Rural-Urban Food Supply Chains for Prosperity

A joint study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has identified ways in which rural farming communities can benefit from rising food demand in urban centers of the developing world.

Meeting the rising urban demand for food can increase the incomes of the rural poor, most of whom derive their livelihoods from small and family farm agriculture, said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. “This could generate much-needed employment and development prospects for the people who will remain in the countryside of developing countries while also making healthier food easier to access in cities.”


In order to achieve this, there must be greater investment to develop the value chain, which in plain english means that we have to build "Better roads, reliable and extensive electrification, refrigerated transportation and better storage facilities".

The report also references countries where this is already taking place: Bangladesh, China, India and Ethiopia.  In these countries, farmers have access to inputs like high-yielding sees, new farming techniques, fertilizer and pesticide, cold storage facilities and even credit facilities.

Some of these innovations are available in some parts of Nigeria but what we need is more deliberate policy formulation and implementation to ensure a direct pipeline of food supply from rural farmers to dinner tables of urban households.  

We will be able to reverse the rural-urban drift If farmers can increase their income dramatically through a well-designed and sustainable rural-urban value chain.