Migration and Urbanization: Consequences for Food Security

Abel Chikanda, Jonathan Crush, Bruce Frayne


Food and nutrition security in Southern African cities

This chapter reviews the literature that sheds light on the dynamic migration process unfolding in Southern African cities, and the food security situation of migrants, both local and international, relative to their rural households. The research demonstrates that Southern Africa is the fastest urbanizing region in Africa, and in some cases, food insecurity is an important motivating factor for migration. Where possible, migrants maintain strong rural links through cash and food remittances. Overall, rural–urban food flows are part of the reciprocal relations between families living in rural and urban areas. However, the data also shows that migrant households are more likely to be food insecure than non-migrant households. There are several reasons for this. One is that migrants in the city may sacrifice their own food security in order to meet the food needs of their rural households. Another explanation is that migrants have less income stability compared to no-migrant households. Finally, migrant households are locked out of social services, such as basic income grants that can help poor households purchase food.

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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