Mapping the consumer foodshed of the Kampala city region shows the importance of urban agriculture

Lisa-Marie Hemerijckx*, Gloria Nsangi Nakyagaba, Hakimu Sseviiri, Katarzyna Janusz, Michelle Eichinger, Shuaib Lwasa, Julian May, Peter H Verburg, Anton Van Rompaey

*Corresponding author for this work

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Due to rapid urbanisation, food systems in sub-Saharan African cities are increasingly under pressure. Through the lens of a foodshed, this paper quantitatively analyses the spatial extent of the food provisioning area for consumers of different socio-economic status in Kampala (Uganda). Based on a primary dataset of surveys with households and food vendors, we map the foodshed by registering where consumers obtain their food, and the origin of where it is grown. We show that 50% of the food consumed in the city originates from within a 120 km proximity to Kampala, including 10% from within the city itself. At present, urban agricultural activities are twice as important as international imports for the urban food provision. Established, high-income urban dwellers have a more local foodshed due to their broad participation in urban agriculture, while low-income newcomers rely heavily on retailers who source food from rural Uganda.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Journalnpj Urban Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank the surveyors, students and colleagues from the Urban Action Lab at Makerere University for their contributions to this project: Teddy Kisembo, Judith Mbabazi, Disan Byarugaba, Lilian Asingura. We also thank the students from the Geography and Tourism Division at KU Leuven for aiding in the data collection and providing insights: Sam Van Emelen, Tijs Maes, Desmond Khisa Situma, Clémence de Wouters and Sofie Versmissen. Finally, we express our gratitude to the local council leaders of the visited parishes in the GKMA for their guidance. This work was made possible by the Food4Cities research project, funded by the LEAP-Agri program of the European Union. This research fulfils the third work package in project 11C6120N titled ‘Spatial analysis of food systems transformations in rapidly growing African cities’, funded by Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) Vlaanderen.

© The Author(s) 2023.

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