Urban and rural agriculture programmes key to food security and nutrition (The Guardian)

Read at :

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2013/dec/17/africa-peri-urban-food-security?CMP=twt_gu

Food security: an urban issue

With more poor people living in African cities, support for both urban and rural agriculture programmes will be key to food security and nutrition. Highlighting links between urban growth, migration, livelihoods and undernutrition can help solve urban food insecurity.

According to the United Nations human settlements programme, UN Habitat, Africa is the fastest urbanising continent in the world. By 2050, 60% of all Africans will be living in cities.

But urbanisation in Africa is not going hand-in-hand with widespread economic growth: many cities are in fact seeing a proliferation of urban poverty. Food insecurity and undernutrition is therefore also increasingly an urban issue, and with urban people more dependent than rural populations on whatever food they can afford to buy, it’s tied closely to livelihoods.

A new project by the World Vegetable Centre (AVRDC) is trying to address this by pulling together the issues of urban growth, migration, livelihoods and undernutrition, and drawing specific attention to the role of peri-urban ‘corridors’ of production outside cities.

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About Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.
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