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.

FAO Newsroom: 108 million people affected by food insecurity

There is rising global insecurity due to crisis and extreme weather conditions. Various international development agencies are trying to make a difference. These include the European Union, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF.

The dramatic increase reflects the trouble people have in producing and accessing food due to conflict, record-high food prices in local markets in affected countries and extreme weather conditions such drought and erratic rainfall caused by El Niño.

Civil conflict is the driving factor in nine of the 10 worst humanitarian crises, underscoring the strong linkage between peace and food security, says the Global Report on Food Crises 2017 report.

Like many other African nations, Nigeria is not carrying her weight in the global food production. We prefer to take the easy way out and import from Asia, Europe and the United States.

Its time to treat our underperformance as a major crisis. We need to invest more in large scale agriculture. This investment has to extend to improved infrastructure including roads into rural areas and rail transport to bring produce to market.

We also need to build better air cargo facilities to export perishables to markets in Europe and the Middle East. These are just a few of the many requirments.

Right now it seems the government is doing the least it can in order to gain momentary acclaim. Its a shame.