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Urbanisation, rural transformations and food security: the view from China

Jennifer Holdaway

Book/Report, 44 pages

This paper discusses who eats what in China and why, with a focus on understanding the evolving axes of inequality with regard to access to affordable, safe and nutritious food in the context of changing rural–urban linkages.

The production, distribution and consumption of food has changed in the context of rapid economic growth, urbanisation and industrialisation, leading to denser and more complex rural–urban linkages.

The paper discusses policies aimed at ensuring adequate food provision and the regulation of quality and safety, as well as synergies and tensions between them such as the need to keep prices low while at the same time ensuring safety and nutritional quality.

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Low and irregular incomes are the root cause of urban food insecurity, but inadequate housing and basic infrastructure and limited access to services contribute to levels of malnutrition and food insecurity that are often as high if not higher than in rural areas.

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Urban food security and consumption