Feeding cities & migration

Many developing countries are fast becoming urbanised. City dwellers face malnutrition, obesity and too little access to healthy food. A range of expertise is being brought together to work with stakeholders on the dynamics of urban food systems, and devise strategic interventions and practical solutions to help improve food security.

The overall goal of the ‘Feeding cities and migration settlement project’ (2019-2022) of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (link to concept note) project was to contribute to resilient, sustainable and urban food systems, providing food and nutrition security for all.

This project has investigated rural-urban connectedness within the food system with a focus on low income groups in the Global South, along the cases of Dhaka in Bangladesh, Kampala and Arua in Uganda, and Nyeri and Nairobi in Kenya. Different outcomes of rural-urban food systems interactions have been published/submitted in a Special Issue of the scientific journal Sustainability.

These interactions explored cover issues of why a food-system approach should be applied when investigating; urban growth at a general level, as well as value-creation interactions at local level focusing on new opportunities for the midstream, diversities of livelihood factors within informal settlements, and the role of trust (i.e. social-capital) within the rural-urban food systems. Moreover, a more general view of the organic waste issue in urban settlements and on spatialization and spatial planning as a mechanism within the rural-urban food systems are investigated, and recommendation for future research are provided.

The ‘Feeding cities and migration settlement project’ will be followed up by the project ‘Food and Nutrition security for low income groups in rural-urban food systems in the global south’ (2023-2024), with an emphasis on challenges of water and climate change in relation to food resilience.

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Special Issue

"Applications of rural-urban food systems to enhance food and nutrition security in the global south"

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Urban growth leads to shifts that impact livelihood factors in informal settlements, for consumers, midstream and producers in search of new opportunities.