Divorcing Food and Agriculture: Towards an Agenda for Urban Food Security Research

Jonathan Crush, Bruce Frayne, Cameron McCordic


Food and nutrition security in Southern African cities

In 1998, building on a decade of path-breaking research on Harare’s urban food system, David W. Smith laid out a global agenda for urban food security research. The conflation of smallholder agriculture with food security is also evident in many national food security plans which focus almost exclusively on boosting food production by small farmers. The policy response has been completely inadequate, as a result, coordinated policy reviews of urban food supply systems are “desperately over-due” and yet both researchers and urban managers seem “not only ill-informed but disinterested”. To varying degrees, informal food economy attracts policy condemnation and attempts at erasure throughout the global South. Smith suggested that the nature, levels and drivers of individual and household food insecurity in the cities need to be examined and analysed. He raised the thorny question of the role of urban agriculture in mitigating urban food security. The chapter also presents an overview on the key concepts discussed in this book.

Citation: 2017. In B. Frayne, J. Crush, and C. McCordic (Eds.), Food and nutrition security in Southern African cities. London: Routledge and Earthscan.

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