Food for the cities programme

Why we do it

Today, about 55 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68 percent by 2050. The majority of this growth will be in Africa and Southeast Asia. The rapid urbanization and the estimated nine billion-world population by 2050 creates enormous challenges to conventional food production and food and nutrition security.

Climate change is posing additional challenges too, affecting cities and their surrounding areas. The number of reported natural hazards (such as droughts, floods, storms, etc.) has almost doubled in the last two decades. An increase in climate change related risks is affecting processes and stakeholders along the entire food system. Increased food prices resulting from disruptions in production and transport directly impact consumers, especially low-income groups in city regions that are highly dependent on purchased food. Read more...

The international community urgently needs define its role and develop tools and methodologies to address the challenges of food and nutrition security, agriculture and management of natural resources in a context of urbanization and accelerating climate change, which are among the major challenges of the 21st century.

The City Region Food Systems (CRFS) approach offers concrete policy and programme opportunities within which developmental issues can be addressed and through which rural and urban areas and communities in a given city region can be directly linked. Improved city region food systems will help achieve better economic, social and environmental conditions in both urban and nearby rural areas.