Building equitable and resilient urban food systems in southern Africa

Allan Chilenga and Dorcas Chaaba, part of the urban food systems group, carried out a series of engagements with local policy makers based on their SARA working group key findings.

The “Building Equitable and Resilient Urban Food Systems in Southern Africa” working group addresses the complex challenges within urban food systems in the region. Characterized by a hybrid mix of formal and informal food retailers, urban agriculture, and food sharing, these systems are diverse but often fail to ensure food security for low- to middle-income urban households. Economic pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, food price shocks linked to disruptions in food supply chains, and the impacts of climate variability contribute to high rates of food insecurity. To mitigate these pressures on the urban food system, the working group adopts an urban food systems approach that extends beyond agricultural production, embracing the diversity of urban food environments. By assessing the resilience and equity of urban food systems in Zambia and Southern Africa, the group aims to identify strategic urban planning opportunities that promote resilience and equitable access to food for households in the region.

Working Group Members

Mr Allan Chilenga, Agriculture Research Officer, Ministry of Agriculture (Zambia), Zambia Agriculture Research Institute
Ms Dorcas Kabuya, Ministry of Agriculture (Zambia), National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS)
Dr Julia Davies, Arizona Institute for Resilience, University of Arizona
Dr Corrie Hannah, Arizona Institute for Resilience, University of Arizona
Dr Jordan Blekking, Department of Geography, Indiana University
Dr Jane Battersby, Environmental and Geographical Science Department, University of Cape Town
Dr Percy Toriro, University of Zimbabwe