This submission comes from Mazingira Institute, an NGO in Nairobi, Kenya, summarizing its support to the City County of Nairobi, for improved urban food security and food systems planning. Here is an excerpt on the process of deveoping training for city staff. The full submission is in the attachment.
This was a collaboration between government and civil society towards improved governance and food systems management in a primate city of Eastern Africa. The over-arching characteristic of the process has been to implement a new piece of legislation developed under Kenya’s Constitution and Bill of Rights which includes the right to food, within the framework of Kenya’s institutional structures and towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and sustainable, resilient cities.
The Nairobi City County government has consolidated its pioneering role in integrating agriculture and food security into urban local administration and governance. Within the framework of the Nairobi Strategic Plan 2015-2025, it has brought together different sectors of local government to implement a novel piece of legislation that aims at alleviating hunger and poverty while protecting food safety and the environment.
The training course consisted of five modules:
Module 1: Urban Food Production and Agriculture
- NCC’s presentation on agriculture and the 2015 Nairobi City County Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulation Act
- Urban agriculture in Africa and globally
- Urban Agriculture and waste management in the food system
- Discussion on implementing the 2015 Act
Module 2: Urban Food Systems Policy and Planning
- The urban agri-food system
- Urban food systems: a world-wide policy challenge
- Local government jurisdictions in the food system
- Other stakeholders in the food system
- Discussion on Nairobi’s inter-sectoral opportunities and challenges
Module 3: Planning and Design for Urban Food Systems
- Challenges of planning and design for urban food systems
- Components of urban food systems that need planning and design
- Types of food spaces in Nairobi
- Case of NACHU housing cooperative
- Discussion on planning and design of food systems in Nairobi
Module 4: City and Regional Food Economies
- Urban agriculture, incomes and poverty
- Agro-ecology v WTO and trade agreements
- Making the local and regional food economies work
- Services and programs to get small farmers out of poverty
- Discussion on Nairobi City County’s food system as a productive sector
Module 5: Urban Food and Nutrition Security
- Urban food and nutrition security globally and in Africa
- The right to adequate food and nutrition – how urban agriculture helps
- Veterinary public health and livestock consumption – learning from Nairobi
- Aquaculture, fish and water management
- The way forward for Nairobi City County
After the course, evaluation in consultation with an international City Region Food Systems Training Group of which Nairobi City and Mazingira Institute are members, it was decided in future courses to add a sixth Training Module on Waste Management and Re-use.
Based on Christine's commentary so far, I want to emphasize something I touched on in my contribution earlier in the debate.
There are existing data linkng lack of dietary diversity (over-consumption of starches and sugars) to low incomes in Southern Africa. See the work of AFSUN (African Food Security Urban Network) and the article I co-auhtored in the attached issue of Right to Food and Nutrition Watch Magazine last year (attached). I think it is also establlshed through other evidence that lack of dietary diversity is linked to life-style diseases and to obesity. From this we can conclude that there is already some evidence that, in the urban transition, the malnutrition associated with obesity and life-style diseases is not associated with income increase and over-eating as is often asserted. Rather, it seems to be associated with urban poverty. The lack of afforbale food for the urban poor is a major issue.
One of the ways this is being tackled in Africa is through encouraging urban agriculture. This enables poor urban residents to produce micro-nutrients for themsleves, in the form of animal source foods such as milk and eggs as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. These may also increase available supplies in urban areas and help increase employment and incomes. I also attach the book Healthy City Harvests, published in 2008 which contains extensive research on urban agriculture, including establishing the link between urban agriculture and improved food and nutirtion security.
NUTRITION WORK PROGRAM
Comments on draft January 2017
Diana Lee-Smith, Mazingira Institute, Nairobi
Thanks for the opportunity to comment on this important document. Additions are suggested to the Action Areas as follows:
1. SUSTAINABLE RESILIENT FOOD SYSTEMS FOR HEALTHY DIETS
In para 19, the definition of the food system should encompass production, processing, storage, transport, marketing, retailing, consumption, waste management and soil regeneration, to form a continuous system loop
2. ALIGNED HEALTH SYSTEMS PROVIDING UNIVERSAL COVERAGE OF NUTRITION ACTIONS
This action area should include practical measures on improving dietary diversity which is shown to be linked to obesity from overconsumption of fewer food groups specifically starches and sugars and lack of access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables as well as other food groups.
These measures overlap with Action Area 1 on food systems, as well as Action Areas 3, 4 and 5.
These measures are: access to fresh foods through own production in rural and urban areas, plus support to small scale farming and ensuring affordable distribution through food networks in urban and peri-urban areas as well as rural to urban linkages.
3. SOCIAL PROTECTION AND NUTRITION EDUCATION
This links directly also to the dietary diversity measures proposed.
4. TRADE AND INVESTMENT FOR IMPROVED NUTRITION
The human right to adequate food links to the rights of small farmers to produce for their own subsistence as well as to trade locally. This is also linked to dietary diversity. In fact the right to dietary diversity and measures to achieve it should be included in the right to food through a new general comment by the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
5. SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS FOR NUTRITION AT ALL AGES
Add a note on linking the improvement of sanitation and water supply to waste management and linking that to the safe recycling of solid and liquid wastes to soil improvement for better food production and thus improved dietary diversity in food systems.
It is necessary to develop a more accurate definition of "food system" and then a typology of food systems in order to ensure sound evidence and future policies. The original thinking on food systems implicitly used the industrial model of food supply and distribution, whereas the majority of food consumed in places like sub-Saharan Africa is produced on small farms. In order to compare and analyze the range of food systems found globally, the analytical categories of farming systems have to be merged with food systems thinking and a typology developed that will make it possible to classify the types actually found around the world. Once these systems can be classified they can then be measured and compared according to a variety of variables. The changes going on in the transformation of food systems (often referred to in the literature and discussions) can then be more accurately assessed, and more useful data presented for policy analysis.
Currently, there is much discussion about the "supermarketization" of food systems in areas such as Africa, but less is presented and understood about small farm subsistence food systems as they transition into market food systems and what variables are key to understanding the impacts of different agriculture policies on food access and nutrition for different populations. I believe this question will open up new categories and a classification of food systems that will help illuminate what is happening to populations living and working in different climatic and farming systems, as well as under different conditions of economic develoment, infrastructure and urbanization.
Although my information offered to this discussion is based on urban youth employment in agriculture I think it is relevant to the topic. A recent (2016) book Youth Unemployment in Kenya, a Ticking Time Bomb, edited by Helmut Danner et al addresses key questions also relevant to rural youth unemployment in the sense of preparedness and conditions in developing economies. I and Mwima George Echessa contributed chapters on agriculture. I attach my chapter on urban agriculture as aWORD file. I also attach the book as a PDF. It is also available in Kenya through Lonhorn.
Food and nutrition insecurity are prevalent in Kenya's urban slums as in many rural areas. Hunger and need for incomes drives poor youth to food production but they meet many obstacles. The education system does not promote agriculture as an income-earning opportunity, which it is, especially in urban and peri-urban areas. Youth cannot access land even that belonging to their parents due to their status as youths. Parents and familes have to change their attitudes and the schools have to stop using farmwork as a punishment. One or two cases of overcoming such barriers are given.
This is a very welcome document that will establish current global thinking on food and nutrition security in relation to urbanization. The discussion of definitions is correct in nailing the ongoing transformations in rural and urban facts on the ground and how meanings are evolving.
I have one major comment on the material treated in the paper -- an omission - and one point of emphasis that needs to be made.
Regarding the omission, under "Natural Resource Use and Flows" there needs to be a paragraph on the urban nutrient surplus in the form of NPK locked up in solid and liquid wastes and which is a potential input to food production, both urban and rural. This has been much studied in recent years and there are quite a few references from International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the WHO/FAO guidelines on waste water re-use in agriculture (2006). See also your reference lxvii Thebo, Drechsel and Lambin (2014), also Prain, Karanja and Lee-Smith (2010) www.idrc.ca/EN/Resources/Publications/openebooks/492-5/index.html
I also attach a couple of my own articles that refer to this.
I want to suggest also that the section on "Food loss and waste" be broadened in its concept to encompass wider issues of waste and waste re-use in an ecosystemic way. (The way it is written currently is about "getting rid" of food waste).
The point of emphasis that I would like to see addressed concerns the discussion of and final conclusions on the production of perishables with high micro-nutrient value in urban and peri-urban areas. At present the text emphasises the income potential for farmers. It should also address the nutritional value for farmers, their children and the urban population in general. This point should be included in the Points emerging from the Lietrature and the Potential Roles for CFS.
For reference on this see the article by me and Davinder Lamba in Right to Food and Nutrition Watch Issue 7 2015
Thanks for this major paper and the opportunity to comment