The year 2019 has proven the success and impact of the Food Smart Cities programme in Arusha. However, there are still many challenges along the road. Consumers for instance don’t have sufficient information about the importance of food safety, and as a result they lack incentives to pay a higher price for safe fresh fruits and vegetables. Awareness campaigns are therefore crucial but changing the behaviour of consumers is never an easy task. Transforming the food system is after all a complex step by step process that involves many actions and actors.
Building on the positive results in Arusha, we are now expanding this programme to other cities in Africa. Inspired by Arusha, we plan to kick off activities in Ougadougou and Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, Dakar and Rufisque in Senegal, Kampala and Mbale in Uganda, and Mbeya in Tanzania. We are meeting with their mayors and city councils, visiting markets and farmer organisation, conducting research on urban and peri-urban agriculture, and consulting with partners and other stakeholders to prepare these cities for the Food Smart City adventure! For the Democratic Republic of Congo, the food systems context study will provide guidance for the programme. This study will soon be launched, and three cities are involved: Bunia (in Ituri), Bukavu (in South Kivu) and Kalemie (in Tanganyika).
Now only one question remains: Which city will be the next Food Smart City?