New Book:”Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa”

CUP’s Jonathan Crush and Jane Battersby have just published a new co-edited volume through Springer, “Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa”.


“This book investigates food security and the implications of hyper-urbanisation and rapid growth of urban populations in Africa. By means of a series of case studies involving African cities of various sizes, it argues that, while the concept of food security holds value, it needs to be reconfigured to fit the everyday realities and distinctive trajectory of urbanisation in the region. The book goes on to discuss the urban context, where food insecurity is more a problem of access and changing consumption patterns than of insufficient food production. In closing, it approaches food insecurity in Africa as an increasingly urban problem that requires different responses from those applied to rural populations.”

You can get the e-book or hardcover through the Springer site, here:


Book Contract for CUP


27855048202_ce8fefcd22_kWe are delighted to announce that we have been offered a book contract with Routledge to produce “Urban Food Systems Governance and Poverty in African cities”.
Co-edited by Jane Battersby and Vanessa Watson, the book plans to do the following:

“As Africa urbanizes and the locus of poverty shifts to urban centres, there is an imperative to address poverty in African cities. This is particularly the case in smaller cities, which are often the most rapidly urbanizing, but the least capacitated to cope with this growth. The global development agenda is increasingly focusing on urban issues, most notably the urban goal of the new Sustainable Development Goals and its New Urban Agenda. Despite the centrality of food to the health and well being of urban residents, and the role of the food system in the local economy, there has been relatively little research on urban food security or urban food systems in the African context. There has also been little attention paid to the governance of the urban food system to the ends of alleviating urban poverty, and to the role of urban planning in achieving this. This book seeks to address this gap through a focus on linkages between poverty, urban food systems and local governance in three smaller cities in Africa. It makes a wider contribution to debates on urban studies and urban governance in Africa through analysis of the causes and consequences of the paucity of urban-scale data for decision makers, and by presenting potential methodological innovations to address this paucity.”

2nd Food: Systems, Security and Inclusivity Seminar 13 Sept 2016

The 2nd in the Food: Systems, Security and Inclusivity seminars will be held at UCT on 13 Sept 2016.

The systematic review of the literature that focuses on both the ‘informal economy’ and ‘food security’ in South Africa will be presented by Candice Kelly and Etai Evenv-Zahav. Abstract below:

Despite the importance of the informal food economy in fulfilling the daily and weekly food needs of a large proportion of South Africa’s low-income population, it appears little research exists on the exact nature of the relationship between the informal food economy and food security. This paper performed the first qualitative systematic review of research from South Africa that addresses both these aspects. The methods used in the review are described in detail, to increase the readers’ ability to assess the reliability of subsequent findings and analysis. Findings confirmed the low level of research focus on the informal food economy (and food security), in particular the stages of the value chain beyond the farm gate and before the consumer. Food safety research is common, although applied narrowly and with mixed findings. The conceptualisation of nutrition research is encouragingly wide, encompassing both over- and under-nutrition, but does not seem to consider the broader urban informal context in which consumers are embedded. Lastly, the research approaches used are predominately quantitative, and the voices of those who survive within the informal food economy are largely absent.


For more info see here: