Population and Environment

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 27–46 | Cite as

Urban and peri-urban agriculture and its implication on food and nutrition insecurity in northern Ghana: a socio-spatial analysis along the urban–rural continuum

  • Takemore ChagomokaEmail author
  • Axel Drescher
  • Rüdiger Glaser
  • Bernd Marschner
  • Johannes Schlesinger
  • Abdul-Razak Abizari
  • Hanna Karg
  • George Nyandoro
Original Paper


Food and nutrition insecurity remains a challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. Several studies have examined food and nutrition insecurity in urban or rural areas but have not captured the whole continuum. Between November and December 2013, 240 households were surveyed along the urban–rural continuum in Northern Ghana. The study objective was to understand the socio-spatial dynamics of household food and nutrition insecurity and to investigate the role played by urban, peri-urban and rural agriculture. The study found that there was more involvement in agriculture in rural areas compared to peri-urban areas and urban areas. Households from urban areas were more food insecure (HFIAS > 11) compared to their counterparts in peri-urban and the rural areas. Stunting increased by 3.4 times (p = 0.048) among households located in the peri-urban area. Wasting was reduced by 0.16 times among household that produced staple food or vegetables (p = 0.011). Overweight was reduced by 0.04 times among households that produced livestock (p = 0.031). The results reveal a socio-spatial dimension of food and nutrition insecurity that is related to agricultural activities.


Urban and peri-urban agriculture Food and nutrition insecurity Urban–Rural continuum Transect approach 



We thank the village chiefs and all the authorities in the surveyed areas for their cooperation in data collection. The authors wish to thank all those who participated in the survey, especially the women and children. We thank the field assistant, student assistants and data entry clerks for their dedication to this study. Particular thanks go to Dr. Pay Drechsel for his support during the sampling strategy development process.

Funding information

This work was carried out as part of the UrbanFoodPlus Project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) under the initiative GlobE–Research for the Global Food Supply, grant numbers 031A242-B and 031A242-D.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the ethics committee of Department of Community Nutrition, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University for Development Studies in Ghana.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takemore Chagomoka
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Axel Drescher
    • 3
  • Rüdiger Glaser
    • 1
  • Bernd Marschner
    • 4
  • Johannes Schlesinger
    • 1
  • Abdul-Razak Abizari
    • 5
  • Hanna Karg
    • 1
  • George Nyandoro
    • 6
  1. 1.University of FreiburgInstitute of Environmental Social Sciences and GeographyFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Seed Co – The African Seed CompanyAccraGhana
  3. 3.University of Erlangen-NuernbergInstitute of GeographyErlangenGermany
  4. 4.Ruhr-University BochumInstitute of GeographyBochumGermany
  5. 5.Department of Community Nutrition, School of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity for Development StudiesTamaleGhana
  6. 6.Community Medicine Department, College of Health SciencesUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe

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