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Urbanisation as driver of food system transformation and opportunities for rural livelihoods

Sophie Bruin (), Just Dengerink and Jasper Vliet
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Sophie Bruin: PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Jasper Vliet: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, 2021, vol. 13, issue 4, No 3, 798 pages

Abstract: Abstract Urbanisation is changing food systems globally, and in particular in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This transformation can affect rural livelihoods in multiple ways. Evidence on what enabling conditions are needed to materialise the opportunities and limit risks is scattered. Here we review scientific literature to elaborate on how urbanisation affects food systems, and on the enabling conditions that subsequently shape opportunities for rural livelihoods. We find that urbanisation leads to a rising and changing food demand, both direct and indirect land use changes, and often to more complex market linkages. Evidence shows that a wide range of enabling conditions can contribute to the materialisation of opportunities for rural livelihoods in this context. Reviewed evidence suggests that the connectivity to urban centres is pivotal, as it provides access to finance, inputs, information, services, and off-farm employment. As a result, physical and communication infrastructure, the spatial pattern of urbanisation, and social networks connecting farmers to markets are identified as important enabling factors for the improvement of rural livelihood outcomes. Our findings suggest that coordinated and inclusive efforts are needed at different scales to make sure rural livelihoods benefit from urbanisation and food system transformation.

Keywords: Food system transformation; Urbanisation; Rural livelihoods; Enabling conditions; Sustainable development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s12571-021-01182-8

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