Although the World Food Programme reports that Tanzania is food secure at the national level, Arusha City still faces challenges in the future. Rapid urbanisation due to migration and expansion will increase the city's population from 416,000 to 2 million by 2050. Another future challenge will be high water stress due to the expansion of commercial water demand. The Arusha catchment is part of the Pangani Water Basin, which has renewable water resources of 1,200m3 per capita, which is below the global benchmark for water stressed areas (1700m3). Yields are likely to be reduced and crop choices altered as a result of climate change. The market is also influenced by regional political dynamics. For example, rapid and unexpected regulatory changes often expose farmers to market shocks. There is often a lack of machinery, irrigation, adequate seeds, fertilisers or pesticides, and the use of crop protection products is excessive, with serious implications for food safety.
We want to make sure that all food produced around Arusha, especially vegetables and fruits, is safe. The municipality also looks at developing a Food Policy for Arusha together with a wide range of partners.
Rikolto endorses CIAT’s definition of sustainable food system:
Sustainable food systems are those food systems that aim at achieving food and nutrition security and healthy diets while limiting negative environmental impacts and improving socio-economic welfare. Sustainable food systems are therefore protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as human well-being and social equity. As such they provide culturally acceptable, economically fair, affordable, nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy foods in a way that balances agro-ecosystem integrity and social welfare.
The several actors involved in the Arusha Food Safety Initiative are looking to all the aspects of the food system:
Between March and August 2019, three journalists from the magazine Eos Tracé visited partner cities of Rikolto's Food Smart Cities programme. During these visits, they interviewed more than 130 people and discovered initiatives that make safer, healthier and sustainable food more accessible to citizens. This book tells their stories from 9 cities in Vietnam, Belgium, Tanzania, Indonesia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua.