Information for 17281IIED
Reframing the debate on urbanisation, rural transformation and food security
More than half the world’s population live in urban areas. Growing numbers of people in rural areas buy more food than they sell. Our food security narratives are outdated: urban dwellers are not all ‘over consumers’; rural communities are
not exclusively producers. For effective policymaking, the production-based debate on food security must adapt to consider how consumption and urbanisation are transforming rural spaces and economies, food systems and food security. It must focus on access, affordability, safety and nutrition for both rural and urban low-income groups. Policy can be informed by innovations in trade networks and governance systems that span urban and rural contexts. We are working with partners in Africa and Asia on an ambitious change initiative that will support an evidence-based shift in global food security narratives.
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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