Precision approaches to food insecurity: A spatial analysis of urban hunger and its contextual correlates in an African city

Jac Davis*, Nyasha Magadzire, Lisa Marie Hemerijckx, Tijs Maes, Darryn Durno, Nobelusi Kenyana, Shuaib Lwasa, Anton Van Rompaey, Peter H. Verburg, Julian May

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Although progress has been made in addressing hunger and poor diets in African cities, many urban residents still suffer from food insecurity, and there is large heterogeneity within cities. We examine spatial variations in hunger and dietary quality using a representative study of 983 households and 440 food retailers in a South African secondary city. Substantial variation existed both between and within urban neighborhoods: high-income neighborhoods were not free of hunger, and low-income neighborhoods varied in diet quality according to individual characteristics. After controlling for income and gender, individual characteristics including access to consumer technologies for food transportation and storage, and informal food assistance from neighbors, were protective against hunger and poor quality diets. Results suggest that meaningful variations exist at smaller geographic units than the city-level or neighborhood-level statistics typically reported in food security research. Average socioeconomic status of neighborhoods may not be a sufficient proxy for their food insecurity, as poor areas vary substantially in their food access options and food choices. Precision estimates of hunger and poor diets are needed to target interventions at those neighborhoods and those households with the greatest need, and to tailor interventions for the specific and different needs of urban residents within neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105694
JournalWorld Development
Volume149
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by LEAP-Agri, A Long term EU-Africa research and innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable Agriculture, co-financed from the European Union’s EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under the ERA-Net-Cofund and administered by NWO-WOTRO [W 09.03.106] and NRF [UID118889b]. Data collection in South Africa was managed by SADC Research Centre. We would like to thank our collaborators at the Breede Valley Municipality, the Province of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, the Worcester Ward Committees, and the South African Local Government Association. Thanks to the fieldwork team in Worcester and Nandipha Gana and Coretta Jonah at the University of the Western Cape. This work was completed under the South African DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security.

Funding Information:
This project was funded by LEAP-Agri, A Long term EU-Africa research and innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable Agriculture, co-financed from the European Union's EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under the ERA-Net-Cofund and administered by NWO-WOTRO [W 09.03.106] and NRF [UID118889b]. Data collection in South Africa was managed by SADC Research Centre. We would like to thank our collaborators at the Breede Valley Municipality, the Province of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, the Worcester Ward Committees, and the South African Local Government Association. Thanks to the fieldwork team in Worcester and Nandipha Gana and Coretta Jonah at the University of the Western Cape. This work was completed under the South African DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

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