Cities are serving as engines of growth that support rural development and meet urban needs.

Such benefits will not come automatically but will require adequate infrastructure and the right market incentives. Trade-offs, especially greater environmental pressures resulting from higher energy use and resource intensity associated with the production of livestock, fruits, vegetables, and processed foods, as well as obesity and health risks associated with excess consumption of animal fats, salty foods and sugary beverages will need to be addressed in tandem.

Supply chains bring food produced by rural smallholders to urban consumers and inputs produced in cities or towns to smallholders. However, weak links along the value chain may disrupt this flow (see also Box below). A deficit of inputs, such as seeds and fertilisers, or physical and financial impediments to accessing inputs faced by smallholders, can weaken the value chain upstream. A lack of processing, milling, cold storage, and transportation can sever the midstream of food systems.