With a focus on the four dimensions of food security, namely availability, access, utilisation and stability, this project conducts action-oriented and participatory research to enhance food production and employment in urban and peri-urban settings. We analyse the nature of agricultural production systems, identify challenges and opportunities, and assess the role of agriculture as a sustainable livelihood strategy for local communities and especially vulnerable groups in urban and peri-urban areas.
The project has two key components:
Conducting interdisciplinary research on social and technological innovations for sustainable food production, supply, marketing, and employment. Our objective, after piloting promising innovations in collaboration with our community-based partners, is to contribute to evidence-based policy making at different levels, in order to further scale up and strengthen urban and peri-urban agriculture.
Engaging in international research collaborations to develop a broader "risk-response" matrix for urban and peri-urban food systems. A key aim in this is to highlight the close linkages between food systems and other dimensions of resilience, notably the Covid-19 pandemic, accelerated environmental degradation and the climate crisis, desert locust threats, water scarcity, and rising social tension and conflict.
The project builds on our extensive experience in facilitating context-specific research and knowledge-sharing processes, in close collaboration with our local partners. Our locally embedded research teams maintain close contact with urban farmers, community-based organisations, agribusinesses, technical support services, and other stakeholders in the food sector in order to proactively address existing and emerging challenges and create an enabling environment for sustainable urban and peri-urban agriculture.