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Seminar participants emphasised that technical cooperation among city and local authorities (CLAs), both North-South and South-South cooperation, needs to be developed to better understand urban food security challenges and to address specific food supply and distribution (FSD) constraints. Cooperation can take various forms. Disseminating good practices in addressing FSD constraints (e.g. market management and ownership, market waste management, informal food sector support and food microenterprise development) should be the goal for information, sensitization and training activities.

To have effective cooperation and agreement, all actors involved should:

To ensure transferability of knowledge, technology and lessons learnt, matching the needs and experience between cities is essential. Matching mechanisms should be developed and supported by international organizations (e.g.: FAO, UNCHS, UNDP), national governments as well as world and regional associations (e.g.: the World Union of Wholesale Markets, CityNet, IULA). International organizations and associations should also ensure that technical cooperation between CLAs is technically sound, meaningful and useful for all parties concerned and correctly addresses constraints in a sustainable manner. Successful cooperation requires that special care is taken to use experts who are technically competent, have adequate language abilities and training skills and are knowledgeable of local conditions.

Participants highlighted that funding is a major requirement for successful North-South and South-South technical cooperation. Therefore, interested parties must be prepared to make the necessary investment and cost sharing should be considered when planning the exchanges.

Examples of possible concrete North-South and South-South cooperation among CLAs are detailed in Table 10.1.

Table 10.1: Examples of possible concrete North-South and South-South cooperation between city and local authorities

Areas for
Capacity building



Food Distribution and Marketing

Wholesale market development and design

Jakarta (Wholesale Market)


Retail markets and outlets into urban planning


Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane, Phnom Penh,

Informal food sector management and street vendors

Bangkok, Calcutta


Post-harvest services (marketing)


Food packaging

Japanese cities (to be explored)



Nutrition for children

Makati (Healthy Cities Programme) (to be explored)


Food Production and Processing

Food/agricultural production

To be explored


Food Financing

Food financing including micro-credit

To be explored


Water Management

Water resource management and water pollution

Nancy (to be explored)

Ho Chi Minh City

Waste Management

Solid waste management from markets and slaughterhouses

To be explored


Note: Organizations such as FAO, regional networks such as CityNet and regional programmes such as Asia Urbs may facilitate and/or coordinate North-South and South-South technical cooperation among CLAs, through their specific modalities and to identify other potential partners for those cities needing capacity building support.
Objectives of North-South and South-South technical cooperation

The following are specific objectives of North-South and South-South technical cooperation:

CLAs can collaborate with international organizations such as FAO and regional networks, such as CityNet, to develop information dissemination, sensitization and training instruments (videos, CD-ROMs, technical documentation, training material, etc.). Stakeholders can organize regional and national seminars and workshops in the various aspects of FSDSs. Topics may include:

Main activities and instruments for technical cooperation

North-South and South-South cooperation can be undertaken through a variety of activities and instruments that can be grouped as follows:

A. Information dissemination and sensitization

Instruments: Technical documentation in local languages adapted to a target readership, videos, multimedia CD-ROMs, dissemination of good practices in addressing FSD constraints, dissemination of data from global and regional databases, specific regional/sub-regional/national workshops and study tours.

B. Training

Instruments: training material in local languages, trainers (from universities), videos, multimedia CD-ROMs, specific regional/sub-regional/national training seminars, grants for attending training courses, dissemination of good practices in addressing FSD constraints, fellowships and study tours, etc.

C. Direct technical assistance

Instruments: equipment and technical experts and instructors (from CLAs, NGOs, equipment supplying companies, etc.).

Specific areas for technical cooperation

Seminar participants recommended the following priority areas and objectives:[20]

Urban and periurban food production

Rural-urban linkages

Extension services

There are many cases of effective and efficient urban extension services in developing countries (e.g. Cuba) working to provide food to extremely poor inner-city neighbourhoods. Exchanges of technical assistance should be arranged for the development of the urban-based extension services.

Water management issues in food production

Livestock production

Aquaculture and fish marketing

Policy makers and planners need criteria and instruments to develop safe aquaculture activities in urban and periurban areas as well as safe fish processing and marketing activities in cities. This requires information, sensitization and training as well as equipment and direct technical assistance. Northern CLAs can collaborate with international organizations (such as FAO) and regional networks (such as CityNet) to organize specific regional, sub-regional and national technical and sensitization workshops for the development of aquaculture products and fish processing, marketing and distribution.

Wholesale market development

Public investments in wholesale markets must be adequately justified. Wholesale markets need to be properly located, designed, developed, maintained and managed. Old markets sites need to be decongested. Case studies and evaluations of successes and failures in other cities should be disseminated and discussion workshops held to help decision makers. Planners need to be trained to properly integrate wholesale markets into urban plans. Wholesale markets require professional managers who need to be trained and to visit markets in other cities. Market waste needs to be adequately managed so as not to generate health hazards.

Retail outlet development

Street foods: food safety and nutritional aspects

Micro, small and medium enterprises in food processing and distribution

Asian CLAs need to design and implement effective policy programmes for the development of micro, small and medium enterprises in food processing and distribution. The effective design of these programmes requires information, sensitization and training activities as well as direct technical assistance. Training in areas such as participatory methodologies, spatial planning, hygiene, business skills and organizational development as well as microfinance for micro and small-scale food entrepreneurs.

The environmental impact of FSD activities

There is a need to strengthen CLAs’ understanding of the negative impacts on the environment of FSD activities through information dissemination and sensitization. Criteria for environmental monitoring and impact assessment adapted to local conditions are required. Important areas are: effective and sustainable management of liquid and solid waste, including hazardous substances, from markets and slaughterhouses; use of chemical inputs in food production and use of water.

There is a need to provide expertise to support the development of a regional database on environmental conditions and protective mechanisms in diverse regions.

[20] Further specific needs and priorities for Asian CLAs and central governments agencies need to be identified through a questionnaire.

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