by the continent's governments. Whilst growth in the agriculture industry offers some hope for poverty reduction and food security, big-scale agricultural development and transformation remains complex; communities remain impoverished and subjected to associated food insecurity. Additional insecurity is caused by increasingly fluctuating and unpredictable climatological factors. Since urbanisation trends will not abate, public sector leaders in Africa may be well-advised to step up to the sustainability challenge and respond timeously and adequately to food security challenges. It is postulated that informal urban agriculture may alleviate food security concerns for urbanised communities by empowering them to become involved in the "farm-to-fork" process. This means that communities should tie closer to the whole production chain by becoming producers and consumers of food in their own (urban) localities. Urban agriculture is a term that the researcher uses to refer to the different types of farming practices that are applied to conduct agriculture in urban settings. However, by extension the postulate dictates that food security may only be advanced if an appropriate policy is prevalent; A careful policy and technology mix may revolutionise sustainable urban agriculture practices to alleviate the poverty and food insecurity disposition among the needy. Furthermore, a circular economy, cognisant of the environmental and sustainability issues of an urban agriculture economic system is imperative. A research series is underway that focuses on creating awareness among scholars and practitioners of public administration on the matter of sustainability leadership particular to urban agriculture. The objective is to encourage a new type of leadership that advances sustainable urban agriculture in practical ways. The research involves secondary as well as primary data collection. However, this paper in particular serves to engage the notion of urban farming amidst a circular economy. The paper is informed by current thinking and initiatives prevalent across the world and it seeks to present initial thematic extrapolations in context. An attempt is made to invoke critical reflective thought on the issue at hand, intent on informing future praxis development.