The Characteristics of the Urban Food System in Epworth, Zimbabwe
In most sub-Saharan African countries, food insecurity poses a challenge to development. In an era where the urban population is becoming more dominant, the need to ameliorate poverty and food security in cities is becoming more urgent. To tackle urban poverty and food insecurity, however, a more nuanced understanding of the entire urban food system is necessary. This chapter uses data collected in Epworth, Zimbabwe, to address two questions that are fundamental to Epworth’s food system: a) What are the major food sources in Epworth? and b) How does informal food retailing shape Epworth’s food system? Presenting evidence from the study, the paper demonstrates the centrality of the informal food sector to Epworth’s food system. While the sources of food sold in Epworth indicate that the food system of the area is embedded in the national and broader regional food systems, Epworth’s food system is dominated by small, largely informal players who provide a measure of service and food system access that is largely determined by factors outside their immediate control. This review of the food system offers useful insights into the food system of Epworth, and also the broader economic and developmental challenges that the residents face.