Sustainable livelihoods and the role of urban agriculture as a policy and household strategy in Cienfuegos, Cuba

Leinan, Valerie Ann
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University of Guelph

This thesis examines the role of urban agriculture in the livelihoods of urban residents in Cienfuegos, Cuba. Throughout the 'Special Period' crisis, many residents have turned to UA activities to improve their household situation. The research finds that UA activities are making a significant contribution to household food security, income and well-being for many producers and their families, and explores ways that UA based livelihoods can be made more sustainable through policy and support. One of the strengths of Cuban food security policy during the 'Special Period,' has been its tendency to build on the coping strategies of urban residents. As the food crisis eases and policy makers increasingly recognize UA's relationship to broader development goals, the Sustainable Livelihoods framework provides a potentially useful policy and planning tool to integrate UA into these broader discussions, ensuring people are placed at the center and that policy remains relevant to their lives.

urban agriculture, livelihoods, urban residents, Cienfuegos, Cuba, policy, household strategy