MARKET GARDENING is the production of vegetables, fruits, and flowers for sale in nearby towns and cities
importance of market gardening include: providing employment to gardeners, providing foreign exchange to the government through export, providing fresh food to the urban population,providing raw materials to the food industries and acting as green cover and coolant in urban areas.
It is mainly carried out near towns due to readily available market in towns.
Crops grown include tomatoes, Onions, carrots, apples, pineapples, cabbages, oranges, beans, etc.
In E.Africa, it is highly developed in Kenya and particularly in Nairobi
Importance of market gardening
Provides employment to many people hence improving their standards of living
people engage in market gardening to earn income from selling their products such as flowers and fruits.
this enables young people, especially those who have failed to secure formal jobs to employ themselves.
for example, many graduates from sokoine university of agriculture in Tanzania have employed themselves through gardening and selling vegetables to residents of dares salaam and Morogoro
Provides flowers required for house decorations and functions
e.g. Nsimbe Estates in Mpigi and Rose Bud at Entebbe.
Source of raw materials for industries
Source of raw materials for industries producing foodstuffs, cosmetics and perfumes from aromatic herbs.
bars and hotels in urban areas need fruits to make juices and need vegetables and spices to make various dishes and these can be readily obtained from farms in the suburban areas
Leads to development of infrastructures
Leads to development of infrastructures e.g. schools and roads that have led to urbanization.
Helps in economic diversification
Helps in economic diversification which ensures constant capital flow for the government.
Government earns revenue through taxes
Government earns revenue through taxes which is used for developing infrastructures like roads and hospitals. when farmers sell their harvest they pay a part of their income as taxes to the government leading to an increase in government revenue
Leads to development of research facilities
Leads to development of research facilities which boosts agricultural sector e.g. at Kawanda Research Station.
Source of food to the non-agricultural urban and industrial population.
market gardening provides fresh fruits and vegetables to an urban population that would be difficult if the vegetables were from remote rural areas.
also since market gardening is practised in suburban areas the transport cost is low leading to low prices on the market gardening produces
Source of foreign exchange
Source of foreign exchange through crop exports to Germany, United Kingdom and France e.t.c.
characteristics of market gardening
- farms are small and are located where there is good transportation link with urban centre where high income group of customers are located
- it is both labour and capital intensive and lays emphasis in the use of irrigation, high breed seeds, fertilizers, insectcides, green house and artifical heating in colder regions
- this type of agriculture is well developed in densely populated industrial district of north west europe, north eastern united states, and the mediterrenian regions
the farming where farmers specialize in growing vegetables only
why truck farming?
the distance of truck farms from the market is governed by a distance that truck can cover overnight, hence the name truck farming