An Urban-Rural Focus on Food Markets in Africa

Research Report

An Urban-Rural Focus on Food Markets in Africa

January 30, 2008


Africa's cities purchase much more food domestically than the continent imports or exports; they represent economic hope if rural and peri-urban producers learn to meet their particular food demands, including more meat, dairy, and processed foods. Increased efficiency will come with more onsite processing, contract enforcement, and distribution centers. Best practices from South Africa include the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market and Thohoyandou Spar Supermarket requiring their agents to purchase a share of their fresh vegetables from small growers. Efforts to strengthen regulation and raise standards must remember that the urban poor depend on public markets, the informal sector and "inferior" products.

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