80 % of dairy products in Kenya, 83 % in India and 98 % in Tanzania). These so-called wet markets have numerous advantages. Food is fresh and cheap, and local breeds are used. ILRI veterinary epidemiologist Grace also explained that the equation “informal = unsafe, formal = safe” was by no means correct, referring to the results of surveys in Vietnam as an example. There, 100 per cent of the pork samples from a supermarket counter did not meet the country’s food standards; contamination with bacteria was not lower than in meat samples from the informal market.   

Another aspect that must not be forgotten according to Grace is that women dominate food processing, where they ensure quality. A survey in Nigeria revealed that beef sold by women was much safer than the beef sold by men. Grace concludes: “If we only concentrate on risks and achieving formalisation in reshaping markets, this will have an anti-poor and anti-women effect.”

A need for rural-urban recognition and investment

The conference participants agreed that the broken linkages between cities and rural areas had to be brought on track again.