Managing Food Value Chains for Improved Nutrition for Urban Vulnerable

Managing Food Value Chains for Improved Nutrition for Urban Vulnerable
Populations in Lusaka (Zambia) and Mzuzu (Malawi) Project (Africitiesfood)

12 – 13 October 2021

Both Zambia and Malawi face severe food and nutrition security challenges with the
Global Network Against Food Crises (2020:34) ranking the two among the fastest
urbanizing in Southern Africa. Additionally, the two countries rank among the fastest
urbanizing countries with Lusaka and Mzuzu projected to become major urban centres in
Southern Africa.
The urban poor in these two countries live and work in informal settlements where
livelihood systems are precarious. To understand the complexities of the urban food and
nutrition insecurity situations, research policies need to go beyond analyzing production
and market bottlenecks. There is need to interrogate and address the interplay of factors
involving market forces and institutions, the power of the actors, and the interests and
choices that the various participants in the urban food systems make at times.
A 2019 study by the Dutch International organization the Hivos International (1)
established that as high as 85% of surveyed informal food traders in Lusaka’s open-air
markets incur high financial losses due to spoilage of their commodities.
The two-year AfricitiesFood project aims to identify and characterize the nature and scale
of food and nutrition loss in urban agri-food chains in Lusaka and Mzuzu Cities and define
its drivers and implications. It seeks to trial innovations and interventions that reduce food
loss while reducing food loss across the whole chain, thereby improving food accessibility
and nutrition security for the urban poor in Lusaka and Mzuzu Cities.
Stakeholders and partners from Malawi and Zambia will meet to discuss and co-produce
study tools and plan for the next two years of the project delivery.

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