Poor coordination makes it difficult to see where African food systems are going

Poor coordination makes it difficult to see where African food systems are going Even when sufficient funding is made available, African countries may fail to feed themselves and produce excess food for exporting in a consistent manner.  A major reason for this predicament is disorganized and uncoordinated food systems.  In most cases, markets have no Read more about Poor coordination makes it difficult to see where African food systems are going[…]

Pathways for repurposing resources are long overdue in developing countries

Pathways for repurposing resources are long overdue in developing countries Private property laws that many African countries adopted from colonialism have had both positive and negative aspects. One positive is that privatization of property has encouraged investors to make long-term investments in infrastructure and other developments that create reliable employment. On the negative side, once Read more about Pathways for repurposing resources are long overdue in developing countries[…]

How COVID19 has redefined knowledge and the value of intangible resources

 How COVID19 has redefined knowledge and the value of intangible resources The African continent is famous for abundant natural resources such as minerals and fertile land suitable for producing diverse food commodities. But more important than natural resources and equal to knowledge are intangible resources such as community engagement and relationships. However, it has taken Read more about How COVID19 has redefined knowledge and the value of intangible resources[…]

African mass food markets as foundations for new business identities

African mass food markets as foundations for new business identities If western business archetypes such as sole trader, private company, partnership, joint ventures, cooperatives and others were sustainable, most African economies would be vibrant. The reality on the ground suggests most of these types of businesses are inapplicable to the African context as shown by Read more about African mass food markets as foundations for new business identities[…]

Mechanizing value chain nodes could make a difference in African food systems

Mechanizing value chain nodes could make a difference in African food systems The seasonal nature of African food systems implies there are times when particular food commodities are out of season and other times when so much some food is abundant that preservation or semi-processing would increase shelf life by several months. While absence of Read more about Mechanizing value chain nodes could make a difference in African food systems[…]

Where does agriculture begin and end? Natural Ecosystems have Rights too!

Where does agriculture begin and end? Natural Ecosystems have Rights too! That food systems are more than agriculture is no longer debatable. However, what is worrying in most countries that depend on agriculture is the extent to which biodiversity and natural ecosystems are being destroyed in favor of agriculture. Conversely, the past few years have Read more about Where does agriculture begin and end? Natural Ecosystems have Rights too![…]

Income streams have different flavors – Wisdom from African food markets

Income streams have different flavors – Wisdom from African food markets Every income stream associated with African food commodities has unique socio-economic flavors, according to farmers and traders who have been participating in African mass food markets for many years. Farmers and elders with different sources of income tend to have diverse tastes and fulfilment Read more about Income streams have different flavors – Wisdom from African food markets[…]

What makes African food African – Some of the Unique Characteristics

What makes African food African – Some of the Unique Characteristics The best way of defining any food system is to examine its characteristics because it is characteristics that distinguish one food system from another. Characteristics also provide a unique selling proposition for each food system. Countries in the Global North have managed to define Read more about What makes African food African – Some of the Unique Characteristics[…]

Stewarding knowledge on African food systems – beyond collecting statistics

Stewarding knowledge on African food systems – beyond collecting statistics When African policy makers talk about food systems, they are often only interested in estimating national requirements of maize, wheat and other few commodities considered more strategic. Although it is known that everybody needs a good stew, there is no policy interest in understanding the Read more about Stewarding knowledge on African food systems – beyond collecting statistics[…]

Mass food markets – the Facebook of African food systems

Mass food markets – the Facebook of African food systems When you want to understand African food systems, visit African mass food markets in big cities. This is where most food commodities are mobilized from diverse parts of each country.  While every community may have its own local market, commodities in that market are not Read more about Mass food markets – the Facebook of African food systems[…]