Project Purpose

In East Africa, the increasing population in urban centres is placing pressures on institutional infrastructures. Many of these cities are not equipped to handle such a large scale demographic expansion, especially at the rate it is occurring. As a result, it is essential that we examine the issue of food security within these urban areas. Dar es Salaam is no exception to this rapid urban growth. Therefore, it is fundamental to strategize and build a foundation that successfully promotes best practices in land policy and sustainable food systems. Given that urban centres in East Africa are facing similar land pressures (global climate change impacts, urban sprawls, and pollution) and resultant in food shortages, it is imperative that cooperation is promoted between these cities’ governments and civil societies. In partnership with Aga Khan University, this research study will conduct a comparative analysis on high-end food systems between Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. This international partnership aims to foster innovation and new knowledge by applying a systems approach in linking academic and a more applied connection to contribute to the challenge of food insecurity in East African cities. In collaboration with Aga Khan University’s study “Understanding Urban Food Systems: A case study of Nairobi”, the urban food systems project in Dar es Salaam will use a similar methodology to map the current food system of high-end supermarkets, the agricultural source and transportation of their food staples, current practices of food storage, waste disposal and sanitation, and building infrastructure. Through doing so, this study aims to produce the following outcomes: observational surveys on food staple prices, packaging, and quality; interview surveys determining the source of food staples, annual cycles of food accessibility, and modes of transportation from source to market; case study surveys on individual households and their consumption habits; food maps for high-end supermarkets in Dar es Salaam and individual households; and a blog titled “UFV East Africa internship” to publicly share information on food systems in Dar es Salaam. Based on these outputs, the project will create a foundation for future scholars to engage in further studies on urban food systems in Dar es Salaam as well as comparative studies conducted in other East African cities, thereby promoting capacity building for policy and planning through international cooperation and information sharing.

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