Rural-Urban Interdependence in Food Systems


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Rural-Urban Interdependence in Food Systems is a well-researched topic, it can be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.


The paper explored the rural-urban interdependence in food systems in Nsukka Local Government Area, of Enugu State in Nigeria. Using a stratified sampling technique, 270 household heads participated in the study, comprising of 180 respondents from two rural communities and 90 respondents from the urban area. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results show that household socio-economic characteristics such as age, income, education and occupation play significant role in rural-urban interdependence by influencing the decision to migrate, remain in the rural area, or provide urban
services in rural areas. The interdependence revolves around five key aspects namely; the urban supply of food and raw materials, migration, labour supply, remittance, and socio-cultural obligations which facilitate the extent of flow of money, goods, and services between rural and urban economies. Large scale production mainly cassava, pepper, and maize occurs in the rural areas whereas small to medium scale production, mainly vegetables, are practiced in the urban
areas. Most rural households use rudimentary farm implements and inputs which limit their capacity to increase agricultural production and maintain the flow of agricultural goods in the rural-urban food systems. Factors such as migration; lack of access to land, market and infrastructure; political instability; and poor policy support affect the rural-urban interdependence and hence will require the diversification of enterprises; provision of requisite infrastructure, technologies and farm inputs; and the provision of enabling environment for the interdependence to thrive.


The majority of people in urban areas in developing countries depend directly on agriculture for food or indirectly for their livelihoods through employment in the transport and industrial sectors that deal on agricultural goods and services. Studies have shown that meeting the food demands of urban markets and households can function as an engine of economic growth and social development in rural areas as well as help create a market for local producers, food suppliers, processors and vendors (World Urban Forum, 2010). This brings to the fore the issue of rural-urban interdependence in food systems. Emerging trends in socio-economic development indicate strong interaction and
interdependence between rural and urban areas in food systems which are often ignored. This interdependence and interaction between rural and urban areas is vital for the existence and sustainability of a food system. The rural-urban interdependence and interaction refers to the flow of people (migration), natural resources, agricultural commodities and services, information and money, or in the form of income diversification such as urban agriculture and non-farm rural employment between rural and urban areas (Tacoli, 2002). These reflect a dynamic process of ecological, economic, social and cultural transformation that needs to be better understood. In food systems, the rural-urban interaction and interdependence are highly evident, and processes can be beneficial or detrimental to either or both areas depending on
the prevailing conditions. A Food system is thought to be a set of activities ranging from production through to consumption. It covers the dynamic interactions between and within biophysical and human environments which result in the production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food (Gregory et al. 2005).


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Agricultural Extension

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