ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

In response to changing urban food systems, short supply chains have been advocated to meet urban food needs while building more sustainable urban food systems. Despite an increasing interest in urban food supply and the flows of food from production to consumption, there is a lack of empirical studies and methodologies which systematically analyse the actual proportion and nutritional significance of local and regional food supplied to urban markets. The aim of this empirical study therefore was to compare the geographical sources supplying food to the urban population ("foodsheds") in Tamale, Ghana and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to record the supplied quantities and to assess the level of interaction between the sources and the respective city. The study was conducted over two years, covering the seasons of abundant and short supply, via traffic surveys on the access roads to the two cities, and in the Tamale markets, resulting altogether in more than 40,000 records of food flow. Results indicated that food sources were highly crop- and season-specific, ranging from one-dimensional to multi-dimensional foodsheds with diverse sources across seasons. Across the commodity-specific foodsheds, city region boundaries were established. Within the proposed city region a relatively large proportion of smallholders contributed to urban food supply, taking advantage of the proximity to urban markets. While food provided from within the city region offers certain place-based benefits, like the provision of fresh perishable crops, a larger geographical diversity of foodsheds appeared to enhance the resilience of urban food systems, such as against climate related production failures.
Content may be subject to copyright.
sustainability
Article
Foodsheds and City Region Food Systems in
Two West African Cities
Hanna Karg 1, *, Pay Drechsel 2, Edmund K. Akoto-Danso 3, Rüdiger Glaser 1, George Nyarko 4
and Andreas Buerkert 3
1Physical Geography, Institute of Environmental Social Sciences and Geography, University of Freiburg,
79085 Freiburg, Germany; ruediger.glaser@geographie.uni-freiburg.de
2International Water Management Institute, Battaramulla 10120, Sri Lanka; p.drechsel@cgiar.org
3Organic Plant Production & Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics, Universität Kassel,
37213 Witzenhausen, Germany; kydanso07@yahoo.com (E.K.A.-D.); buerkert@uni-kassel.de (A.B.)
4Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana; nyarko2uds@yahoo.com
*Correspondence: hanna.karg@geographie.uni-freiburg.de; Tel.: +49-761-2039128
Academic Editor: Han Wiskerke
Received: 17 August 2016; Accepted: 7 November 2016; Published: 25 November 2016
Abstract:
In response to changing urban food systems, short supply chains have been advocated to
meet urban food needs while building more sustainable urban food systems. Despite an increasing
interest in urban food supply and the flows of food from production to consumption, there is
a lack of empirical studies and methodologies which systematically analyse the actual proportion
and nutritional significance of local and regional food supplied to urban markets. The aim of this
empirical study therefore was to compare the geographical sources supplying food to the urban
population (“foodsheds”) in Tamale, Ghana and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to record the supplied
quantities and to assess the level of interaction between the sources and the respective city. The study
was conducted over two years, covering the seasons of abundant and short supply, via traffic surveys
on the access roads to the two cities, and in the Tamale markets, resulting altogether in more than
40,000 records of food flow. Results indicated that food sources were highly crop- and season-specific,
ranging from one-dimensional to multi-dimensional foodsheds with diverse sources across seasons.
Across the commodity-specific foodsheds, city region boundaries were established. Within the
proposed city region a relatively large proportion of smallholders contributed to urban food supply,
taking advantage of the proximity to urban markets. While food provided from within the city region
offers certain place-based benefits, like the provision of fresh perishable crops, a larger geographical
diversity of foodsheds appeared to enhance the resilience of urban food systems, such as against
climate related production failures.
Keywords:
urban food systems; foodsheds; city region food systems; food flows; urban food supply;
spatial analysis; GIS mapping; climate change
1. Introduction
Despite major development efforts, food and nutrition security remains a grand challenge in many
African countries. At the same time, urban populations continue to increase. West Africa is among the
most urbanising sub-regions in Africa, and its urban population is expected to rise from 44.9% in 2011
to 65.7% in 2050 [
1
]. This is affecting the way urban areas supply their food and is changing urban food
systems. Changes are not only driven by growing urban demand for food but also by the globalisation
of food markets and changing diets towards more animal products and processed foods [2].
Some scholars and advocates have associated the change in urban food systems with negative
effects such as rising food prices and high energy demand, further accelerating climate change [
3
,
4
].
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175; doi:10.3390/su8121175 www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 2 of 32
In response, shorter food supply chains and more localised food systems at the city or community
level have been advocated [
5
]. Food from local and regional sources is considered to be “a vital
component of a transition to a more sustainable and more just food system” [
3
] (p. 3) as it may
improve the economic viability of local communities, provide better nutrition through fresh produce,
and strengthen consumer–producer relationships.
The “local food system” approach as opposed to the agro-industrial “conventional globalising
food system” is based on a variety of movements and theories, such as “alternative agrofood
networks” [
6
] (p. 24) and has its roots in the Anglophone-industrialised world [
5
,
7
,
8
]. While these
countries are embedded to a greater extent in globalised food chains, developing countries are
characterised by a larger degree of local and regional production [
9
]. According to Reardon (2016) [
2
],
80%–90% of food consumed in developing regions comes from domestic sources, and only a small
share from imports.
In developing countries, despite the dominating local production, localised food production
has been promoted in view of rapidly growing cities. Therefore, urban and peri-urban agriculture
as a means to enhance food security and provide income to urban dwellers has received increasing
attention in the past decade in both research and development [
10
12
]. Most recently, the focus has
shifted to city region food systems (CRFS) as a holistic and integrative planning framework comprising
urban, peri-urban and rural landscapes [9,13].
Whether the supply of food from local sources is more sustainable than that from non-local
sources has been a matter of debate. Hinrichs (2003) [
14
] questioned the local–global dichotomy
and Born and Purcell (2006) [
15
] introduced the problem of falling into the “local trap”, arguing that
a local-scale food system is not inherently better than a national- or global-scale food system.
Therefore, diversifying food supply including local, regional, national and global food sources is
increasingly seen as a means to enhance resilience of the food system [
13
]. Multiple sources of food
may also entail multiple ways by which food reaches the city as well as multiple trading systems [
16
].
If the production of a crop fails in one location, for example, due to climatic disaster or major price
changes, other sources can mitigate the shortage. For example, as a response to the price hike for
cereals on international food markets in 2007–2008, governments in West Africa began to diversify
food sources and increased their reliance on the domestic supply of staple food crops [17].
Given the diversity and complexity of geographical contexts, a “one size fits all” approach is
very unlikely to solve problems related to sustainable food systems [
18
] (p. 186). Therefore, there is
a need to understand and map so-called foodsheds, i.e., food flows from the source of production
to consumption at the city level. From an understanding of current food flows, improved strategies
towards enhancing the resilience and the sustainability of urban food systems may be developed.
However, surprisingly, only a few empirical studies have attempted to analyse which geographical
areas feed urban centres. In recent case studies, conducted mainly in North America, foodsheds were
conceptualised as the potential quantity of food that could be grown in the vicinity of cities, but not as
real-world food flows from production to consumption [1922].
In developing countries, empirical data on food flows at the city level are very limited.
They include a study in Kesbewa, Sri Lanka that recorded the food flows supplying the urban
population with products for their daily food basket based on a survey among traders and expert
interviews [
23
]. The purpose of the study was to identify the potential of a more localised production.
Mukui (2002) [
24
] recorded food inflows on markets in Nairobi from wholesalers to determine
the relative contributions of urban and peri-urban agriculture, and of rural-to-urban food inflows.
Drechsel et al. (2007) [
25
] looked into urban-rural food flows in West African cities (Accra, Kumasi,
Tamale, and Ouagadougou) for the purpose of identifying the role of urban farming and the resource
recovery potential from food waste. Their focus was on 23 commodities from urban, peri-urban, and
rural production. The study was carried out in two seasons (lean, peak) and included market and
consumer surveys. In all these studies, quantities of incoming food flows were based on information
from traders; however, the share of the total number of traders per commodity remained unclear.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 3 of 32
In the first two studies mentioned, only one season was considered which yields an only limited
picture given the likely high seasonal differences. Obtaining quantitative data by market surveys is
challenging, in particular where decentralised market systems prevent cross-checking of counts and
traders are reluctant to provide information.
In view of the above, our study aimed at capturing quantities as well as the spatial and temporal
patterns of food flows supplying urban populations in West Africa. Study areas were the rapidly
growing cities of Tamale in Ghana and Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Specifically, the aims of
this paper are (1) to determine which geographical areas supply the urban population (“foodsheds”);
(2) to assess the contribution of the respective city regions; and (3) to discuss possible policy implications
for resilience of the urban food system.
2. Description of the Study Sites
Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso and Tamale the third largest city of Ghana and major
administrative centre of the Northern Region. The cities differ in size, in their national administrative
and economic importance and in their historical development, influenced by the colonial Francophone
and Anglophone systems, respectively. However, as neighbouring countries they also share a common
market basin [
26
], and are both facing rapid urban growth. Ouagadougou experienced a population
increase of 400% between 1985 and 2012, from 500,000 to almost 2 million today [
27
]. In Tamale,
the urban population doubled on average every decade, increasing from 83,650 in 1970 to 371,350 in
2010 [
28
]. In recent years, urban population growth has accelerated, accounting for an annual growth
of 3.8% in Ouagadougou and 4.5% in Tamale.
Both cities are located in the West African Savannah Region with a unimodal rainfall distribution,
and a long dry season. Ouagadougou has an annual precipitation of 880 mm [
25
]. Despite a harsh
climate with low and variable rainfall and its generally low productivity and subsistence-dominated
character, Burkina Faso’s agriculture sector generates a third of the country’s gross domestic
product (GDP) and employs 80% of the population [
29
]. Main cereals are maize
(Zea mays L.)
,
sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) and millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) that are produced mainly in rain-fed
agriculture (Figure 1). However, the country also has potential in the use of surface water and
groundwater for irrigation out of which so far only 10% (26,760 ha) is exploited [
30
]. Livestock
production is an important pillar of the Burkinabe economy, and the principal cash crop is cotton
(Gossypium hirsutum L.) accounting for a large share of the country’s export income followed by oilseeds
such as sesame
(Sesamum indicum L.),
and cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale L.) [
31
]. Burkina Faso is
vulnerable to external trade shocks due to its landlocked location and volatile world market prices
that caused large drops in the price of cotton in the late 1990s and early 2000s [
32
]. Burkina Faso is one
of the poorest countries in West Africa and despite improvements in its agriculture sector, more than
3.5 million people, roughly 20% of the population, are considered to be food-insecure [29].
Tamale is located in the Guinea Savannah with an average annual precipitation of 1033 mm [
25
].
Due to its north-south expansion, Ghana has a number of agroecological zones including tropical
rainforests. While the northern part of the country is suitable for staple crop production, particularly
maize, rice (Oryza sativa L.), yam (Dioscorea spp. L.), and pulses, the South also produces fruits and
cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) with the latter as the main cash crop accounting for 16% (USD 246.7 million)
of the total exports in 2001 [
31
]. Roots and tubers for household consumption are more common
in Ghana as compared with Burkina Faso where sorghum and millet dominate (Figure 1). Crop
production in the Northern Region as in Burkina Faso is highly seasonal and, apart from a few
irrigation schemes, limited to the rainy season. Despite this, livelihoods in and around Tamale largely
depend on agriculture and related marketing. Tamale is a trade hub located on the North-South
route linking the production areas in the north with those of the country’s south. In the urban
areas, subsistence and commercial backyard gardening are similarly common [
33
]. While Ghana is
considered a relatively wealthy country in West Africa, a strong South-North gradient can be observed.
The Northern Region is among the three poorest ones in Ghana with a poverty rate of 52% in 2005/2006
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 4 of 32
and a high rate of malnutrition, with 30% of children under the age of five being stunted or chronically
malnourished [34,35].
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 4 of 32
observed. The Northern Region is among the three poorest ones in Ghana with a poverty rate of 52%
in 2005/2006 and a high rate of malnutrition, with 30% of children under the age of five being stunted
or chronically malnourished [34,35].
Figure 1. Location map showing the two study sites in West Africa and food staple zones (Source:
Auricht et al. 2014 [36], modified).
3. Materials and Methods
We applied a quantitative approach to assess flows of largely unprocessed food items that
dominate consumption patterns in the study areas. More than 50 crops and animal products (live
animals, meat) were captured, including slightly processed items such as smoked fish and processed
rice (husked, milled) and groundnuts (unshelled). Eggs and dairy products were not considered.
The study comprised a road survey in both cities and a market survey in Tamale. Roads are the
only entry point to Tamale. In Ouagadougou, food is also imported via railway from Côte d’Ivoire
(Figure 1). While fresh food such as mango (Mangifera indica L.) is also exported from Ouagadougou
via air, almost exclusively high-value processed food is imported by plane (personal communication
with airport officials). Transport via waterways does not play a role for urban food supply in either
city. The survey allowed recording virtually all the food entering the two urban areas via roads over
the survey period. Thus, flows of food were recorded that would otherwise not be captured by
official statistics or market surveys, such as food bypassing public marketplaces and going to
warehouses, restaurants or consumers directly. Secondary customs data were consulted to acquire
further information on the origin of imported goods, i.e., to trace back the origin of goods coming
from the port or a border town.
4. Data Collection
4.1. Road Transport
Flows of unprocessed food were captured on all primary and secondary access roads to the
cities of Tamale and Ouagadougou (Figure 2). On these roads, all vehicles carrying food were
recorded at official check points as they entered or left the city (Figure 3). The surveys were carried
Figure 1.
Location map showing the two study sites in West Africa and food staple zones (Modified
after Auricht et al. 2014 [36]).
3. Materials and Methods
We applied a quantitative approach to assess flows of largely unprocessed food items that
dominate consumption patterns in the study areas. More than 50 crops and animal products (live
animals, meat) were captured, including slightly processed items such as smoked fish and processed
rice (husked, milled) and groundnuts (unshelled). Eggs and dairy products were not considered.
The study comprised a road survey in both cities and a market survey in Tamale. Roads are the
only entry point to Tamale. In Ouagadougou, food is also imported via railway from Côte d’Ivoire
(Figure 1). While fresh food such as mango (Mangifera indica L.) is also exported from Ouagadougou
via air, almost exclusively high-value processed food is imported by plane (personal communication
with airport officials). Transport via waterways does not play a role for urban food supply in either
city. The survey allowed recording virtually all the food entering the two urban areas via roads
during the survey period. Thus, flows of food were recorded that would otherwise not be captured
by official statistics or market surveys, such as food bypassing public marketplaces and reaching
warehouses, restaurants or consumers directly. Secondary customs data were consulted to acquire
further information on the origin of imported goods, i.e., to trace back the origin of goods coming from
the port or a border town.
4. Data Collection
4.1. Road Transport
Flows of unprocessed food were captured on all primary and secondary access roads to the cities
of Tamale and Ouagadougou (Figure 2). On these roads, all vehicles carrying food were recorded at
official check points as they entered or left the city (Figure 3). The surveys were carried out with the
help of enumerators who noted at each roadside (1) type of food item; (2) quantity; (3) source and
(4) destination.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 5 of 32
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 5 of 32
out with the help of enumerators who collected at each roadside (1) type of food item; (2) quantity;
(3) source and (4) destination.
Figure 2. Locations of check points on the roads of the two West African study sites of Ouagadougou
and Tamale.
(a) (b)
(c)
Figure 3. Data collection in the West African cities of Tamale (a,b) and Ouagadougou (c).
In Ouagadougou, enumerators were positioned at toll gates located on the seven access roads.
Apart from one secondary road (Ouagadougou—Pabré) where data were collected 12 h/day, all
other toll gates were covered 24 h/day.
Figure 2. Locations of check points on the roads of the two West African study sites of Ouagadougou
and Tamale.
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 5 of 32
out with the help of enumerators who collected at each roadside (1) type of food item; (2) quantity;
(3) source and (4) destination.
Figure 2. Locations of check points on the roads of the two West African study sites of Ouagadougou
and Tamale.
(a) (b)
(c)
Figure 3. Data collection in the West African cities of Tamale (a,b) and Ouagadougou (c).
In Ouagadougou, enumerators were positioned at toll gates located on the seven access roads.
Apart from one secondary road (Ouagadougou—Pabré) where data were collected 12 h/day, all
other toll gates were covered 24 h/day.
Figure 3. Data collection in the West African cities of Tamale (a,b) and Ouagadougou (c).
In Ouagadougou, enumerators were positioned at toll gates located on the seven access roads.
Apart from one secondary road (Ouagadougou—Pabré) where data were collected 12 h/day, all other
toll gates were covered 24 h/day.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 6 of 32
In Tamale, data were collected in collaboration with the police at existing road checkpoints located
on the primary and secondary access roads outside the city entrance. The three primary roads were
surveyed 24 h/day, while the two secondary roads with no major food flows during the night were
covered 12 h/day.
Officers at these check points assisted in stopping the vehicles, and facilitated access to the driver
or the driver’s assistant. Vehicles that did not stop or where drivers were reluctant to give information
were recorded as well and the quantity of food estimated where possible. Data were collected for the
period of six days in each season, that is the peak production season (end of rainy season) and the lean
season (end of dry season). The six-day period corresponds to the traditional market system in both
regions (Box 1).
Box 1. Periodic Market Systems in West Africa.
Markets in the former kingdoms of Mossi (in central Burkina Faso) and Dagbon (northern Ghana) form
an integrated, complementary system where markets at different hierarchical levels are held on different market
days. This so-called periodic market system originated in pre-Islamic times and is found throughout West
Africa [
37
]. In northern Ghana and central Burkina Faso, the market week usually lasts three or six days.
This means, that every three or six days, local farmers have the opportunity to market their produce at the
closest village or small town market. At these markets, traders purchase goods which they will typically resell
at the next bigger (urban) market. In urban centres like Tamale and Ouagadougou, markets typically operate
every day receiving goods from various village and small town markets as well as from nearby producers. In the
case of Tamale, the main market with wholesale and retail functions has a specific market day, on which traded
volumes and the food-supplying area increase considerably compared with the other week days.
In Tamale, the survey was carried out for two consecutive years and twice per season.
In Ouagadougou, the survey was conducted in one year covering two seasons (Table 1).
Table 1.
Metadata of the food flow surveys conducted in the West African cities of Ouagadougou
(Burkina Faso) and Tamale (Ghana) between 2013 and 2015.
Survey Periods Season
Total
Number
of Records
Missing Values (%) Total
Incoming
Records (%)
Incoming Records
with Urban
Destination (%)
Quantity/
Unit Source Destination
Tamale
18–24 November 2013 Peak 14,178 2.6 12.0 11.4 60.7 54.7
17–22 November 2014
7–13 April 2014 Lean 13,159 1.5 11.0 10.8 47.8 41.1
16–22 March 2015
Ouagadougou 6–12 May 2014 Lean 6332 0.4 38.0 38.9 57.3 32.0
1–6 December 2014 Peak 6834 0.6 28.6 28.2 67.4 44.2
4.2. Market Survey in Tamale
At the main Tamale wholesale market, food inflows and outflows were recorded 24 h/day,
in addition to the flows recorded on the road. In Ouagadougou, recording inflows and outflows
at the market level was not feasible due to the decentralised market system. In Tamale, the market
survey ensured a comprehensive picture by accounting for flows originating in particular from the
north-eastern part of the country with small towns such as Gushegu and Karaga. The related tertiary
road was not covered in the road survey due to the lack of a police check point. Moreover, on the
market days of the immediate five village markets, the amount of food, loaded into vehicles leaving
for Tamale, was noted. This improved the accuracy of the overall data. The road and market surveys
complement each other, also for example for inner-urban food flows that could not be recorded on
the roads.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 7 of 32
4.3. Secondary Import and Export Data
Official statistics on imported and exported food crops were obtained from the customs authority
in Ouagadougou for the year 2014. These national-level data helped to identify the countries of origin
when the border town or the next port was recorded as a source. For Tamale, aggregated national
data were consulted for that purpose (FAOSTAT; UN Comtrade). Apart from the road survey, the only
other entry point that was not covered by our study was the railway in Ouagadougou. Therefore,
secondary data were acquired from the railway company SITARAIL based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire,
revealing the monthly quantities of goods imported via railway to Burkina Faso. Monthly quantities
were adjusted to represent quantities imported during the period of six days. The airport as an entry
point did not play a role for imported unprocessed food items.
5. Data Processing
Data were entered into a PostgreSQL database with PostGIS extension, capable of storing
and processing large amounts of spatial data [
38
]. Processing and cleaning the data included the
assignment of source and destination to georeferenced locations, standardising units, handling blanks
and metadata. As in Tamale additional data were compiled through the market survey, thereafter
duplicates were identified and removed before analysis. This was done on the basis of metadata such
as date, time, direction and number plate. Measurements of weights and units were taken in the
markets. Quantities were converted to fresh weight by assessing unit weight per transport volume
(sacks, boxes, etc.).
Altogether, around 6000–7000 records of food flows were captured per survey (Table 1).
One vehicle may refer to a single record or to several records if the vehicle carried different types of
food or different units. Missing values related to quantity and unit for all observed flows, including
those captured on the roads and in the market, were minor, representing 0.4%–2.6% of the data.
In Tamale, source and destination were not recorded in about 10% of the cases. In Ouagadougou,
the percentage was higher (see limitations). Incoming records represented between almost 50%–67%
of the data after removing transiting vehicles and outgoing flows. Between one-third and half of the
data contained information on the urban destination and were used for the foodshed analysis. In turn,
in Tamale, about 6% and in Ouagadougou about one-quarter of the incoming vehicles did not include
specific information on the destination.
6. Data Analysis
6.1. Mapping Urban “Foodsheds”
Analogous to a watershed, the term “foodshed” is used to describe the flow of food in the food
system from different sources to a particular end point (in this case the city). While the original
term refers to the food system in general, today it often relates to local food systems connecting local
producers and consumers [
3
]. In this paper, we use the term “foodshed” for the geographical sources
supplying food to the urban population. To map urban foodsheds of different commodities and
seasons, all records with an urban destination were extracted from the dataset. The urban boundary
was based on the densely built-up area. Then, heat maps were created to visualise the sources of
these flows on the basis of relative quantities. Unless stated otherwise, fresh weight was converted to
percentages to allow for comparisons between commodities, regardless of their weight.
The quantification of incoming flows was based on fresh weight and included all incoming
flows irrespective of their source. Major outgoing flows, i.e., food that was exported from the city for
consumption elsewhere, were considered in the interpretation of results.
6.2. Delineating City Regions
The concept of city regions is not new but has been reintroduced as a relevant spatial unit in
the context of urban food systems. The basic premise of a city region food system approach is that
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 8 of 32
urban, peri-urban and nearby rural areas exist in a (non-linear) continuum with multiple types of food
system-related flows and interactions [
9
]. The main interest of the approach is to tackle food-related
challenges such as inadequate nutrition, and food waste by improving the connections between urban
and rural areas (ibid.). Accordingly, the “territorial approach to food systems” links a “geographic
space of analysis to a relevant geographic space of action” [39] (p. 3).
The geographic space of a city region in the context of food systems has not been defined based on
comparable criteria but is considered “a flexible space constructed from meaningful linkages whether
they be political, economic, cultural, physical or ecological” [
9
] (p. 30). However, in order to serve as
a common analytical spatial unit, it is useful to at least conceptualize the extent of such a region, so as
to assess the contribution of sources from the city region to the urban food supply. Therefore, we aimed
at delineating the spatial extent of city region(s). We did that by taking a food system perspective
including the nearby production of food (source) and the consumption of food in the city (destination).
Thus, data were collected at the city scale, but the foodshed analysis reached beyond the local
level and even included international food sources. City regions form a subset of all foodsheds and
encompass food sources from urban and peri-urban areas as well as from the nearby rural hinterland
(Figure 4).
Figure 4.
Spatial scale of data collection and analysis of foodsheds and city regions in Ouagadougou
(Burkina Faso) and Tamale (Ghana).
The relevance of sources around the cities for urban food supply thereby determined the
boundary setting. Given the magnitude of food items, they were grouped into clusters using common
classifications schemes. Apart from the basic food groups suggested by FAO (1964) [
40
], we also
considered household expenditure data as an alternative option given that a typical household spends
about half of the income earned on food in both cities [
41
,
42
]. The approach covered 92% of the food
urban dwellers pay for (apart from processed food and beverages/water) as documented in the World
Bank consumption database which is based on national household surveys [43].
Thus, food items were included in the analysis on the basis of three different ways:
(1)
All crops were considered (Figures 14 and 15).
(2)
Based on absolute fresh weight, the most common crops in each food group were selected for
each city [40] (Figures 14 and 15; Appendix Table A1).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 9 of 32
(3) The three to five highest-ranking food groups in terms of household expenditure were considered
(Figures A1 and A2; Table A2).
In addition, the number of records was plotted on the distance gradient as a proxy for the number
of vehicles entering the city.
7. Limitations
On the road, the passage of all vehicles apart from big passenger busses was recorded.
In Ouagadougou, railway cargo goods were covered by official statistics provided by the railway
company, but not goods hand-carried into the city by train passengers. Unlike in Tamale,
in Ouagadougou, only goods coming from beyond the check points were noted down. Therefore
urban production and some parts of peri-urban production were not considered.
During the first lean season survey in Ouagadougou, we were not permitted to work at the
Ouagadougou-Loumbila toll gate (northeast of Ouagadougou). Therefore, vehicles and loads were
recorded without interacting with the drivers. As a result, locations (source and destination) could
not be recorded and food quantities were estimated by our enumerators based on a rigorous training.
Supported by expert information, source locations were assigned to recorded flows based on the type
of food and the type of vehicle.
Road surveys do not allow tracking down the exact location of production as drivers may not
know these locations. However, we assumed that in general production—of perishable goods and
basic staples in particular—took place close to the marketplace from where goods were transported to
the city, and which, as the starting point of each journey, was recorded. In case of cities with major
wholesale markets (e.g., Techiman, Ghana), ports or border towns being recorded as sources, secondary
data helped tracking back the likely country of origin.
Having covered six days per season may, of course, not reflect the entire season well,
also considering that seasonality varies by crop. The data were not extrapolated for the year as
the aim of the study was not to quantify overall urban food supply such as done by Drechsel et al.
(2007) [
25
] but to analyse food sources and foodsheds, and to compare urban supply within distinct
periods. Additional information was gathered on likely events which could have affected food flows,
to exclude factors such as droughts or flooding.
8. Results and Discussion
Urban Foodsheds
Both countries heavily rely on cereals as the main source of calories. In terms of weight, maize
and rice were the most important cereals entering the cities, followed by millet, sorghum and wheat
(Triticum aestivum L.; Figures 5and 6). In Burkina Faso, millet, maize, and sorghum are the most
important food commodities for household consumption [
44
]. While millet is the major staple for
the most vulnerable households, sorghum and maize are consumed by the majority of households
(ibid.). The relatively small incoming quantities of millet and sorghum as compared with maize
and rice can be attributed to the fact that these crops are typical subsistence crops. While most of
the maize was supplied by national sources, more than 90% of the rice was imported, out of which
approximately 70% came from Côte d’Ivoire to Burkina Faso via railway as revealed by secondary
data. It is, however, likely that rice imported via railway also supplies other urban centres along the
route such as Bobo-Dioulasso. Therefore, the figure probably overestimates the quantity of imports
and has to be treated with care. Elbehri (2013) [
17
] and FAOSTAT (2013) [
45
] reported smaller numbers
at the national scale: According to FAOSTAT (2013) [
45
], the share of imports in relation to rice supply
was about 60% for the year 2013. Elbehri (2013) [
17
] stated a decrease of the proportion of rice supply
covered by domestic production from 70% in the mid-1990s to less than 30% today. Another likely
reason for the gap between our results and figures in the literature stems from the fact that imported rice
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 10 of 32
is being transported mainly to the capital from where it is redistributed to other places in the country.
Our data showed that more than 60% of the rice, likely most of it imported, left Ouagadougou again.
The resulting dependence on imports can be attributed to a rising consumption of rice particularly
in urban centres and a relatively lower productivity [
17
]. According to our data, imported rice passed
mainly through the neighbouring country of Côte d’Ivoire that has historically been the major transit
route for exports from, and imports to, the landlocked country [
32
]. Smaller quantities also passed
through Togo and Ghana.
As in Burkina Faso, in Ghana, rice is also associated with an urban diet, with per capita
consumption of rice in urban areas accounting for about 76% of total rice consumption (CARD,
2010 cited by [
46
]). Ghana is also far from self-sufficient for rice, importing more than 50% of its
domestic demand in 2013 [
45
], even though rice production has increased in the recent decade.
Between 2003 and 2013, it has more than doubled from 238,810 to 569,524 tonnes. Although production
takes place in all regions of the country, the Northern Region is a major production area providing
almost 40% of the domestic supply [
46
]. The geographical proximity of production may be the reason
for a higher level of self-sufficiency in Tamale as compared with the national average. According to our
data, 14%–20% of the rice was imported in the lean and peak season, respectively. Other cereals—apart
from wheat—were also produced in close vicinity to the city. Warehouses in the source communities
ensure stable supply across seasons. Cereals, foremost maize, and also other staples such as yam,
beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) were exported from Tamale to the
central and southern parts of the country in both seasons. The importance of these staples for Tamale
as compared with Ouagadougou becomes obvious when comparing the incoming quantities per capita
(Figure A7).
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 10 of 32
places in the country. Our data showed that more than 60% of the rice, likely most of it imported,
leaves Ouagadougou again.
The resulting dependence on imports can be attributed to a rising consumption of rice
particularly in urban centres and a relatively lower productivity [17]. According to our data,
imported rice passed mainly through the neighbouring country of Côte d’Ivoire that has historically
been the major transit route for exports from, and imports to, the landlocked country [32]. Smaller
quantities also passed through Togo and Ghana.
As in Burkina Faso, in Ghana, rice is also associated with an urban diet, with per capita
consumption of rice in urban areas accounting for about 76% of total rice consumption (CARD, 2010
cited by [46]). Ghana is also far from self-sufficient for rice, importing more than 50% of its domestic
demand in 2013 [45], even though rice production has increased in the recent decade. Between 2003
and 2013, it has more than doubled from 238,810 to 569,524 tonnes. Although production takes place
in all regions of the country, the Northern Region is a major production area providing almost 40%
of the domestic supply [46]. The geographical proximity of production may be the reason for a
higher level of self-sufficiency in Tamale as compared with the national average. According to our
data, 14%–20% of the rice was imported in the lean and peak season, respectively. Other
cereals—apart from wheat—were also produced in close vicinity to the city. Warehouses in the
source communities ensure stable supply across seasons. Cereals, foremost maize, and also other
staples such as yam, beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) were exported
from Tamale to the central and southern parts of the country in both seasons. The importance of
these staples for Tamale as compared with Ouagadougou becomes obvious when comparing the
incoming quantities per capita (Figure A7).
Figure 5. Seasonal cereal foodsheds for Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and daily incoming quantities
(in tonnes).
Figure 5.
Seasonal cereal foodsheds for Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and daily incoming quantities
(in metric tonnes).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 11 of 32
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 11 of 32
Figure 6. Seasonal cereal foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
For Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso was a major supplier of maize (in both seasons) and millet
(particularly in the lean season). The western part of the country is known as a surplus production
area for cereals [47]. Apart from Bobo Dioulasso, millet also came from Pouytenga in the peak season
and from Fada N’Gourma in the lean season. These towns are important wholesale markets,
attracting produce from the millet surplus areas in the east (as confirmed by [26]), and facilitating
cross-border trade. For instance, cereal trade flows between Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger are
directed through the large cross-border market in Pouytenga [48]. Our data confirm that
considerable quantities of maize left Ouagadougou for Niger, while millet was exported to coastal
countries.
Cross-border trade in West Africa is considered to be far below its potential extent, considering
the diversity of agroecological zones. This is due to high transaction costs caused by limited
transport and communication infrastructures, fragmented regional markets and lack of predictable
trade policies ([17]; Box 2). Even though ECOWAS was established to promote free trade, numerous
barriers prevent translating the official commitment into practice [17].
Box 2. Transport Costs and Prices in West Africa.
In West Africa, there are manifold factors increasing transport costs and causing delays on
the roads including slow and costly trade procedures and informal taxation at the borders [17].
According to OECD (2013) [49], transportation costs even exceed tariffs in cost and delays on
border crossings; further, coordination problems and harassments significantly contribute to the
total transport costs. As a response, the West Africa Trade Hub (WATH) project was funded to
provide information on, and to fight, road harassment ([50]; Figure 7). The WATH project found
that in Burkina Faso and Ghana there are, on average, five control points per 100 km and that the
average amount of bribe cost per 100 km was USD38 for Burkina Faso and USD10 for Ghana. The
average time spent at the control points per 100 km was 45 min for Burkina Faso and 35 min for
Ghana [51]. That means that for a trip from Accra to Ouagadougou, drivers have to spend, on
average, USD146 on informal payments, and have to spend more than 6 hours on more than 50
check points, the border not included.
In addition, cartels that control transport services charge high transport prices despite an aged
vehicle fleet and poor services, resulting in far higher prices than in developed countries [52]. Thus,
even if external measures are being taken such as lowering fuel prices to reduce transport costs, it
would not have an impact on the price which is determined by the trucking market.
Figure 6. Seasonal cereal foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in metric tonnes).
For Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso was a major supplier of maize (in both seasons) and millet
(particularly in the lean season). The western part of the country is known as a surplus production
area for cereals [
47
]. Apart from Bobo Dioulasso, millet also came from Pouytenga in the peak
season and from Fada N’Gourma in the lean season. These towns are important wholesale markets,
attracting produce from the millet surplus areas in the east (as confirmed by Haggblade et al., 2012 [
26
]),
and facilitating cross-border trade. For instance, cereal trade flows between Burkina Faso, Ghana
and Niger are directed through the large cross-border market in Pouytenga [48]. Our data confirmed
that considerable quantities of maize left Ouagadougou for Niger, while millet was exported to
coastal countries.
Cross-border trade in West Africa is considered to be far below its potential extent, considering the
diversity of agroecological zones. This is due to high transaction costs caused by limited transport and
communication infrastructures, fragmented regional markets and lack of predictable trade policies ([
17
];
Box 2). Even though ECOWAS was established to promote free trade, numerous barriers prevent
translating the official commitment into practice [17].
Box 2. Transport Costs and Prices in West Africa.
In West Africa, there are manifold factors increasing transport costs and causing delays on the roads including
slow and costly trade procedures and informal taxation at the borders [
17
]. According to OECD (2013) [
49
],
transportation costs even exceed tariffs in cost and delays on border crossings; further, coordination problems
and harassments significantly contribute to the total transport costs. As a response, the West Africa Trade Hub
(WATH) project was funded to provide information on, and to fight, road harassment ([
50
]; Figure 7). The WATH
project found that in Burkina Faso and Ghana there are, on average, five control points per 100 km and that the
average amount of bribe cost per 100 km was USD38 for Burkina Faso and USD10 for Ghana. The average time
spent at the control points per 100 km was 45 min for Burkina Faso and 35 min for Ghana [
51
]. That means
that for a trip from Accra to Ouagadougou, drivers have to spend, on average, USD146 on informal payments,
and have to spend more than 6 hours on more than 50 check points, the border not included.
In addition, cartels that control transport services charge high transport prices despite an aged vehicle fleet
and poor services, resulting in far higher prices than in developed countries [
52
]. Thus, even if external measures
are being taken such as lowering fuel prices to reduce transport costs, it would not have an impact on the price
which is determined by the trucking market.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 12 of 32
Fish plays an important role in both the Burkinabe and Ghanaian diets and contributes to
the necessary protein intake given the heavy reliance on staple crops [
53
]. In Burkina Faso, urban
households spend 11% of all expenditure for (unprocessed) food on fish, while households in Ghana
even spend almost one quarter of their food expenditure on fish (Table A2). Ghana is one of the few
countries in the world where fish accounts for more than 50% of the population’s animal protein intake
as compared with the world average of 17% [
53
]. Therefore, it is not surprising that fish dominated
the incoming animal sources in both cities (Figures 8and 9). However, outgoing flows need to be
considered, whereby in Ouagadougou up to 28% of the fish left the city again for other places in the
country. In Ouagadougou, the greater part of the fish was imported from Senegal and Mali (dry fish)
as well as from Ghana (fresh fish). However, since Ghana cannot meet its own fish demand by the
domestic catch, it is likely that fish coming from Ghana had its origin elsewhere. National data show
that currently, in Ghana, two-thirds of domestic consumption is covered by domestic supply, while
one-third is met by imports [
54
]. One-quarter of the total domestic fish catch in Ghana is met by inland
fishery (ibid.). According to UN Comtrade (2015) [
55
], the major exporting countries in 2015 were EU
countries (50%) and Togo (39%). Our results revealed that in Tamale, 83%–87% of the supply passed
through the port of Tema and a small proportion also originated from central Ghana.
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 12 of 32
Fish plays an important role in both the Burkinabe and Ghanaian diets and contributes to the
necessary protein intake given the heavy reliance on staple crops [53]. In Burkina Faso, urban
households spend 11% of all expenditure for (unprocessed) food on fish, while households in Ghana
even spend almost one quarter of their food expenditure on fish (Table A2). Ghana is one of the few
countries in the world where fish accounts for more than 50% of the population’s animal protein
intake as compared with the world average of 17% [53]. Therefore, it is not surprising that fish
dominated the incoming animal sources in both cities (Figures 8 and 9). However, outgoing flows
need to be considered, whereby in Ouagadougou up to 28% of the fish left the city again for other
places in the country. In Ouagadougou, the greater part of the fish was imported from Senegal and
Mali (dry fish) as well as from Ghana (fresh fish). However, since Ghana cannot meet its own fish
demand by the domestic catch, it is likely that fish coming from Ghana has its origin elsewhere.
National data showed that currently, in Ghana, two-thirds of domestic consumption can be covered
by domestic supply, while one-third is met by imports [54]. One-quarter of the total domestic fish
catch in Ghana is met by inland fishery (ibid.). According to UN Comtrade (2015) [55], the major
exporting countries in 2015 were EU countries (50%) and Togo (39%). Our results revealed that in
Tamale, 83%–87% of the supply passed through Tema, out of which probably the greater part was
imported, and a small proportion also originated from central Ghana.
Figure 7. Billboard to fight corruption along the Tema-Ouagadougou highway [56].
Figure 7. Billboard to fight corruption along the Tema-Ouagadougou highway [56].
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 13 of 32
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 13 of 32
Figure 8. Seasonal livestock foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
Figure 9. Seasonal livestock foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
Figure 8.
Seasonal livestock foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities (in metric tonnes).
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 13 of 32
Figure 8. Seasonal livestock foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
Figure 9. Seasonal livestock foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
Figure 9. Seasonal livestock foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in metric tonnes).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 14 of 32
The livestock sector is a major pillar of Burkina Faso’s economy contributing more than
18.6% (including forestry and fisheries) to the country’s GDP and accounting for 25% of its export
earnings [
30
]. Almost 300 cows entered Ouagadougou daily during the peak season. The main source
was Dori in the northeast of the country, followed by Yako and Ouahigouya north of Ouagadougou.
In the lean season, only half the cattle head entered the city as compared with the peak season. While
Sahelian countries have good conditions producing domestic ruminants, the coastal countries are
better suited for short-cycle livestock (poultry and pigs), especially in urban and peri-urban zones [
17
].
Accordingly, more than half the cattle head were exported, to Parakou (northern Benin), southern
Ghana and Pouytenga, a city that serves as a trade hub between Burkina Faso, Niger and Benin.
Ghana’s cattle imports has risen five-fold in five years from 7192 head in 1993 to 35,946 in 1998,
with Burkina Faso and to a lesser extent Niger as the two main sources [
57
]. Live cattle as well as small
ruminants entering Tamale, however, came not from Burkina Faso, but from the surrounding areas.
Northern Ghana is also suitable for livestock-keeping and even exported to the central and southern
parts of the country; however, the main livestock trade occurred between Burkina Faso and the coastal
cities of Ghana, passing through Tamale. Not only cattle but also small ruminants (sheep and goats)
were exported from Burkina Faso to southern Ghana. They originated from dispersed sources in the
central part of the country. In general, livestock-keeping is a potential source of income rather than for
self-consumption and can be considered a risk-reducing strategy [
57
]. Therefore, it is difficult to assess
the amount of meat that is being consumed in the two cities using livestock flow data. For example,
for Ouagadougou, cattle are fattened in the city and it is only weeks later that they are exported to
other countries. Consumption data may be a more reliable indicator of meat consumption.
Yet, generally, demand for livestock products including poultry is expanding in West Africa as
a result of population growth, increased urbanisation, and rising incomes [
58
]. In many West African
countries, the growing demand for poultry has been met by cheap poultry imports from Europe which
was critically discussed given the “huge, untapped domestic poultry industry” in the region [
17
]
(p. 32). This was made possible after the introduction of the Common External Tariff (CET) in West
Africa that reduced the tariff rate to 20% [
59
]. It has had differing effects on poultry markets in the
region, with some countries experiencing large import flows of frozen poultry such as Ghana and
others like Burkina Faso receiving very little [
58
]. Schneider et al. (2010) [
59
] noted that despite similar
import regulations and tariffs domestic production of chicken accounted for almost 100% of total
consumption in Burkina Faso. This is reflected by the large inflow of live chicken into Ouagadougou.
Our data showed that 16,000 chicken and 1000 guinea fowls entered the city daily, mostly by motorbike
(Figure 10). Schneider et al. (2010) [
59
] assumed that the country’s landlocked location, and the far
distance to the next port prevented the influx of frozen poultry from Europe. Hence, trade barriers
including high transport costs can, in some cases, also protect domestic production. On the other
hand, Ghana imports more than half of its poultry supply [
59
] despite a flourishing poultry industry
in the late 1980s [
60
]. This is reflected in the small number of chicken entering the city per day:
120–770 chicken and 300–245 guinea fowls in the peak and lean season, respectively.
Apart from onion (Allium cepa L.), urban vegetable supply in Ouagadougou was met by domestic
production, albeit with large seasonal differences (Figure 11). In the peak season, vegetables entering
the city stemmed from surrounding areas, while in the lean season, vegetables were produced
in various locations throughout the country. It is likely that peri-urban areas of Ouagadougou
and the rural hinterland take advantage of the proximity to the urban market in the peak season
when weather conditions allow the cultivation of vegetables almost everywhere. In the lean
season, however, vegetable production is limited to locations where irrigation water is available.
Tomato
(Lycopersicon esculentum L.)
was produced in irrigation schemes such as in Yako, Titao,
Kongoussi, while eggplant
(Solanum melongena L.)
as well as zucchini
(Cucurbita pepo L.)
came from
irrigation schemes close-by, such as from Loumbila, Ziniare, and Zitenga. Most of the cabbage
(Brassica oleracea var. capitate L.)
was provided by areas close to Bobo Dioulasso. Part of the onion
supply was produced in the country, and sourced from mainly Fada N’Gourma and Koupéla;
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 15 of 32
but especially in the lean season the amount of imported onion from Niger exceeded domestic
supply. Secondary import data at national scale indicate that apart from the largest exporter, Niger,
onion is further imported from the Netherlands and Morocco to Burkina Faso. On the other hand,
onion production in Burkina Faso is increasing and exports exceed the amount of imported onion [
45
].
Our data revealed that in both seasons, onions left the city again to Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Our data
also showed that large volumes of onion moved from Niger and Burkina Faso to central and southern
Ghana, passing through Ouagadougou and Tamale. Hence, no onions from Burkina Faso were
recorded to end in Tamale and only a small part of the onion supply entering Tamale came from Niger.
Informal interviews indicated that even though onions from Niger are appreciated by the customers,
trade relationships are not yet well established between traders in Tamale and Niger. For example,
traders on the Tamale market would be granted credit by their long-known supplier from Bawku in
North Ghana while they had to pay for onions from Niger in cash (personal communication).
Apart from onion, tomato was traded across borders. According to secondary customs data,
tomato produced in Burkina Faso in irrigated agriculture during the lean season was exported mainly
to Ghana and Benin. Turnover in Ouagadougou before continuing to Ghana may explain the higher
quantities of incoming tomato to Ouagadougou during this season. This is reflected in our data:
Tamale sourced 84% of its tomato from Burkina Faso in the lean season (Figure 12). In the peak season,
central Ghana, in particular Techiman and surrounding communities, provided fresh tomato from
rain-fed cultivation. Market data collected on a monthly basis revealed that in January and February,
Northern Ghana with its towns Navrongo and Bawku are additional suppliers in the lean season.
However, the tomato industry in Northern Ghana has experienced a decline in the past years [
61
63
].
Tomato from Burkina Faso is considered of superior storage quality and therefore has higher retail
prices [
64
] which was confirmed by informal interviews. Moreover, tomato paste imports surged in
the 2000s, from 24,654 tonnes in 2003 to 109,513 tonnes in 2013, providing a low-cost substitute to
fresh tomato. Other vegetables supplying Tamale such as hot pepper (Capsicum spp. L.) and okra
(Abelmoschus esculentus L.) were produced in close vicinity to the city and the only crop that was only
available seasonally was avocado (Persea americana L.) coming from the central part of Ghana as well
as cabbage albeit with hardly any seasonal variaton.
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 15 of 32
the lean season the amount of imported onions from Niger exceeded domestic supply. Secondary
import data at national scale indicate that apart from the largest exporter, Niger, onions are further
imported from the Netherlands and Morocco to Burkina Faso. On the other hand, onion production
in Burkina Faso is increasing and exports exceed the amount of imported onions [45]. Our data
revealed that in both seasons, onions left the city again to Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Our data also
showed that large volumes of onions moved from Niger and Burkina Faso to central and southern
Ghana, passing through Ouagadougou and Tamale. Hence, no onions from Burkina Faso were
recorded to end in Tamale and only a small part of the onion supply entering Tamale came from
Niger. Informal interviews indicated that even though onions from Niger are appreciated by the
customers, trade relationships are not yet well established between traders in Tamale and Niger. For
example, traders on the Tamale market would be granted credit by their long-known supplier from
Bawku in North Ghana while they had to pay for onions from Niger in cash (personal
communication).
Apart from onion, tomato was traded across borders. According to secondary customs data,
tomatoes produced in Burkina Faso in irrigated agriculture during the lean season were exported
mainly to Ghana and Benin. Turnover in Ouagadougou before continuing to Ghana may explain the
higher quantities of incoming tomatoes to Ouagadougou during this season. This is reflected in our
data: Tamale sourced 84% of its tomatoes from Burkina Faso in the lean season (Figure 12). In the
peak season, central Ghana, in particular Techiman and surrounding communities, provided fresh
tomatoes from rain-fed cultivation. Market data collected on a monthly basis revealed that in
January and February, Northern Ghana with its towns Navrongo and Bawku are additional
suppliers in the lean season. However, the tomato industry in Northern Ghana has experienced a
decline in the past years [61–63]. Tomato from Burkina Faso is considered having a superior storage
quality and therefore attracts higher retail prices [64] which was confirmed by informal interviews.
Moreover, tomato paste imports surged in the 2000s, from 24,654 tonnes in 2003 to 109,513 tonnes in
2013, providing a low-cost substitute to fresh tomatoes. Other vegetables supplying Tamale such as
hot pepper (Capsicum spp. L.) and okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) were produced in close vicinity to
the city and the only crop that was only available seasonally was avocado (Persea americana L.)
coming from the central part of Ghana as well as cabbage albeit with hardly any seasonal variaton.
Figure 10. The number of chickens on a motorbike on an access road to Ouagadougou is recorded.
Figure 10. The number of chickens on a motorbike on an access road to Ouagadougou is recorded.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 16 of 32
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 16 of 32
Figure 11. Seasonal vegetable foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities (in
tonnes).
Figure 12. Seasonal vegetable foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
For Tamale, urban agricultural production could be captured by data collected at the inner
urban market. Data revealed that urban agriculture supplied traditional leafy vegetables such as jute
mallow (Corchorus spp. L.), roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) and amaranth (Amaranthus L.) as well as
exotic leaf vegetables such as lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitate L.) (Figure 13). Leaves take a
substantial part of traditional diets and are an important source of Vitamin A. These were not the
Figure 11.
Seasonal vegetable foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities
(in metric tonnes).
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 16 of 32
Figure 11. Seasonal vegetable foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities (in
tonnes).
Figure 12. Seasonal vegetable foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
For Tamale, urban agricultural production could be captured by data collected at the inner
urban market. Data revealed that urban agriculture supplied traditional leafy vegetables such as jute
mallow (Corchorus spp. L.), roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) and amaranth (Amaranthus L.) as well as
exotic leaf vegetables such as lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitate L.) (Figure 13). Leaves take a
substantial part of traditional diets and are an important source of Vitamin A. These were not the
Figure 12. Seasonal vegetable foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in metric tonnes).
For Tamale, urban agricultural production could be captured by data collected at the inner urban
market. These data revealed that urban agriculture supplied traditional leafy vegetables such as jute
mallow (Corchorus spp. L.), roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) and amaranth (Amaranthus L.) as well as exotic
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 17 of 32
leaf vegetables such as lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitate L.; Figure 13). Leaves take a substantial part of
traditional diets and are an important source of Vitamin A. These were not the only crops cultivated in
urban areas but the only ones that were supplied exclusively by urban farming. The perishable nature
of the produce does not allow for long transport routes due to the lack of cool storage. Hence, crops
produced in urban areas benefit from close proximity to the urban market. This has been documented
for many African and Southeast Asian cities [
65
] in general and for Tamale and Ouagadougou in
particular [
33
]. According to Drechsel and Keraita (2014) [
66
], 80% of the cabbage supply was provided
by urban agriculture in Tamale. This could not be confirmed by our data according to which only 3.6%
and 6.2% of cabbage was sourced from within the urban area in the lean and peak season, respectively.
It has to be noted that incoming quantities are rather conservative estimates, since only those volumes
entering the main marketplace in Tamale were captured, while street sellers have not been considered
who may market a considerable proportion of the leafy vegetables. Moreover, backyard gardening for
subsistence as well as for commercial purposes is common [33].
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 17 of 32
only crops cultivated in urban areas but the only ones that were supplied exclusively by urban
farming. The perishable nature of the produce does not allow for long transport routes due to the
lack of cool storage. Hence, crops produced in urban areas benefit from close proximity to the urban
market. This has been documented for many African and Southeast Asian cities [65] in general and
for Tamale and Ouagadougou in particular [33]. According to Drechsel and Keraita (2014) [66], 80%
of the cabbage supply was provided by urban agriculture in Tamale. This could not be confirmed by
our data according to which only 3.6% and 6.2% of cabbage was sourced from within the urban area
in the lean and peak season, respectively. It has to be noted that incoming quantities are rather
conservative estimates, since only those volumes entering the main marketplace in Tamale were
captured, while street sellers have not been considered who may market a considerable proportion
of the leafy vegetables. Moreover, backyard gardening for subsistence as well as for commercial
purposes is common [33].
Figure 13. Seasonal leafy vegetable foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in kg).
9. City Region Food Systems
Due to lack of a common definition, we approached the city region considering the importance
of surrounding areas for urban food supply. Specifically, we considered source locations as well as
relative quantities provided by those locations to the urban population. This way, places of
production as well as places of consumption are considered. Thus, the entire food system is taken
into account, including all stages in the food chain from production to consumption. Moreover, we
considered different groups of food items based on common classification schemes such as the
FAO-based food groups and the most important food groups based on household food expenditure
for urban populations in each country.
Results showed for both cities clear changes in the cumulative contribution of food along a
distance gradient (Figures 14 and 15). There is a steep increase of contributions in short distances from
the city centre and after a certain distance the growth declines. The data showed similar trends no
matter which grouping was used (see Figures A1 and A2 for grouping based on household
expenditure). This indicates that a variety of the most relevant crops come from the same source
locations.
Figure 13. Seasonal leafy vegetable foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in kg).
9. City Region Food Systems
Due to lack of a common definition, we approached the city region considering the importance of
surrounding areas for urban food supply. Specifically, we considered source locations as well as relative
quantities provided by those locations to the urban population. This way, places of production as well
as places of consumption are considered. Thus, the entire food system is taken into account, including
all stages in the food chain from production to consumption. Moreover, we considered different
groups of food items based on common classification schemes such as the FAO-based food groups
and the most important food groups based on household food expenditure for urban populations in
each country.
Results showed for both cities clear changes in the cumulative contribution of food along a distance
gradient (Figures 14 and 15). There is a steep increase of contributions in short distances from the
city centre and after a certain distance the growth declines. The data showed similar trends no matter
which grouping was used (see Figures A1 and A2 for grouping based on household expenditure).
This indicates that a variety of the most relevant crops come from the same source locations.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 18 of 32
In Ouagadougou, the distance from the urban centre at which the contribution of food items
decreases was reached at 50 km and included 30%–32% of all crops and 20% of the major crops
(Figure 14). For Tamale, the cut was already reached at 30 km, likely due to the smaller size of the
city and the corresponding smaller area it needs to supply 30% of the total food needs (Figure 15).
Within that area 30%–40% of all food and 26%–28% of the major food was sourced. Another cut
was reached at 100 and 105 km, respectively, in both cities. In Ouagadougou, 50%–55% of all and
37%–45% of the major food items came from within a radius of 105 km, while in Tamale the proportion
ranged from 50%–58%. In Tamale, 80%–90% of food items were sourced within a distance of 300 km.
In Ouagadougou, the proportion was smaller with 60%–80% of food originating from within the
300 km radius.
Thus, two distance boundaries are suggested for the extent of city regions, i.e., the 30% city region
(CR) and the 50% city region, named according to their lean-season contribution of all crops.
Figure 14.
Cumulative food contribution along a distance gradient in Ouagadougou in 2014. The grey
vertical lines indicate the 30% and the 50% city region on the basis of the lean season supply of all crops.
1
Figure 14. Cumulative food contribution along a distance gradient in Ouagadougou in 2014. The grey
vertical lines indicate the 30% and the 50% city region on the basis of the lean season supply of all
crops.
Figure 15. Cumulative food contribution along a distance gradient in Tamale in 2013–2105. The grey
vertical lines indicate the 30% and the 50% city region on the basis of the lean season supply of all
crops.
Figure 15.
Cumulative food contribution along a distance gradient in Tamale in 2013–2015. The grey
vertical lines indicate the 30% and the 50% city region on the basis of the lean season supply of all crops.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 19 of 32
While in Ouagadougou almost one-third of the food originated from the 50 km radius (30% city
region), the number of records reached up to 50% (in the peak season). In Tamale, in the peak season,
even up to 60% of all records came from within the 30% city region, as compared with 40% of the food
quantities. Within a distance of 100 km, the ratio rose to 88% of the records.
This means that within the 30% city region in both cities, about half of the interactions including the
exchange of food, people and money take place. In turn, this means that on average, smaller quantities
per vehicle recorded enter the city from within that area while larger quantities are transported from
further away. This is reflected by the means of transport used for carrying food. In Ouagadougou,
within the 30% city region, small vehicles (such as bicycles, motorbikes and tricycles, not considering
mini buses) constituted 89% of the records, carrying 20% of the weight-based quantity to different
markets in the city (Figure 16). In Tamale, small vehicles accounted for 82% of the vehicles entering
the city, carrying 62% of the overall food into the city. This is due to the large number of motorised
tricycles in Tamale that carried almost half of the food from the 30% city region into the city, which is
more than that carried by trucks and articulators. The share of small vehicles as well as the quantities
they transported decreased by the area that is considered. While small distances can be covered by
small vehicles, only larger-scale transportation (large-scale production or assembling the produce at
a wholesale market) can cover longer distances. However, it means that small-scale producers in the
vicinity of the city have the opportunity to market their produce on urban markets. Thus, distance is
a determining factor of market access which according to OECD (2013, p. 116) [
49
] is “an economic
concept as much as a physical one”, indicating “how easily goods are transported, services are
delivered and information, capital and labour move between two locations”.
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 19 of 32
In terms of the number of records, nearby sources play a greater role. While in Ouagadougou
almost one-third of the food originated from the 50 km radius (30% city region), the number of
records reached up to 50% (in the peak season). In Tamale, in the peak season, even up to 60% of all
records had their source in the 30% city region, as compared with 40% of the food quantities. Within
a distance of 100 km, the ratio rose to 88% of the records.
This means that within the 30% city region in both cities, about half of the interactions including
the exchange of food, people and money take place. In turn, this means that on average, smaller
quantities per vehicle recorded enter the city from within that area while larger quantities are
transported from further away. This is reflected by the means of transport used for the carrying
food. In Ouagadougou, within the 30% city region, small vehicles (such as bicycles, motorbikes and
tricycles, not considering mini buses) constituted 89% of the records, carrying 20% of the
weight-based quantity to different markets in the city (Figure 16). In Tamale, small vehicles
accounted for 82% of the vehicles entering the city, carrying 62% of the overall food into the city.
This is due to the large number of motorised tricycles in Tamale that carry almost half of the food
from the 30% city region into the city, which is more than carried by trucks and articulators. The
share of small vehicles as well as the quantities they transport decrease by the area that is
considered. While small distances can be covered by small vehicles, only larger-scale transportation
(large-scale production or assembling the produce at a wholesale market) can cover longer distances.
However, it means that small scale producers in the vicinity of the city have the opportunity to
market their produce on urban markets. Thus, distance is a determining factor of market access
which according to OECD (2013, p. 116) [49] is “an economic concept as much as a physical one”,
indicating “how easily goods are transported, services are delivered and information, capital and
labour move between two locations”.
Figure 16. Contribution of small vehicles to overall food supply from the 30%, and the 50% city
region and all sources in Tamale and Ouagadougou (in terms of weight-based quantity as well as the
number of records; mean of peak and lean values).
Obviously, the boundaries of a city region do not follow concentric radii but include the major
supplying areas, and are more extensive along roads. Therefore, a city region can also extend
towards one direction and form a rather oblong shape. We drew the boundary along the major
source locations as indicated by their contribution to urban food supply. The number of records
stemming from one source location further reflects the importance of a location, even of an area for
urban food supply. As the maps (Figures 17 and 18) show, the extents of the city region—whether
containing 10%, 30% or 50% of the supplied food—are not “flat” areas, but intensities regarding the
quantitative contribution as well as the number of records differ within the zone. In Tamale, within
Figure 16.
Contribution of small vehicles to overall food supply from the 30%, and the 50% city region
and all sources in Tamale and Ouagadougou (in terms of weight-based quantity as well as the number
of records; mean of peak and lean values).
Obviously, the boundaries of a city region do not follow concentric radii but include the major
supply areas, and are more extensive along roads. Therefore, a city region can also extend towards one
direction and form a rather oblong shape. We drew the boundary along the major source locations
as indicated by their contribution to urban food supply. The number of records from one source
location further reflects the importance of a location, even of an area for urban food supply. As the
maps (Figures 17 and 18) show, the extents of the city region—whether containing 10%, 30% or 50%
of the supplied food—are not “flat” areas, but the quantitative contribution of food as well as the
number of records vary within the zone. In Tamale, within the 30% city region, peri-urban villages
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 20 of 32
with marketplaces contributed the most, while the 50% city region clearly goes beyond what can be
considered peri-urban in the case of Tamale [
67
]. The villages and small towns located northeast
of Tamale in the 50% city region are part of the north-eastern periodic market system and have
traditionally provided local produce, in particular cereals, to Tamale [68].
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 20 of 32
the 30% city region, peri-urban villages with marketplaces contribute the most, while the 50% city
region clearly goes beyond what can be considered peri-urban in the case of Tamale [67]. The
villages and small towns located northeast of Tamale in the 50% city region are part of the
north-eastern periodic market system and have traditionally provided local produce, in particular
cereals, to Tamale [68].
Figure 17. Extents of the city region of Ouagadougou in the lean season 2014 (based on quantitative
contributions and number of records).
Figure 18. Extents of the city region of Tamale in the lean seasons 2014/2015 (based on quantitative
contributions and number of records).
In terms of type of food, the 10%, 30% and 50% city regions showed different crop-specific
contributions (Figure 19). Supply of fish does not play a role in either city region, and rice in
Ouagadougou is mainly coming from outside the city region. However, the otherwise large variety
highlights the actual importance of these areas for urban food supply. For Ouagadougou, the city
Figure 17.
Extents of the city region of Ouagadougou in the lean season 2014 (based on quantitative
contributions and number of records).
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 20 of 32
the 30% city region, peri-urban villages with marketplaces contribute the most, while the 50% city
region clearly goes beyond what can be considered peri-urban in the case of Tamale [67]. The
villages and small towns located northeast of Tamale in the 50% city region are part of the
north-eastern periodic market system and have traditionally provided local produce, in particular
cereals, to Tamale [68].
Figure 17. Extents of the city region of Ouagadougou in the lean season 2014 (based on quantitative
contributions and number of records).
Figure 18. Extents of the city region of Tamale in the lean seasons 2014/2015 (based on quantitative
contributions and number of records).
In terms of type of food, the 10%, 30% and 50% city regions showed different crop-specific
contributions (Figure 19). Supply of fish does not play a role in either city region, and rice in
Ouagadougou is mainly coming from outside the city region. However, the otherwise large variety
highlights the actual importance of these areas for urban food supply. For Ouagadougou, the city
Figure 18.
Extents of the city region of Tamale in the lean seasons 2014/2015 (based on quantitative
contributions and number of records).
In terms of type of food, the 10%, 30% and 50% city regions show different crop-specific
contributions (Figure 19). Supply of fish did not play a role in either city region, and rice in
Ouagadougou was mainly coming from outside the city region. However, the otherwise large
variety highlights the actual importance of these areas for urban food supply. For Ouagadougou,
the city region provided the majority of vegetables, while in Tamale especially the livestock and
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 21 of 32
cereal sectors dominated the city regions. Leafy vegetables stemmed from the 10% and 30% city
region, i.e., from urban and peri-urban agriculture. In Ouagadougou, data on leafy vegetables are
not complete (including only jute mallow and roselle) since urban agricultural production was not
captured. However, other studies confirmed the production of leafy vegetables in the city [33].
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 21 of 32
region provides the majority of vegetables, while in Tamale especially the livestock and cereal
sectors are dominant in the city regions. Leafy vegetables stem from the 10% and 30% city region,
i.e., from urban and peri-urban agriculture. In Ouagadougou, data on leafy vegetables are not
complete (including only jute mallow and roselle) since urban agricultural production was not
captured. However, other studies confirmed the production of leafy vegetables in the city [33].
Figure 19. Contribution of individual crops originating from the 10%, 30%, and 50% city region
extents to urban food supply (mean values of peak- and lean-season supply).
Figure 19.
Contribution of individual crops originating from the 10%, 30%, and 50% city region extents
to urban food supply (mean values of peak- and lean-season supply).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 22 of 32
The approach of delineating a boundary of the city region presented here is one possible approach
and even within this one approach, more than one boundary is possible depending on the scale of
a city region. A common understanding, however, will be useful to making meaningful comparisons,
and it is particularly important to use one boundary per city to monitor changes over time.
10. Sensitivity Assessment
In general, the better the transported quantities are distributed over a large number of vehicles,
the less sensitive the data are to human error like missing or miscounting a certain number of vehicles.
The sensitivity analysis showed, for example, that the captured quantities of onion and fresh fish, which
are usually transported in a few large articulated lorries, are most sensitive to errors and missed records.
However, the probability of missing such trucks is much lower than missing some of the many bikes
in Ouagadougou carrying chicken. The commodities most sensitive to the chosen methodology are
onion and fish (Tamale, peak and lean season) and yam and groundnut (Ouagadougou, lean season),
where one or two missed/miscounted vehicles can result in a 10% change of the total transported
volume. Removing, irrespective of the commodities, five of the most common vehicles per survey
and crop, the outcome of the reported total food flow would change for Tamale by about 16% and
for Ouagadougou by about 13%. Although such an omission is unlikely, the numbers indicate the
possible error margin. As a function of food volume and distinct geographical food sources, the city
region boundary would only change if the survey missed any important production area which did
not supply both cities in the observation weeks of lean and peak season. This is theoretically possible
especially at the start and end of a growing season as the onset of rains and eventual harvest dates vary
to some extent and certain areas might be able to supply particular commodities earlier or later than
the mainstream. These sources would not have been captured. Secondly, there can be geographical
changes in foodsheds due to natural hazards, like flooding, when traders look for alternative sources
to maintain their supply as much as possible. Such variations were not covered in this paper, but are
captured in Drechsel et al. (2016) [69].
11. Implications for Planning
11.1. Impacts on the City Region
Our results show that up to 50% of the urban food needs, covering the main food groups, is met
by the proposed city region with an average radius of about 100 km. Thus, this region is significantly
contributing to feeding the urban population. Planning in accordance with the aims of a CRFS approach
would involve preserving or even increasing the share of food sourced from the city region. Relative
to the limited area size, cultivation in and near the city contributes considerably to urban food supply,
particularly in Tamale where 30% of all crops originates from peri-urban and nearby rural areas. Also,
urban production is important for the supply of certain products such as leafy vegetables. Maintaining
urban production and urban-peri-urban linkages in the future can be achieved by incorporating food
production into urban planning, e.g., by designating and allocating land permanently to agriculture.
It is not only urban populations that benefit from the production in city regions, but also urban
as well as rural enterprises along the entire value chain such as wholesalers, transporters, processors,
and input suppliers. Urban demand for high-value products like fruits, vegetables, and dairy
can further contribute to rural poverty alleviation and agricultural development [
2
]. Our results
indicate that a substantial share of the city region production is covered by smallholders. In Tamale,
small vehicles carry more than 60% of the fresh food weight from the 30% city region into the city.
In Ouagadougou, where urban and part of peri-urban sources were not captured, the share is smaller.
There, 20% of all crops were transported by small vehicles. While rural farmers without access to
urban markets usually market their produce in the next village or small town market that may act
as intermediate stopping off points to the urban market [
9
], farmers close to urban markets may
have better options for direct marketing with fewer intermediaries. Thus, physical proximity to
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 23 of 32
the urban market provides market opportunities to small-scale farmers in the city region that their
remote rural counterparts do not have. Therefore, strengthening CRFS potentially supports local
small-scale producers. As a result of growing urban demand for food, a city region is likely to expand
geographically and involve more remote farmers in the future. Thus, adopting a CRFS approach allows
linkage to general economic urban and regional development which could be part of communication
strategies with local authorities.
Proximity of places of both crop production and food consumption also offers options for resource
recovery and reuse. Poor soils and high cost of inorganic fertiliser are major obstacles for farmers in
Tamale and Ouagadougou [
33
], as generally in the Savannah Region. At the same time, urban food
demand is increasing and so is the organic waste generated in the cities. Poor sanitation systems in cities
of developing countries result in widespread environmental pollution and health risks. In particular,
agricultural land close to the city can benefit from nutrients that accumulate in the form of wastewater
and faecal sludge in the urban centre. Recovering human waste for instance via co-composting for
reuse in crop production can make urban waste management viable and provide valuable nutrients
to farmers. While transferring accumulated nutrients from food imports back to distant sources is
challenging, their reuse in the city region, particularly in nearby urban and peri-urban agriculture,
is more feasible [70].
A CRFS approach, strengthening urban, peri-urban, and rural linkages, can hence have positive
place-based impacts regarding the sustainable management of waste, urban food supply and
economic development.
11.2. Balanced Foodsheds
Tackling urban food supply, however, requires a holistic perspective beyond the city region.
Even though its contribution is substantial, cities are integrated into a national, continental and global
market and can benefit from trade, linking surplus with deficit areas.
Foodsheds revealed that certain crops were solely provided by outside the city region and that
some products were only available seasonally. Examples of so-called one-dimensional foodsheds
include the supply of tomato from Burkina Faso to Tamale during the lean season or the reliance of
Ouagadougou on imported rice. Both are important ingredients of local diets and cannot be easily
substituted by domestic production that has declined as a result of imports. Tariff regulations, road
damages, or the closure of borders will seriously affect the supply of these crops, in particular on
perishable produce such as tomato. The supply of imported rice may be affected by volatile world
market prices or transport issues. For example, the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, referred to as the
historically main transit route by Bourdet (2004) [
32
], made Burkina Faso to change transport routes
which resulted in higher freight and other transaction costs. On the other hand, imported goods, rice in
particular, are transported by both road and railway. Different means of transport may also help to
reduce vulnerabilities in case one fails.
Nonetheless, relying solely on local production may also be risky. The 2007 drought and
subsequent flooding seriously hit the three northern regions in Ghana. As a consequence, 50% of staple
crops were destroyed and the population was affected by food shortages and rising food prices [
71
].
Reliance upon one source can make the city more vulnerable to disturbances that can be internal or
external, cyclical or structural, sudden or gradual [
72
]. Diversification of food sources, thus creating
multiple value chains, can hence be an important means to encounter place-based disturbances such
as climate-related risks, border closures, or infrastructural damages.
Therefore, in addition to strong city region food systems, balanced multi-dimensional foodsheds
are an important determinant for secured urban food supply. Just as Forster and Escudero (2014,
p. 6) [
13
] promote a more integrated and multi-level approach instead of a polarised dialogue between
the “ideology of the local” and the “ideology of the global”. According to them, the focus of CRFS is
more on local decision-making as to “when to rely on different sources of food as conditions change”
and how food system objectives cohere with other regional priorities. Drechsel et al. (submitted) [
70
]
point to the challenges of integrating scientific results and new concepts into urban planning. They
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 24 of 32
relate to the lack of public authority in charge of urban food supply as well as to differing local
priorities and policy objectives. These local conditions need to be taken into consideration and
strategies communicated accordingly when planning towards enhanced city region food systems or
balanced foodsheds.
12. Conclusions
Locality in urban food provisioning has gained increasing attention in the past years. Advocates
of “local food” systems stress aspects of community development, reduced food miles and nutrition
that go along with local production whereas others believe in diversified source locations of food
supporting more resilient urban food systems. While there is much debate on the relevance of locality
of food sources for urban food supply, there is hardly any empirical evidence regarding the actual
geographical areas that provide cities with food.
The surveys conducted in Tamale and Ouagadougou generated a unique set of quantitative data
of food flows linking the cities with nearby and distant source locations. Crop- and season-specific
foodsheds revealed the level of spatial and temporal diversity, ranging from one-dimensional to
multi-dimensional foodsheds. The data were also used to suggest extents of city regions, including
those areas around the cities that contribute substantially to urban food supply. The results indicated
that within the defined city region a relatively large proportion of smallholders contributed to urban
food supply, taking advantage of the proximity to urban markets. Localised food systems potentially
support smallholders, and also offer other place-base benefits, e.g., options for the reuse of organic
waste generated in the city.
Increasing globalisation, contributing to a year-round availability of food and the supply of
imported and processed food, will likely change and expand current foodsheds, and the relation of
a city to its city region, and its function within it, may change as it develops. Complementing local
food supply sources with other national and continental sources may enhance systemic resilience,
given that place-based risk factors, e.g., climate risks such as floods, could affect the entire production.
Sole reliance on international sources, however, is also risk-prone. For example, cross-border trade
among the ECOWAS countries seems still far from ensuring a smooth and reliable supply in the short
term, although economic integration may be desirable and support food security in the region in the
long run.
There is no universal level of self-sufficiency, e.g., at the city region scale, or a right level of
reliance upon distant food sources, but this is open to debate, is locally very specific and needs to be
in line with other sometimes conflicting priorities at the city level. Understanding urban food needs
and current foodsheds can help to develop strategies for a better management of urban food supply
towards increasing local production, or diversifying food sources.
Acknowledgments: This study was carried out as part of the project UrbanFoodPlus, co-funded by the German
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Economic Collaboration and
Development (BMZ), under the initiative GlobE—Research for the Global Food Supply, grant number 031A242-A
and 031A242-D with support from the CGIAR research program on Water, Land and Ecosystems. We thank
the Northern Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service (Tamale, Ghana), the Customs Division of the
Ghana Revenue Authority (Tamale, Ghana), and the Direction Général du Trésor et de la Comptabilité Publique
in Ouagadougou for the permission to work at the check points and for their kind collaboration. Furthermore,
we thank Désiré Jean-Pascal Lompo and Zacharia Gnankambary from INERA, as well as Boubacar Barry and
Bazoin Igor Bado from WASCAL for their valuable logistical support. We also thank the institutions that kindly
provided secondary data and Koffi Alexis for data acquisition in Côte d’Ivoire. We are grateful to the numerous
helpful partners and enumerators in the field.
Author Contributions:
Hanna Karg conceived and designed the research, collected and analysed the data,
and wrote the manuscript. Pay Drechsel contributed significantly to the research design, data analysis and
manuscript writing. Edmund K. Akoto-Danso co-designed the research, collected the data, and contributed to
writing the manuscript. Rüdiger Glaser gave conceptual advice and contributed to writing of the manuscript.
George Nyarko provided technical and logistical support in the field, and contributed to writing the manuscript.
Andreas Buerkert conceived parts of the research and contributed to writing the manuscript.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 25 of 32
Appendix A
Table A1. Most common food items based on FAO food groups.
Ouagadougou Tamale
Peak Lean Peak Lean
Cereals
Rice Rice Maize Maize
Maize Maize Rice Rice
Millet Millet Millet
Fish Fish Fish Fish Fish
Livestock
Chicken Chicken Goat Goat
Goat Goat Cattle Cattle
Cattle Cattle Sheep Sheep
Sheep Sheep
Fruits Banana Mango Watermelon Mango
Watermelon Dawadawa (Néré) Orange Banana Banana
Vegetables
Cabbage Cabbage Onion Onion
Tomato Tomato Pepper (hot) Avocado
Onion Onion Tomato Tomato
Leaf vegetables Roselle Lettuce
Jute Jute
Legumes Groundnut Bean Groundnut Bean Groundnut Bean Groundnut Bean
Sweet potato Potato Cassava Cassava
Roots and tubers Yam Yam Plantain Plantain
Yam Yam
Table A2. Food groups in terms of household expenditure.
Household Expenditure on Little to Non-Processed Food (in %) *
Burkina Faso Ghana
Other cereals, flour and other products 28.11 6.25
Rice 20.49 11.21
Vegetables including legumes 18.07 15.02
Fish 11.00 23.64
Beef and veal 5.44 1.89
Frozen, preserved or processed vegetables 5.38 0.53
Lamb, mutton and goat 4.33 8.29
Fresh fruit 1.87 9.48
Roots and tubers 1.73 14.43
Frozen, preserved or processed fruit 0.83 3.08
Poultry 0.75 3.04
Other meats and meat preparations 0.68 0.52
Eggs and egg-based products 0.56 2.02
Fresh milk 0.40 0.11
Pork 0.36 0.48
* Top five food groups in bold.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 26 of 32
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 26 of 32
Figure A1. Cumulative food contribution based on the highest ranking food groups in terms of
household expenditure along a distance gradient in Ouagadougou in 2014.
Figure A2. Cumulative food contribution based on the highest-ranking food groups in terms of
household expenditure along a distance gradient in Tamale in 2013–2015.
Figure A1.
Cumulative food contribution based on the highest ranking food groups in terms of
household expenditure along a distance gradient in Ouagadougou in 2014.
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 26 of 32
Figure A1. Cumulative food contribution based on the highest ranking food groups in terms of
household expenditure along a distance gradient in Ouagadougou in 2014.
Figure A2. Cumulative food contribution based on the highest-ranking food groups in terms of
household expenditure along a distance gradient in Tamale in 2013–2015.
Figure A2.
Cumulative food contribution based on the highest-ranking food groups in terms of
household expenditure along a distance gradient in Tamale in 2013–2015.
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 27 of 32
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 27 of 32
Figure A3. Seasonal foodsheds for tubers and legumes for Ouagadougou and daily incoming
quantities (in tonnes).
Figure A4. Seasonal foodsheds for tubers and legumes for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in
tonnes).
Figure A3.
Seasonal foodsheds for tubers and legumes for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities
(in metric tonnes).
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 27 of 32
Figure A3. Seasonal foodsheds for tubers and legumes for Ouagadougou and daily incoming
quantities (in tonnes).
Figure A4. Seasonal foodsheds for tubers and legumes for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in
tonnes).
Figure A4.
Seasonal foodsheds for tubers and legumes for Tamale and daily incoming quantities
(in metric tonnes).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 28 of 32
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 28 of 32
Figure A5. Seasonal fruit foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
Figure A6. Seasonal fruit foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
Figure A5.
Seasonal fruit foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities (in metric tonnes).
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 28 of 32
Figure A5. Seasonal fruit foodsheds for Ouagadougou and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
Figure A6. Seasonal fruit foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in tonnes).
Figure A6. Seasonal fruit foodsheds for Tamale and daily incoming quantities (in metric tonnes).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 29 of 32
Sustainability 2016, 8, 1175 29 of 32
Figure A7. Incoming food quantities in g per capita/day (mean peak- and lean-season values) based
on an urban population of 1,475,223 in Ouagadougou (census 2006, [42]) and 371,351 in Tamale
(census 2010, [28]).
References
1. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). The State of African Cities 2014: Re-Imagining
Sustainable Urban Transitions; United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat): Nairobi,
Kenya, 2014.
2. Reardon, T.A. Growing Food for Growing Cities: Transforming Food Systems in an Urbanizing World.
2006. Available online: https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/report_growingfood
forgrowingcities2.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
3. Peters, C.J.; Bills, N.L.; Wilkins, J.L.; Fick, G.W. Foodshed analysis and its relevance to sustainability.
Renew. Agric. Food Syst. 2009, 24, 1–7.
4. Flora, C.B. Food security in the context of energy and resource depletion: Sustainable agriculture in
developing countries. Renew. Agric. Food Syst. 2010, 25, 118–128.
5. Bellows, A.C.; Hamm, M.W. Local autonomy and sustainable development: Testing import substitution in
localizing food systems. Agric. Hum. Values 2001, 18, 271–284.
6. Feagan, R. The place of food: Mapping out the “local” in local food systems. Prog. Hum. Geogr. 2007, 31, 23–
42.
7. DuPuis, E.M.; Goodman, D. Should we go “home” to eat? Toward a reflexive politics of localism. J. Rural
Stud. 2005, 21, 359–371.
8. Donald, B.; Gertler, M.; Gray, M.; Lobao, L. Re-regionalizing the food system? Camb. J. Reg. Econ. Soc. 2010,
3, 171–175.
9. ISU (International Sustainability Unit). Food in an Urbanised World: The Role of City Region Food Systems in
Resilience and Sustainable Development; ISU (International Sustainability Unit): London, UK, 2015.
10. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). Profitability and Sustainability of Urban and
Peri-Urban Agriculture; FAO: Rome, Italy, 2007.
11. Amerasinghe, P.; Bhardwaj, R.M.; Scott, C.; Jella, K.; Marshall, F. Urban Wastewater and Agricultural Reuse
Challenges in India; International Water Management Institute: Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2013.
12. Magnusson, U.; Bergmann, K.F. Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture for Food Security in Low-Income
Countries—Challenges and Knowledge Gaps. 2014. Available online: http://www.siani.se/sites/
clients.codepositive.com/files/document/slu-global-report-2014-4-urban-and-peri-urban-agriculture-for-f
ood-security-webb.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
13. Forster, T.; Escudero, A.G. City Regions as Landscapes for People, Food and Nature; EcoAgriculture Partners,
on behalf of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative: Washington, DC, USA, 2014.
Figure A7.
Incoming food quantities in g per capita/day (mean peak- and lean-season values) based
on an urban population of 1,475,223 in Ouagadougou (census 2006, [
42
]) and 371,351 in Tamale
(census 2010, [28]).
References
1.
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). The State of African Cities 2014: Re-Imagining
Sustainable Urban Transitions; United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat): Nairobi,
Kenya, 2014.
2.
Reardon, T.A. Growing Food for Growing Cities: Transforming Food Systems in an Urbanizing World. 2006.
Available online: https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/report_growingfoodforgrowingcities2.
pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
3.
Peters, C.J.; Bills, N.L.; Wilkins, J.L.; Fick, G.W. Foodshed analysis and its relevance to sustainability.
Renew. Agric. Food Syst. 2009,24, 1–7. [CrossRef]
4.
Flora, C.B. Food security in the context of energy and resource depletion: Sustainable agriculture in
developing countries. Renew. Agric. Food Syst. 2010,25, 118–128. [CrossRef]
5.
Bellows, A.C.; Hamm, M.W. Local autonomy and sustainable development: Testing import substitution in
localizing food systems. Agric. Hum. Values 2001,18, 271–284. [CrossRef]
6.
Feagan, R. The place of food: Mapping out the “local” in local food systems. Prog. Hum. Geogr.
2007
,31,
23–42. [CrossRef]
7.
DuPuis, E.M.; Goodman, D. Should we go “home” to eat? Toward a reflexive politics of localism.
J. Rural Stud.
2005,21, 359–371. [CrossRef]
8.
Donald, B.; Gertler, M.; Gray, M.; Lobao, L. Re-regionalizing the food system? Camb. J. Reg. Econ. Soc.
2010
,
3, 171–175. [CrossRef]
9.
ISU (International Sustainability Unit). Food in an Urbanised World: The Role of City Region Food Systems in
Resilience and Sustainable Development; ISU (International Sustainability Unit): London, UK, 2015.
10.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). Profitability and Sustainability of Urban and
Peri-Urban Agriculture; FAO: Rome, Italy, 2007.
11.
Amerasinghe, P.; Bhardwaj, R.M.; Scott, C.; Jella, K.; Marshall, F. Urban Wastewater and Agricultural Reuse
Challenges in India; International Water Management Institute: Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2013.
12.
Magnusson, U.; Bergmann, K.F. Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture for Food Security in Low-Income
Countries—Challenges and Knowledge Gaps. 2014. Available online: http://www.siani.se/sites/clients.
codepositive.com/files/document/slu-global-report-2014-4-urban-and-peri-urban-agriculture-for-food-
security-webb.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 30 of 32
13.
Forster, T.; Escudero, A.G. City Regions as Landscapes for People, Food and Nature; EcoAgriculture Partners,
on behalf of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative: Washington, DC, USA, 2014.
14. Hinrichs, C. The practice and politics of food system localization. J. Rural Stud. 2003,19, 33–45. [CrossRef]
15.
Born, B.; Purcell, M. Avoiding the local trap: Scale and food systems in planning research. J. Plan. Educ. Res.
2006,26, 195–207. [CrossRef]
16. Battersby, J. The need for a diverse and responsive food system. Urban Agric. Mag. 2014,27, 10–12.
17.
Elbehri, A. Rebuilding West Africa’s Food Potential: Policies and Market Incentives for Smallholder-Inclusive Food
Value Chains; FAO: Rome, Italy, 2013.
18.
Kneafsey, M. The region in food—Important or irrelevant? Camb. J. Reg. Econ. Soc.
2010
,3, 177–190.
[CrossRef]
19.
Thompson, E.; Harper, A.M.; Kraus, S. Think Globally—Eat Locally: San Francisco Foodshed
Assessmen. 2008. Available online: http://www.thegreenhorns.net/wp-content/files_mf/
1340378421SanFranciscoFoodShedAssessment.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
20.
Peters, C.J.; Bills, N.L.; Lembo, A.J.; Wilkins, J.L.; Fick, G.W. Mapping potential foodsheds in New York State:
A spatial model for evaluating the capacity to localize food production. Renew. Agric. Food Syst.
2009
,24,
72–84. [CrossRef]
21.
Forkes, J. Measuring the Shape and Size of the Foodshed. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON,
Canada, 2011.
22.
Zumkehr, A.; Campbell, J.E. The potential for local croplands to meet US food demand. Front. Ecol. Environ.
2015,13, 244–248. [CrossRef]
23.
Gunasekera, J. Report of the Food Flow Mapping: Kesbewa Urban Area; Janathakshan Guarantee Ltd.: Colombo,
Sri Lanka, 2012.
24.
Mukui, J.T. Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture and Rural-to-Urban Food Flows: Case Study of Nairobi: Consultant
report prepared for Urban Economy and Finance Branch; United Nations Human Settlements Programme
(UN-HABITAT): Nairobi, Kenya, 2002.
25.
Drechsel, P.; Graefe, S.; Fink, M. Rural-Urban Food, Nutrient and Virtual Water Flows in Selected West
African Cities. 2007. Available online: http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/Publications/IWMI_Research_Reports/
PDF/PUB115/RR115.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
26.
Haggblade, S.; Longabaugh, S.; Boughton, D.; Dembelé, N.; Diallo, B.; Staatz, J.; Tschirley, D. Staple Food
Market Sheds in West Africa. MSU International Development Working Paper 121. 2012. Available online:
http://fsg.afre.msu.edu/papers/idwp121.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
27.
Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie. Annuaire statistique 2014; Institut National de la
Statistique et de la Démographie: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2015.
28.
Ghana Statistical Service. 2010 Population & Housing Census: National Analytical Report; Ghana Statistical
Service: Accra, Ghana, 2013.
29.
USAID (United States Agency for International Development). Fact Sheet Burkina Faso: Agriculture and Food
Security (Fact Sheet); USAID: Washington, DC, USA, 2015.
30.
Ministry of Economy and Finance, Burkina Faso. Investing in Future: Accelerated Growth and Sustainable
Development: Business Environment, Investment Opportunities and Public-Private Partnership; Ministry of
Economy and Finance, Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2011.
31.
Chauvin, N.D.; Mulangu, F.; Porto, G. Food Production and Consumption Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: Prospects
for the Transformation of the Agricultural Sector; UNDP, Regional Bureau for Africa: New York, NY, USA, 2012.
32.
Bourdet, Y. External Shocks, Exchange Rate Regime and Growth in Burkina Faso and Mali. 2004. Available
online: http://www.sida.se/contentassets/022bca5dc1b2482f9ede2ee665124a07/external-shocks-exchange-
rate-regime-and-growth-in- burkina-faso- and-mali_1417.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
33.
Bellwood-Howard, I.; Haring, V.; Karg, H.; Roessler, R.; Schlesinger, J.; Shakya, M. Characteristics of urban
and Peri-Urban Agriculture in West Africa: Results of an Exploratory Survey Conducted in Tamale (Ghana) and
Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso); International Water Management Institute (IWMI): Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2015.
34.
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). The Ghana Human Development Report 2007: Towards
a More Inclusive Society; UNDP: Accra Ghana, 2007.
35.
WFP (World Food Programme). Ghana. 2016. Available online: http://www.wfp.org/node/34673726
(accessed on 2 July 2016).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 31 of 32
36.
Auricht, C.; Dixon, J.; Boffa, J.-M.; Garrity, D. Farming Systems of Africa. In Atlas of African Agriculture
Research and Development. Revealing Agriculture’s Place in Africa; Sebastian, K., Ed.; International Food Policy
Research Institute: Washington, DC, USA, 2014; pp. 14–15.
37.
Hill, P. Notes on traditional market authority and market periodicity in West Africa. J. Afr. Hist.
1996
,7,
295–311. [CrossRef]
38.
Riemann, D.; Glaser, R.; Kahle, M.; Vogt, S. The CRE tambora.org—New data and tools for collaborative
research in climate and environmental history. Geosci. Data J. 2015,2, 63–77. [CrossRef]
39.
Blay-Palmer, A.; Renting, H.; Dubbeling, M. City-Region Food Systems: A Literature Review. 2015. Available
online: http://www.ruaf.org/sites/default/files/City%20Region%20Food%20Systems%20literature%
20review.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
40.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). Program of Food Consumption Surveys;
FAO: Rome, Italy, 1964.
41.
Ghana Statistical Service. Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 6 (GLSS 6): Main Report; Ghana Statistical
Service: Accra, Ghana, 2014.
42.
Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie. Recensement Général de la Population et de l
'
habitation
de 2006: Résultats Définitifs; Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie: Ouagadougou, Burkina
Faso, 2008.
43.
The World Bank. 2010. Available online: http://datatopics.worldbank.org/consumption (accessed on
15 May 2016).
44.
FEWS NET. Burkina Faso Price Bulletin: June 2014. 2014. Available online: http://reliefweb.int/sites/
reliefweb.int/files/resources/Burkina%20Faso_2014_06_PB_EN.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
45. FAOSTAT. Available online: http://faostat3.fao.org/browse/T/TP/E (accessed on 19 May 2016).
46.
Angelucci, F.; Asante-Poku, A.; Anaadumba, P. Analysis of Incentives and Disincentives for Rice in Ghana: Draft
Version; (Technical notes series, MAFAP); FAO: Rome, Italy, 2013.
47.
FEWS NET. Production and Market Flow Map: Burkina Faso Maize. 2009. Available online:
http://www.fews.net/sites/default/files/documents/reports/bf_fullmap_maize_norm.pdf (accessed on
15 June 2016).
48.
Terpend, N. An Assessment of Knowledge about Trade and Markets Related to Food Security in West Africa; FAO:
Rome, Itlay, 2006.
49.
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Settlement, Market and Food Security.
In West African Futures; OECD Publishing: Paris, France, 2013.
50.
Bruyas, C. Road Governance Study: Current Status, Analysis, and Recommendations; Trade Hub Communications:
Bethesda, USA, 2014.
51.
CILSS (Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel) and USAID. Road
Harassment Report; CILSS, USAID: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Washington, DC, USA, 2013.
52.
Teravaninthorn, S.; Raballand, G. Transport Prices and Costs in Africa: A review of the International Corridors;
The World Bank: Washington, DC, USA, 2009.
53.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture:
Opportunities and Challenges; FAO: Rome, Italy, 2014.
54.
Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana. Fish Production, Imports, Exports & Consumption. 2011. Available
online: http://mofa.gov.gh/site/?page_id=2862 (accessed on 15 May 2016).
55. UN Comtrade. 2015. Available online: http://comtrade.un.org/data/ (accessed on 15 May 2016).
56.
USAID. West Africa Trade and Investment Hub. Anti-Corruption Campaign Underway with Trade Hub
Backing. 2016. Available online: https://www.watradehub.com/en/anti-corruption-campaign-underway-
trade-hub-backing/ (accessed on 15 May 2016).
57.
Kamuanga, M.J.B.; Somda, J.; Sanon, Y.; Kagoné, H. Livestock and Regional Market in the Sahel and West
Africa: Potentials and Challenges. 2008. Available online: https://www.oecd.org/swac/publications/
41848366.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
58.
Schneider, K.; Gugerty, M.K.; Plotnick, R.; Anderson, C.L. Poultry market in West Africa: Overview
& Comparative Analysis. 2010. Available online: https://evans.uw.edu/sites/default/files/
Evans%20UW_Request%2082_Poultry%20Market%20Analysis%20Overview_7-16-2010_0.pdf (accessed on
9 November 2016).
Sustainability 2016,8, 1175 32 of 32
59.
Schneider, K.; Gugerty, M.K.; Plotnick, R. Poultry Market in West Africa: Burkina Faso. 2010. Available
online: https://evans.uw.edu/sites/default/files/Evans%20UW_Request%2084_Poultry%20Market%
20Analysis%20Burkina%20Faso_5-28-2010_0.pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
60.
Ching, L.L.; Edwards, S.; Scialabba, N.E.-H. Climate Change and Food Systems Resilience in sub-Sahara Africa;
FAO: Rome, Italy, 2011.
61.
Adimabuno, A.M. Marketing and Market Queens: A Case of Tomato Farmers in the Upper East Region of
Ghana. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany, 2010. Available online: http://hss.ulb.uni-bonn.
de/2010/2335/2335.pdf (accessed on 17 December 2014).
62.
Amikuzuno, J.; Ihle, R. Seasonal asymmetric price transmission in Ghanaian tomato markets: Adapting
Johansen’s estimation method. In Proceedings of the Poster presented at the Joint 3rd African Association of
Agricultural Economists (AAAE) and 48th Agricultural Economists Association of South Africa (AEASA)
Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 19–23 September 2010.
63.
Baba, I.I.Y.; Yirzagla, J.; Mawunya, M. The tomato industry in Ghana—Fundamental challenges, surmounting
strategies and perspectives. A review. Int. J. Curr. Res. 2013,5, 4102–4107.
64.
Robinson, E.J.Z.; Kolavalli, S.L. The case of tomato in Ghana: Marketing. 2010. Available online: http://citeseerx.
ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.222.5285&rep=rep1&type=pdf (accessed on 9 November 2016).
65.
Moustier, P.; Renting, H. Urban agriculture and short chain food marketing in developing countries. In Cities
and Agriculture—Developing Resilient Urban Food Systems; de Zeeuw, H., Drechsel, P., Eds.; Routledge: London,
UK, 2015; pp. 121–138.
66.
Drechsel, P.; Keraita, B. Irrigated Urban Vegetable Production in Ghana: Characteristics, Benefits and Risk Mitigation;
International Water Management Institute (IWMI): Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2014.
67.
Karg, H.; Hologa, R.; Schlesinger, J.; Drescher, A.; Glaser, R. Characteristics of the periurban: A multi-method
approach applied to Tamale, Ghana. Landsc. Urban Plan. 2016, submitted.
68. McKim, W. The periodic market system in Northeastern Ghana. Econ. Geogr. 1972,48, 333–344. [CrossRef]
69.
Drechsel, P.; Karg, H.; Appoh, R.K.; Akoto-Danso, E.K. Resilience of Rural-Urban Food Flows in West Africa.
In Proceedings of the International conference on Agri-Chains and Sustainable Development: Linking Local
and Global Dynamics, Montpellier, France, 12–14 December 2016.
70.
Drechsel, P.; Karg, H.; Amoah, P. Food flows and waste: Planning for the dirty side of urban food security.
In Integrating Food into Urban Planning; UCL Press: London, UK, 2016, submitted.
71.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks). 2007. Available online: http://reliefweb.int/report/
ghana/ghana-food-shortages-follow-drought-floods (accessed on 8 June 2016).
72.
Tendall, D.M.; Joerin, J.; Kopainsky, B.; Edwards, P.; Shreck, A.; Le, Q.B.; Kruetli, P.; Grant, M.; Six, J. Food
system resilience: Defining the concept. Glob. Food Secur. 2015,6, 17–23. [CrossRef]
©
2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access
article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
... Kloppenberg, Henrickson, and Stevenson (1996) espoused the utility of the foodsheds framework in its ability to bridge thought and action, through a process of foodshed analysis. By analyzing and understanding the food needs of a given population in the context of its current foodsheds, better food supply strategies can be developed either by increasing local production or by diversifying food sources (Karg et al. 2016). Such strategies can then enhance the resilience and sustainability of the food system (Karg et al. 2016). ...
... By analyzing and understanding the food needs of a given population in the context of its current foodsheds, better food supply strategies can be developed either by increasing local production or by diversifying food sources (Karg et al. 2016). Such strategies can then enhance the resilience and sustainability of the food system (Karg et al. 2016). A foodshed framework therefore helps to conceptualize change by providing a glimpse into what is happening within the food system and potentially help uncover such externalities as obesity, environmental degradation, and social injustice (McCabe 2010). ...
... Furthermore, different approaches are taken in defining variables such as a population's dietary needs, which may lead to different conclusions on whether a community can meet its food needs from local foodsheds (Butler 2013). Finally, increasing globalization, which contributes to an all-year-round availability and supply of imported and processed food, may expand the foodshed of a given population, distorting an accurate estimation of local foodsheds (Karg et al. 2016). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
While theoretical frameworks of food system governance simplify complex food system phenomena, they may ignore other occurrences outside their framework boundaries, and the practical considerations informing actual governance initiatives. This article discusses governance frameworks such as alternative food networks, bioregions and foodsheds, rural-urban linkages, short food supply chains, and city-region food systems; and draws insights from real-life governance initiatives to demonstrate the practical considerations that inform such initiatives. It concludes that a) localized grievances inform governance responses, b) globalization and localization need not be delinked, and c) while alternative voices are valuable, markets are important for food systems sustainability.`K
... Similar inefficiencies in urban and peri-urban systems, where livestock and crop production are often poorly coupled, have also been reported by Diogo et al. (2010aDiogo et al. ( , 2010b. They indicate the need for regulation or certification of these systems that often network across large distances (Akoto-Danso et al., 2019;Karg et al., 2016) and are increasingly important for vegetable production, income generation, and maintenance of biodiversity in rapidly developing urban environments, particularly in poor income countries of the Global South. ...
... It is used to illustrate the geography of food supply and depict linkages between food-producing and food-consuming regions at different scales [13] . This helps to understand the flow of food from its original sources and production sites to its sinks and consumption sites [14] . ...
Article
Full-text available
The SAVA region, located in north-eastern Madagascar, is a global hotspot of vanilla production. Here, soaring vanilla prices over the past 7 years, the so-called “vanilla boom”, improved the socio-economic situation of the farming population, which may change dietary patterns towards higher meat consumption and offer an opportunity for regional livestock producers. This paper therefore investigates if the vanilla boom opened new market opportunities to local stakeholders by targeting 81 livestock producers, 23 butchers and 34 retailers involved in the supply chain of live animals and animal products in the region. Starting from regular food markets of three major cities and three villages, data on animal and meat sales in and outside the vanilla selling season (July-September) was collected. Information on opportunities and challenges faced by different stakeholders was recorded, and the determination of the geographical location of markets, animal and product origins served the compilation of foodsheds. Results revealed that local livestock producers are mostly supplying poultry while butchers are exclusively selling zebu cattle and pigs. Zebus and eggs are completely sourced from neighbouring as well as distant regions to meet the huge local demand, while poultry and pigs are mostly supplied by regional producers. Animal sales volumes increase during the vanilla selling season, due to a temporarily enhanced regional purchasing power based on cash income from vanilla sales. Although the high demand motivates local and more remote producers to intensify their livestock activities, livestock diseases, lack of appropriate animal management and market information hamper their endeavours. Transparent and timely market information flow, training of livestock producers as well as investments in transportation and marketing infrastructure could support the development of the local livestock sector and improve the local supply with animal source food in the SAVA region.
... In some contexts, such as China, city regions now have specific boundaries and dedicated governance systems (Wu, 2016) but more often they are functional and relational, focused-for purposes of this paper-on the food system (FAO RUAF Foundation, 2015;Karg et al., 2016; but see also Battersby and Watson, 2018). This does not imply that all foods can or must be produced locally; some mid-to long-distance transport of produce requiring larger areas for cultivation or different agro-ecological conditions will probably remain necessary. ...
Article
Full-text available
Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is widely distributed throughout the Global South. Despite urban population growth and diversifying food habits, UPA delivers an important part of urban food supply, as well as other types of services to cities, such as employment and waste reuse. Nevertheless, the extent and importance of UPA varies between different urban areas, while challenges like limited recognition, land conversion, and water pollution and competition threaten the potential of UPA to contribute to urban resilience. Key investment priorities for research and innovation for overcoming current challenges include incentivized peri-urban zoning, urban allocation of productive lands, and increasing capacities for controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Innovative repositioning of food marketing can help to strengthen supply of healthy food from UPA production, increase decent employment, and turn food markets into nutrition hubs. Priority innovations for contributing to the circular bioeconomy of cities include scaling the safe use of wastewater for irrigation through investments in the adoption of multiple risk-barrier approaches and scaling UPA-based ecosystem services for valorising solid waste and environmental management. Innovations in urban governance are required to support these processes by bringing food systems into urban planning through food mapping and the multisectoral platforms for dialogue and policy formulation across city regions and with vertical levels of government.
... The majority of the assessments are based on assessing the potential agricultural production capacity in order to feed the specific population of the city-region (i.e., foodshed) (Joseph et al., 2019;Zasada et al., 2019;Kurtz et al., 2020;Vicente-Vicente et al., 2021b); or to assess more specific issues as part of sustainability impact and ecosystem services assessments of regional food systems and land uses (Swiader et al., 2018;Tavakoli-Hashjini et al., 2020). The food flow assessments map consumers and producers, being thus useful when studying distribution networks (Karg et al., 2016;Wegerif and Wiskerke, 2017;Moschitz and Frick, 2020). Finally, hybrid foodshed analyses combine agricultural capacity and current food flow analyses (Porter et al., 2014;Mouléry, Sanz Sanz, Debolini, Napoleone, Josselin, Mabire et al., 2021;Vicente-Vicente et al., 2021a) and, therefore, are able to assess the dependencies on foreign food sources, vulnerabilities of the food system, and the environmental impacts of the food system re-localization (Schreiber et al., 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of current food systems to feed populations around the world. Particularly in urban centers, consumers have been confronted with this vulnerability, highlighting reliance on just-in-time logistics, imports and distant primary production. Urban food demand, regional food supply, land use change, and transport strategies are considered key factors for reestablishing resilient landscapes as part of a sustainable food system. Improving the sustainability of food systems in such circumstances entails working on the interrelations between food supply and demand, rural and urban food commodity production sites, and groups of involved actors and consumers. Of special significance is the agricultural land in close proximity to urban centers. Calling for more holistic approaches in the sense of inclusiveness, food security, citizen involvement and ecological principles, this article describes the use of a new decision support tool, the Metropolitan Foodscape Planner (MFP). The MFP features up-to-date European datasets to assess the potential of current agricultural land use to provide food resources (with special attention to both plant- and animal-based products) and meet the demand of city dwellers, and help to empower citizens, innovators, companies, public authorities and other stakeholders of regional food systems to build a more regionalized food supply network. The tool was tested in the context of the food system of the Copenhagen City Region in two collaborative workshops, namely one workshop with stakeholders of the Copenhagen City Region representing food consultancies, local planning authorities and researchers, and one in-person workshop masterclass with MSc students from the University of Copenhagen. Workshop participants used the tool to learn about the impacts of the current food system at the regional and international level with regard to the demand-supply paradigm of city-regions. The ultimate goal was to develop a participatory mapping exercise and test three food system scenarios for a more regionalized and sustainable food system and, therefore, with increased resilience to crises. Results from this implementation also demonstrated the potential of the tool to identify food production sites at local level that are potentially able to feed the city region in a more sustainable, nutritious and way.
... The foodshed delimitation could be conducted using three approaches: (i) food flows, (ii) agricultural capacity, or (iii) hybrid approach (Schreiber, Hickey, Metson, Robinson, & MacDonald, 2021;Ś wiąder et al., 2018;Vicente-Vicente, Doernberg, et al., 2021). The food-flows approach includes the distribution network which relies on the relationship between food producers (food origins) and its consumer market (Karg et al., 2016). The agricultural capacity is an assessment of the agricultural production capacity that ensures the demands of the population, which could be also named as the foodshed self-sufficiency (Zasada et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
The resilience of the local food system is being underlined as one of the most important strategic goals for a sustainable future. However, since the question of what constitutes the local scale of food production depends largely on the type of product and supply chain, the associated foodshed can range from a site scale, city and city region up to wider region and country level. As a proof of concept whether functional urban areas (FUAs) can serve as references for local food systems, we provide evidence on their capacity to provide vegetarian diet supply to their residents. Applying the Metropolitan Foodshed and Self-Sufficiency Scenario (MFSS) model methodology we estimate the level of potential food self-sufficiency of the FUAs. We quantitatively compare the results for FUAs with the results of local planning documents of metropolitan areas. The approach is applied to 9 city regions representing different European countries: Wrocław (PL), Ostend (BE), Berlin (DE), Avignon (FR), Copenhagen (DK), Bari (IT), Brasov (RO), Athens (EL), Barcelona (ES). The results show that vegetarian and local food demand could be satisfied in first five FUAs of these city regions. However, if the same number of calories as current diet delivers is to be maintained only the first three FUAs have enough agricultural land to supply vegetarian ingredients to this diet. The results for metropolitan comparison return the same three cities plus Bari. We discuss the use of FUA in defining foodshed area and the role of consumers’ dietary choices in regional food self-sufficiency.
... Food flows into the city will have to adapt and possible changes in the composition of food types that are supplied in cities will affect food environments and food choices. Food flows into cities influence urban food environments (Karg et al., 2016), and together with retail structures, determine the current status of food swamps or food deserts (see Minaker et al., 2016 for an example from the global north), these are important components to consider when trying to understand diets and transform food systems for delivering better. This disruption may offer opportunities to shift perceptions and food intake patterns towards healthier options if other major food choice motives -especially price -do not counteract and drive consumers towards cheaper ultra-processed foods. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The world is and has been continuously changing and adjusting. Some changes are positive, some are negative. It is important to be aware of emerging changes in order to mitigate negative effects and amplify positive effects. Some of the major current trends are: urbanization, migration, climate change, population growth, biodiversity loss as well as the emergence of pandemics such as COVID 19. All of these trends affect food systems in several ways. A clear understanding of the implications is critical when considering how food systems can be strengthened and made more resilient to withstand the impacts of these trends.Climate change is threatening all aspects of food security. Low- and middle-income countries are projected to be affected to the largest extent. Yield reduction and price increases further increase the incentives to expand production into forest and grasslands which would in turn accelerate climate change. Urban food supply chains will have to adjust to shifting regional supplies and increasingly erratic volumes. Heat and water stress will further amplify the negative human health effects especially in densely populated areas. Biodiversity could be a crucial contributor to improved food system outcomes, yet it is continuously degraded. Many valuable plant species are already threatened and population growth, urbanization, climate change and current market forces increase the pressures on habitats for biodiversity. Direct threats also emerge from current food production systems that contribute to degradation through heavy use of chemical pesticides and fertilizer.Current food systems are already failing to deliver for the poor, contribute to environmental degradation, and fail to withstand disruptions such as the effects of COVID 19. Around 66% of Africans already face food insecurity. The population is projected to double by 2060 and food supply will need to change, diversify and increase drastically in order to overcome the current and emerging challenges. Here, the supply to urban residents will be most critical as urban populations will triple by 2050 and already by 2030, half of the population will reside in cities. With the majority of the population increase likely being absorbed by informal settlements, these areas will require attention to ensure they are made more resilient, to buffer the worst impacts. Food system trends towards more processed, and less nutritious foods are already negatively impacting different segments of populations with the coexistence of multiple forms of malnutrition, and increasing diet associated with non-communicable diseases. Therefore, alternative systems will have to be developed in order to avoid increasing health problems.While focusing on solving or mitigating the acute problems, we need to ensure a clear vision towards a more resilient, sustainable and equitable (food) future that is able to address the needs of all segments of society. The reports of EAT Lancet, the HLPE, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition and UNICEF are recent examples that highlight the needs and pathways towards this goal. Yet, there remain critical knowledge gaps for action that need to be addressed. Food choice motives are highly complex and interact with other needs and strategies. These are often context specific and generalization remains difficult, with limited evidence in low-and middle-income countries Hence a clear understanding of local contexts, and socio-cultural dynamics remains crucial for understanding, and devising suitable interventions that will respond to consumer needs and behaviour, for better food, nutrition and well-being outcomes. Furthermore, the food system itself and its mechanics have yet to be fully explored when it comes to interventions, particularly the parts which connect rural-producers and urban- consumers, and supporting and enabling food environment. While at the abstract and aggregate level there have been significant advances, the implications for local interventions have to be explored in more detail to avoid negative consequences or spillovers.Overall, clarity on intervention logic, design and monitoring will have to be ensured in order to truly advance the functioning of the food system for all and especially for vulnerable people that are currently ill served.
Article
Full-text available
Short supply chains have recently gained increased attention because of the turbulence in the global environment caused by exogenous influences that create unstable and uncertain conditions. The emergence of short supply chains is of particular importance for sustainable development at large, but also for the viability of vulnerable communities and areas (e.g., remote and isolated, and islands). This paper aims to explore the area of short supply chains focusing on the agri-food sector from a bibliometric standpoint. Towards this end, journal articles listed in the Scopus database were analyzed using the software VOSviewer. We present a broad overview, recent developments, and fundamental ideas in the realm of short food supply chains, which may aid in our comprehension and future research on this topic.
Article
Due to their centrality, some cities with a strategic position in the urban network become hubs for trade and benefit from the spillover effects of being close to more people. Yet, measuring city centrality and detecting hampering frictions such as international borders is an unsolved complex network problem. Here, we construct Africa's urban network obtained from OpenStreetMap road data. City centrality is measured using two indices: by the degree of cities, so the number of roads that connect it, and by the intermediacy, or the number of intracity journeys that pass through it. The number of trips between cities is approximated using a gravity model based on city size and time travel. The additional time for crossing an international border is used as a model parameter to proxy the cost of political barriers in the connectivity and trade of cities and countries. Results show that city degree scales sublinearly with population, meaning that larger cities are better connected to the network. Most small urban agglomerations are isolated corridors (a degree of two) or terminals (a degree of one). However, small cities may have a high level of intermediacy if they have a high degree and proximity to large urban areas. The intermediacy of cities with less than one million inhabitants depends on the size and degree. For cities above one million inhabitants, intermediacy depends mostly on city size. The intermediacy of cities, mainly those near international borders, is highly sensitive to border delays. Some countries are also susceptible to border delays. In Benin and Togo, a one-hour wait at a border corresponds to a decrease of 19% of their intermediacy.
Book
Full-text available
The work presented in this volume stems from a Conference on Ecological Agriculture held in Ethiopia in 2008. Through the discussions held during this Conference and field visits to Tigray, a region struck by hunger in the eighties and largely food secure today, participants shared insights on Africa’s potential for intensifying its agriculture through a better use of natural resources and ecosystem services. This volume represents the collective knowledge and subsequent writings of this Conference’ participants.
Chapter
Full-text available
By 2050, when the world population is expected to have increased to 9.6 billion, approximately 66 per cent of us will be living in urban areas. Urbanisation is placing significant pressure on resource management, given that cities are hungry and thirsty and enormous hubs of consumption of all kind of goods to which food, water and energy are central. This in turn makes cities major centres of solid and liquid waste generation. This ‘dirty’ side of the urban food security challenge determines an important share of the urban footprint. If this waste remains in the urban area, valuable resources, like crop nutrients, are not returned into the production cycle and the production areas increasingly face soil fertility degradation. Waste is today not only the paramount environmental and health challenge that growing cities face, but also a significant economic challenge in those countries where waste collection and treatment cannot be financed through taxes and fees – something that raises a question mark over the sustainability of urban growth (Walker et al. 2012). In this chapter we report mainly about some research in Ghana, in West Africa, which analysed the metabolism of three cities. We picture the challenges of urban food supply as well as food waste management for system sustainability, and discuss options and experiences with respect to links between these two challenges across sectors and look at opportunities to build a circular economy. The text draws in several sections from other articles by the lead author – in particular, one by Drechsel and Hanjra (2016).
Article
Full-text available
Tambora.org is a new web-based Collaborative Research Environment (CRE) for Historical Climatology (HC) and Environmental research, already containing several huge data collections from different regions with different cultural background. The integration and sustainable storage of existing data collections, as well as the entry of new data are core features of the system. Additionally, tambora.org provides a growing toolbox for creating, analysing and presenting the data. With many active contributors and everyone being invited to add further datasets, it is continuously growing. Tambora.org enables researchers to collaboratively interpret climate information derived from historical sources. It includes tools to support the complete workflow of transforming the raw source material (typically text) to data useful for climatic analysis and finally the publication of data. It provides a database for original text quotations together with bibliographic references and derived searchable, dated and geo-referenced information on climate and environment. To acknowledge scientific work, tambora.org facilitates the process of assigning citable DOIs (digital object identifier) to data collections by providing the necessary infrastructure and institutional responsibility for quality control.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is an integral part of West African life. Descriptive, qualitative research has proliferated, but there have been few randomly sampled surveys of West African UPA. The GlobE - UrbanFoodPlus (UFP) project undertook such a survey in 2013 in Tamale (Ghana) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). The aim was to provide a broad overview of the state of UPA in the study cities and to provide a basis for future research endeavors. The randomized sampling approach used aerial photography to identify ten sites in each of three categories of farm in each city. In both Ouagadougou and Tamale there were ten periurban village sites, ten open-space farm sites and ten residential sites containing isolated farms in people’s backyards, on interstitial spaces such as between houses and on undeveloped plots. Within each site, up to ten farmers were randomly selected. They completed a questionnaire on their cropping and livestock-rearing activities. We also took soil samples from the farmers’ fields in which they were questioned. Altogether, farm households sampled numbered 513. Focus groups and interviews with farmers sought their assessment of, and concerns about, the current status of their farming activities. There were similarities between the cities, but the differences in the expression of UPA in Tamale and Ouagadougou were more intriguing. On average, farmers had used their land for at least nine years; the mean farm size was 1.98 hectares (ha) in Tamale and 2.87 ha in Ouagadougou. Cultivation was concentrated in the wet season in both cities. In Tamale, commercial and dry-season production was slightly more common among open-space farmers, a trend that was far more pronounced in Ouagadougou. Production of staples dominated the rainy season in all farm types except Ouagadougou’s open spaces, where lettuce was the commonest crop. Commercial leaf vegetable production came to the fore in other categories in the dry season, but whereas lettuce dominated in Ouagadougou, traditional leaf vegetables were more commonly cultivated in Tamale. Crops were usually sold to traders at the farm gate. Livestock ownership was more common in Ouagadougou, but those who owned animals comprised a lower proportion of the inner city residents. In Tamale, where a higher proportion of the population constituted Muslims, it was rare to find cattle-rearing and, especially, pig-rearing. A greater proportion of livestock owners sold stock in Tamale. Soils in Ouagadougou were significantly more fertile than in Tamale. In Ouagadougou, soils in isolated fields such as backyard farms and in open spaces were more fertile on average than those of peri-urban fields. This trend was reversed in Tamale. Soil fertility levels correlated best with inorganic fertilizer amendments, and yields correlated better with inorganic fertilizer applications than organic amendments or soil properties. Farmers most commonly invested in seeds, followed by soil fertility management and crop protection inputs. In Tamale, where farms in backyards and interstitial spaces were more common, many people used fencing to protect crops from livestock. Farmers in Tamale more commonly used inorganic fertilizer than those in Ouagadougou, where compost and, especially, manure were more common. Wells and ponds were more common as water sources in Ouagadougou and, in Tamale, farmers used piped water and reservoirs. Farmers were particularly concerned about diminishing access to land in Tamale, where sales by chiefs to private investors were accelerating. In Ouagadougou, formal reallocation of land to homeowners by the state had similarly decreased available farmland. Water availability was a universal concern, and the quality of water used for irrigation was potentially more questionable in Ouagadougou than in Tamale. Farmers complained about the high price of inputs, and in Ouagadougou they also felt that input quality was poor. Seasonal price fluctuations depressed farmers’ profits, and many of them blamed this on poor storage facilities. The trend of sales to female marketers at the farm gate reflects patterns found in UPA across West Africa, as does the concentration of production in the rainy season, which is a result of limited access to irrigation. The differences in the prevalence and commercial significance of cultivation in backyards and isolated interstitial spaces are likely to be due at least in part to bylaws forbidding cultivation of tall crops in Ouagadougou. Variation in the species grown also reflects the different consumption characteristics of the two cities, influenced by their heritage and differential status as national and regional capitals. Application of organic amendments to soils in Ouagadougou could be linked to higher livestock ownership and institutional promotion of compost. The results point to the need for further work on uncontaminated, perennial water sources and soil fertility management, alongside focuses on commercialization of animal production and the legal, political and institutional context of UPA in different West African cities.
Article
Urban wastewater management has become a challenge in India as infrastructural development and regulations have not kept pace with population growth and urbanization. Annually, more and more people are moving into cities, and the figures are expected to reach about 600 million by 2030 making India more peri-urban than rural. Already, there is enormous pressure on planners to provide utility services, and water supply is a priority, especially where peri-urban water is exported formally or informally to fulfill city requirements. At the same time, the urban return flow (wastewater) also increases, which is usually about 70-80% of the water supply. This study attempted to analyze the current status of wastewater generation, its uses and livelihood benefits especially in agriculture, based on national data and case studies from Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kanpur and Kolkata. The challenge of the growing Indian economy is that, in many cities, the wastewater generated is a mixture of domestic and industrial wastewater which makes risk mitigation and reuse recommendations a challenge. Lack of systematic data on the different discharges makes it difficult to estimate the volume and quality of wastewater discharged and the total area under (usually informal) wastewater irrigation. Data from more than 900 Class-I cities and Class-II towns (with the population of each over 1 million and between 0.5 and 1 million, respectively) showed that more wastewater gets collected than eventually treated. In general, wastewater generation is around 60-70% over the established treatment capacity which varies from city to city. Governmental efforts to reduce surface water pollution remain jeopardized by the untreated wastewater fraction as well as by India's estimated 160 million latrines and septic tanks which contribute, according to Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), to 80% of the pollution of the national surface waters. The way forward will have to be built on further investments in treatment capacity for septage collected from on-site sanitation units, and in particular for industries to avoid interference in domestic and industrial waste streams. Reuse could offer business opportunities for cost recovery, while in smaller towns options like riverbank filtration, reed bed technologies and phytoremediation should also be explored to turn the waste stream into a resource. From the data set used for this study, it is evident that over 1.1 million ha could be irrigated if rendered safe for use. The major users of wastewater in the study sites include growers of cereal (like rice), horticultural and fodder crops and aquaculture (mostly in East Calcutta Wetlands [ECW] and also in Delhi), and to a lesser extent floriculturists. In Delhi and Kanpur, treated water was issued by farmers for agricultural production. However, with time the quality of wastewater had deteriorated, especially in Kanpur and it was no longer suitable for crop cultivation. In Hyderabad, although the government did not support the use of partially treated wastewater for irrigation, the farmers used it as it was the only source of water downstream of the city. Industrial pollution was highest at Kanpur and Ahmedabad so that both water quality and crop quality were affected at the heavily polluted sites. Data from the selected sites show that the financial benefits associated with wastewater farming were higher than those associated with freshwater-agriculture for cities where domestic wastewater does not mix with industrial sewage. Also, adverse health and environmental impacts were lower in such cities. The highest gains were reported from the ECW, where sewage farming has been practiced for over a century. However, a more holistic analysis which includes all household expenses like health, food, etc., and considers both direct and indirect costs and benefits would be required to calculate the net benefits. Particular attention is required to assess the effects of hazardous contaminants on water, soil and crops. Health risk assessments from most cities showed that wastewater farmers were more vulnerable than others to certain diseases and environmental hazards. However, site-specific health risk assessments are needed to investigate the short- and long-term health impacts of wastewater, so that effective remedial measures could be adopted. Given the increasing peri-urban character of India, this study showed that wastewater management needs much more attention than it has received so far. This is required from the perspectives of both health and water resources management. With nearly 70% of the population projected to live in cities, and water scarcity being reported from many parts of the country, planners need to have a strategy on how best to utilize the various water resources, including untreated, partially treated and fully treated wastewater, for different productive purposes. Monitoring and data collection are increasing in India but they must be carried out in a systematic manner. Institutionalizing the proposed data collection template which links into an extended AQUASTAT database could help collect uniform data sets for strategic planning.
Article
Local food systems may facilitate agroecological practices that conserve nutrient, energy, and water resources. However, little is known about the potential for local food systems to scale beyond niche markets and meet a substantial fraction of total food demand. Here we estimate the upper potential for all existing US croplands to meet total US food demand through local food networks. Our spatially explicit approach simulates the years 1850 through 2000 and accounts for a wide range of diets, food waste, population distributions, cropland areas, and crop yields. Although we find that local food potential has declined over time, particularly in some coastal cities, our results also demonstrate an unexpectedly large current potential for meeting as much as 90% of the national food demand. This decline in potential is associated with demographic and agronomic trends, resulting in extreme pressures on agroecological systems that, if left unchecked, could severely undermine recent national policies focused on food localization. Nevertheless, these results provide a spatially explicit foundation for exploring the many dimensions of agroecosystem sustainability.