Urban food security – Hungry Cities
reports and discussion papers

June 16, 2021 | By More

Our sister programme, the Hungry Cities Partnership, has 49 discussion papers, 22 reports and many other publications available for free download.

Migration and Food Security in Cities of the Global South by Abel Chikanda, Jonathan Crush and Godfrey Tawodzera, focuses on the movement of migrants from one country in the Global South to live and work in urban areas of another.

Containing the Informal Food Sector in Windhoek, Namibia by Lawrence Kazembe, Ndeyapo Nickanor and Jonathan Crush examines the origins and development of a hybrid model of informalized containment, as well as the profile of consumers who patronize both types of market.

Motivations and Challenges of Youth Entrepreneurs in Maputo’s Food Markets by Cameron McCordic and Ines Raimundo notes a pressing need for effective policy intervention, based on sound research, to support young people’s entry into labour markets. This paper assesses the results of a vendor survey of 504 youth entrepreneurs (those aged 35 years and younger) operating small-scale food enterprises in the Mozambican capital.

Governing the Informal Food Sector in Cities of the Global South by Graeme Young and Jonathan Crush presents evidence on the relative importance of the informal food sector and discusses various methodologies for improving the knowledge base. It also examines the issue of informal sector governance, including policy prescriptions that have followed from different understandings of informality, and discusses various existing policies and possible interventions.

 Social Protection and Urban Food Systems by Gareth Haysom and Issahaka Fuseini examines development implications for food and nutrition when cash transfer interventions intersect with food system changes, particularly in urban areas where food is predominantly accessed through the market.

Cheap Industrial Food and the Urban Margins, by Tony Weis, Marylynn Steckley and Bruce Frayne, looks at how the productivity gains associated with high-input, high- yield monocultures and livestock operations have become increasingly central to global food security and to dynamics of urbanization across the global south.

The Food Security Implications of Gendered Access to Education and Employment in Maputo, by Cameron McCordic, Liam Riley and Ines Raimundo, is motivated by the gap in policy-ready quantitative data needed to identify the ways in which gender inequality, food insecurity, and public policy are interconnected.

Urban Food Security, Rural Bias and the Global Development Agenda, by Jonathan Crush and Liam Riley, sets out the global, African, and South African contexts within which both urban development and food security agendas in Africa are framed.

International Migration and Urban Food Security in South African Cities by Jonathan Crush and Godfrey Tawodzera aims to contribute to the literature on urban food security in the South by focusing on the case of Zimbabwean migrants in South African cities and discussing the results of a household survey of migrants in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The Informal Sector’s Role in Food Security: A Missing Link in Policy Debates? by Caroline Skinner and Gareth Haysom aims to review what is currently known about the role played by the informal sector in general, and informal retailers in particular, in the accessibility of food in South Africa. Drawing on Statistics South Africa data, the authors show that the informal sector is an important source of employment, dominated by informal trade with the sale of food a significant subsector within this trade.

Policy brief no. 2: An Urban Perspective on Food Security in the Global South, by Michael Chong, Lucy Hinton, Jeremy Wagner and Amy Zavitz, notes that the global food security policy community should reorient its actions on food security in the Global South to consider the urban food consumer.

Policy brief no. 1: The SDGs, Food Security and Urbanization in the Global South, by David Celis Parra, Krista Dinsmore, Nicole Fassina and Charlene Keizer, provides general recommendations for national governments in the Global South to promote sustainable urban food security.

 The State of Household Food Security in Nairobi, Kenya presents the results of a city-wide household food security survey of 1,434 Nairobi households, conducted by the Hungry Cities Partnership and the University of Nairobi. Among the key findings was that 70% of households in Kenya’s capital experience food insecurity, with one-quarter severely food insecure. As the first city-wide survey of household food security in Nairobi, this report provides researchers and policy-makers with detailed data and information about the overall food security picture, as well as important insights into the operation of the city’s food system. In particular, the report demonstrates the vital importance of Nairobi’s food markets and associated informal food sector. Consumers believe that the informal food economy offers a wide range of products at a cheaper price than formal food outlets. However, the choice of formal or informal food sources depends on perceptions of a range of factors including affordability, variety, flexibility, proximity, convenience, credit facilities, health risks, freshness and quality. The Hungry Cities Food Purchases Matrix shows which kinds of foods are purchased at which outlets, as well as how many households purchase a particular food item.

The State of Household Food Security in Mexico City, Mexico finds that about one in every four households in Mexico City are severely food insecure, while another quarter are mildly or moderately food insecure. Overall, food insecurity in Mexico’s capital is not a problem of food scarcity or shortage but rather of constrained access to a diverse range of foods. These are among the major findings of a city-wide survey of 1,200 households that are presented and discussed in this report. The survey found that households in Mexico City procure their food products primarily based on proximity and convenience. Most foods are purchased within the households’ neighbourhoods or within walking distance. Markets and small shops are the two most commonly frequented food retailers, followed by markets on wheels and supermarkets. Another key finding is that households whose main income source is formal wage work have on average higher dietary diversity, lower food insecurity, and more consistent food provisioning throughout the year than households whose income source is informal wage work. It is therefore more likely for a household in Mexico City to be food insecure across all measurements if its main source of income is informal wage work. As a critical source of food and livelihoods in Mexico City, small-scale vendors should be given all the support they need from national and local policy makers and other stakeholders.

The State of Household Food Security in Nanjing, China, finds that most of the city’s residents are food secure, with access to desirable foods and high dietary diversity throughout the year. Nanjing has a high level of economic development, low unemployment, and spatially dense food supply networks. However, a high average level of food security obscures the finding that about one household in five is food insecure according to the Household Food Insecurity Access Prevalence indicator. Female-centred households, households that have no formal wage worker, and households with only one member tend to be the most food insecure. The proximity of wet markets and supermarkets to food retail and food procurement by households across Nanjing emerges clearly in this survey, and the relationship between wet markets and supermarkets appears to be more complementary than competitive. The survey found that three in four respondents feel exposed to threats of unsafe food from the production and processing stages of food supply chains, especially from the overuse of agrochemicals in the agriculture and livestock industry. There is a widespread perception that the ineffective enforcement of regulations by local governments is the major cause of food safety problems.

Category: Food Security News

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.