Traditional Markets, Small-Format Shops Account for 90% of Urban Food Retailing in Africa – Report

Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia Commons Agricultural terraces near Ambalandingana, Madagascar.

Traditional markets and small-format shops currently account for 80 to 90 per cent of urban food retailing in African cities, a report has shown.

The 2020 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) was launched on Tuesday at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) virtual summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

The report said small farmers reach urban food markets primarily via traditional wholesale markets. “The efficient operation of these markets, therefore, becomes key to small farmer access and competitiveness,” reads the report.

It envisions that supermarket shares, though currently small, seem likely to increase in the coming decades.

While recognising the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its role in exacerbating existing economic and social inequalities, the report defines five focus areas in a bid to overcome the problem of urban under-nutrition and accelerate the urgency of urban food system planning.

These focus areas include improved urban food system governance; efficient urban wholesale markets; food safety regulation and enforcement; regional free trade and agricultural policy harmonisation, and agricultural research focused on high-growth, high-value food commodities. Read more…

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