Dynamics of food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa
This report (PDF) by the Wageningen Economic Research investigates the dynamics in the food systems in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The African continent is rapidly urbanizing and has shown significant welfare growth rates in recent years. This are favorable conditions for a nutrition transition that is featured by increasing demand for vegetables, livestock based and processed foods. Food systems in SSA show dynamics as in quite a number of countries in this continent diets change. A gradual shift can be seen from traditional to non-traditional cereals in most countries. Additionally, data from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda give some indication of a nutrition transition in urban areas as generally urban diets include fewer cereals and starch and more meat/fish than the rural diets in these countries. Additionally, supermarkets formats emerge, and food processors and farmers invest in integrating in supermarket value chains. However, it shows that supermarkets’ share in a country’s total food sales remain limited, and food processors and farmers face many difficulties in their efforts supplying modern value chains. Processed food products sold in supermarkets are largely imported, as are fruits, vegetables and fish. Still, there is no evidence for a rapid increasing food import dependency on a per capita basis. Although literature points at sometimes rapid developments, the overall, general picture is that diet transitions are gradual.