Does small scale sustainable urban agriculture (SUA) alleviate the economic burdens of low- and middle-income households?

N.N.M. Shariff, M.R. Osman
Academy of Contemporary Islamic Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Z.S. Hamidi
Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA


The aim of this paper is to investigate available evidence concerning how sustainable urban agriculture (SUA) may alleviate the economic burdens of low- and middle-income households. Issues of food security and nutrition have wide reaching implications for people and their environments, particularly in low and middle-income countries. One proposed solution is urban agriculture, which has been widely upheld as a solution to the foodcrisis facing increasingly metropolitan populations. Data were collected in an urban area of Selangor, Shah Alam, with semi-structured interviews, observations and questionnaires. By adopting SUA, they can save around RM50-RM200 per month on kitchen provisions. This is due to farmgate price often being cheaper than market price. There are two (2) interconnected factors identified that contribute in alleviating economic burden in low- and middle-income household: 1) adopting sustainable agriculture practices; and 2) systematic operation of farming program by multiple players. In future, small scale sustainable urban agriculture can be used as coping strategy by local authorities to secure a food supply and serve as a step towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Keywords: Economic burden, Food security, Household income, Sustainable urban agriculture