The buzzing city of Kampala - with its 1.6 million people - is the biggest city in Uganda, located close to Lake Victoria. With a population growth rate of around 5% every year, it is among Africa’s fastest growing urban areas. Rikolto’s ambition is to turn Kampala’s foodsystem into a sustainable and inclusive food system to provide healthy, sustainable and nutritious food for its citizens.
Building a sustainable and inclusive food system is however not a simple task, especially not when you take the many challenges Kampala faces into account. Due to rapid urbanisation, at least 50% of the country’s population will be living in urban areas. Most people live in informal settlements with inadequate housing, poor health care services, lack of accessto education, to safe drinking water, and lack of infrastructure. There is also the poor market infrastructure and practices which means that there is absence of cold storage facilities, hygiene challenges and traders spraying pesticides on vegetables and fruits in their stalls to prolong shelf life among others. The limited consumer awareness on safety of fruits and vegetables, which the consumer judges based on its looks. The absence of local standards of policies to regulate food safety risks also adds to the challenges of the sector in Kampala. Many fruits and vegetables meant for export never reach their destination due to rejections because the products don’t live up to the standards of the market.
Rikolto believes that cities can play an important role in sparking a shift towards a fundamentally different food system by creating a platform for all food actors to develop common strategies and actions, but also to transform urban food environments for improved consumption of healthy, sustainable and nutritious food by all urban citizens, regardless of their level of income.
It is against this background, that a Food Smart City (FSC) programme is set up in collaboration with city authorities to make healthy, sustainable and safe fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to all.
The overall goal of the Food Smart Cities programme is to support city-regions in implementing both policies and practices that contribute to sustainable, fair and healthy food systems. To do so, Rikolto and its partners will be working on the following objectives:
The main achievement happened under the framework of an urban farming project funded by UN Environment Programme and implemented together with Kampala Capital City Authority).
1. A thriving multi-stakeholder food governance platform in place to organise collective action towards a sustainable food system in Kampala
2. A supply chain of fruits and vegetables in Kampala that is centred around ‘inclusive business’
3. Better access to safe and quality fruits and vegetables consumed in Kampala city
Urban farming systems have been promoted through a multi-stakeholder driven risk analysis approach:
One of the urban demonstration farms in Kyanja managed by our partner Kampala Capital City Authority
4. Improved food safety promotion and awareness
5. City learnings
Kampala’s Food Smart City programme promotes the exchange of lessons and good practices regarding food governance, innovative business models and technology with other cities in East Africa.