Towards clean energy cooking. A new solar cooker.
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Increasing urbanisation is accompanied by a rapid growth of the poor population’s share in urban areas. Changes in food systems brought about by this, the opportunities it creates for farmers and what investments are needed to turn the changed conditions into a win-win situation for both the (peri-)urban and the rural population are being looked at by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in an on-going “learning journey”.

Between 1990 and 2018, the share of the urban poor increased from 18 to 25 per cent on average in most of the low and middle-income countries. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is giving increasing attention to this trend. In order to identify relevant fields of action, it conducted four case studies on urbanisation processes from 2017 to early 2018. The studies were carried out in Bolivia, Ethiopia, Haiti and Laos. One of their most striking findings was that e.g. Laos, with generally low percentages of urbanisation and a stable population growth rate of approximately 1.6 per cent since the 2010s, showed record urban growth rates for peri-urban and urban zones. While three quarters of the population live in rural areas, the country experiences an annual urban growth rate of 17.3 per cent.

Based on the findings of the case studies, the core group of SDC’s Agriculture and Food Security (A+FS) network organised a webinar and a contiguous three-week online dialogue on the topic of city region food systems with the Food for the cities experts of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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