The impacts of rising food prices on the food security of the urban poor

This study, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) (Canada) and undertaken in cooperation with UN-HABITAT (Nairobi), studied the impacts of the food price hike and economic crisis of 2007/2008 on the food security and nutritional status of young children and their mothers in 5 cities: Colombo (Sri Lanka), Accra (Ghana), Bogota (Colombia), Copperbelt (Zambia) and Rosario (Argentina). 

Duration: 2 years

Funding: The World Bank

Project partners: RUAF Foundation (project coordination, the Netherlands); CIP-Urban Harvest (Peru);  International Water Management Institute (Sri Lanka); IPES Promoción del Desarrollo Sostenible (Peru); Instituto de Investigación Nutricional (INN, Peru); and GAMMA Systems (Kenya)


  • Execution of 4 case studies in Bangalore (India), Accra (Ghana), Nairobi (Kenya) and Lima (Peru) covering a variety of urban agricultural systems and physiographic conditions.
  • Production of a research report on each case, as well as production and dissemination of a synthesis report containing a comparative analysis of the 4 cases, final conclusions and policy recommendations.
  • Production and dissemination of the final report including the research results enriched with other experiences and existing literature indicating how to better incorporate intra- and peri-urban agriculture in international and municipal policies and programmes.
  • The findings were presented in a special session at the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro.

Results obtained:

  • Up-to-date information on the presence, forms and practices of intra- and peri-urban agriculture in the four study cities.
  • Evidence-based information on the possible impacts of intra- and peri-urban agriculture on the livelihood of the urban poor and on the urban environment.
  • A better understanding of the constraining and facilitating factors for development of successful urban agriculture programs; recommendations for city and national governments and World Bank staff.
  • A tested methodology that can facilitate more systematic data-gathering on urban agriculture in other cities in the future.


The following reports were produced: