We are living in a crisis era, with competing land use for finite land and ill-informed myopic urban land-use policies that remain stagnant, in a world with a rapidly changing urban environment, such as the mushrooming urban agriculture. While smallholder farms in and around cities, in sub-Saharan Africa, provide many ecosystem services including boosting household income and nutrition, and access to land constraints these benefits. This paper examines the willingness to pay for urban farm plots, using a random parameter logit model. The estimation reveals that the marginal WTP for irrigation is US$19.47 per plot. With regard to plot size, households are willing to pay US$6.09 per hectare, while WTP for the distance to the plot is US$3.95 per km per annum. WTP for an irrigated plot is about three times that of plot size and almost five times that of distance to the plot, a signal of adaptation to climate change due to extreme weather changes and water shortages in Tanzania. There is a high preference for mixed cropping, i.e., mixed vegetables and fruits. Approximately 10% of the households prefer purely subsistence farming, i.e., retaining all harvest for their own consumption. The remaining 90% prefer semi-subsistence, where 57% would retain a quarter of the harvest for consumption, 27% would retain half and 6% would retain three-quarters, suggesting that farms would increase urban households’ food security. Our paper nudges policymakers to interrogate current policies and craft future inclusive green economy strategies that include urban agriculture and irrigation infrastructure.
Keywords: land, urban farms, agriculture ecosystems, WTP, green economy, Tanzania