The complex food system : a case study of soft vegetables produced in the Philippi Horticultural Area and the soft vegetables purchased at difference links in the food system

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Food systems are complex and have a range of stakeholders that move food from production through to consumption. Value chains are responsible for the activities that move food between the stakeholders and through the system. The food system presented in this project concentrates on the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA), a local vegetable production area within the City of Cape Town, and the distribution of its produce to traders. In this food system, the informal sector is so entrenched in the system that the two sectors (formal and informal) rely on each other. The informal traders do not produce their own vegetables and are dependant on the formal sector to make the vegetables available and to provide access points. The PHA and the informal sector are important for availability and access of fresh, high quality low cost vegetables to the urban poor. The PHA and the informal sector are important for urban food security in the light of increased urbanisation, poverty, access and availability. Development should consider planning that incorporates urban agriculture for sustainable development and food security policies should acknowledge the informal sector as an important means for the urban poor to access food.

Includes abstract.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 138-146).