Urban food supply and distribution in developing countries and countries in transition

A guide for planners

Developing countries, while heterogeneous in many respects, are all characterized by densely populated cities, rapidly expanding urban populations and urban poverty.
Urbanization often occurs in an unplanned and unregulated way: the city expands rwhere there is space, where it is easier, often in the absence of any infrastructure and services, giving rise to  fragmented” areas and ever larger slums.
Such uncontrolled urbanization impairs the efficiency of food supply and distribution systems (FSDSs). The demand for food in the cities is growing and requires quantities of food that rural and periurban areas may not be able to supply. Moreover, existing market,
storage and transport infrastructure is less and less able to cope with the growing quantities of foodstuffs. And so the informal sector expands to provide low-income families with their only means of livelihood.
In such a context, planners may not only be asked to produce a town-planning scheme for the city or a plan for a market, but, more importantly, they are expected to know about food supply and distribution systems, how to make them as efficient and dynamic as possible by mobilizing the resources and using the various instruments available to them.
While only too well aware of the complexity and variety of contexts in developing countries, the authors of this guide describe the principal activities of FSDSs and suggests planning criteria for managing the physical and spatial dimensions of the city in order to improve the quantity, quality, variety and safety of food, and to help low-income urban
populations to access it.

  Agricultural marketing,     Linking farmers to markets
AGS main series:
  Agricultural Management, Marketing and Finance Occasional Papers
  Olivio Argenti and Cecilia Marocchino
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