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Urbanisation, rural transformations and food systems: the role of small towns

Author: Cecilia Tacoli, Jytte Agergaard
Publisher:The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), International Fun for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Small towns are a central element of food systems as market nodes, centres for processing and storage, and access to inputs and services. This paper reviews evidence of the role of these smaller urban centres in the ‘virtuous circle’ of rural-urban linkages, and distils the key lessons for equitable food security policy that is spatially and context specific. The way we frame food security has changed in the past decades, reflecting major transformations in the distribution of the world’s population and its economic activities. The majority of the world’s population now lives in urban centres, and farming accounts for a declining proportion of rural households’ incomes. Effectively there are now more consumers than producers of food.

Organization: Think Thank/ Research Organization
Region: Global coverage
Coverage: Tanzania
Areas of focus: Governance and planning
Tags: Household food security, Rural-urban linkages, Urbanization and rural-transformation