Nexus between Urban Food System and Other Urban Systems: Exploring Opportunities for Improving Food Security in Kisumu, Kenya

Opiyo, P. and Agong', S.G. (2020) Nexus between Urban Food System and Other Urban Systems: Exploring Opportunities for Improving Food Security in Kisumu, Kenya, Social and Economic Geography. 2020; 5(1):20-28. doi: 10.12691/seg-5-1-4

Platform
Kisumu
Publication type
Scientific article (peer-reviewed)
Projects
Urban food security and value addition
DOI
10.12691/seg-5-1-4

 

Abstract

The world population is growing and shifting in character from to predominantly rural to increasingly
urban. It is projected that by 2050, two thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. The food
system of cities has an impact on the health and wellbeing of residents. This study is a review of data and integration
of findings from two projects done in Kisumu from 2016 - 2020: Consuming Urban Poverty (CUP) project and
Nourishing Spaces (NS) project. The two projects employed both qualitative and quantitative methods of data
collection, which were supplemented by desktop research involving an analysis of published literature. Peri-urban
households were found to be more food insecure as compared to residents of core urban areas, attributed to urban
sprawl. Municipal markets were located in areas less accessible to poor residents leading to the growth of informal
food retail in the city. Distant production sources and poor road network drive up the cost of food in the city. More
than 65 per cent of residents live in informal settlements in poor housing units with inadequate food storage and
kitchen facilities, promoting consumption of processed foods. Inadequate water, sanitation and energy at both
household and market levels was found to hinder food security. Unemployment contributed to food insecurity.
Thirty one per cent of residents 20 years and above were unemployed in a city in which 67 per cent bought more
than 75 percent of the total food consumed from the market. Most residents have a rural home due to cultural
reasons and they occasionally obtain food from their rural homes. The food system of Kisumu city is influenced by
other urban systems and it is important to consider the whole system in policy conversations to alleviate food
insecurity in the city.

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