Unsustainable Livelihood Interactions Between Rapid Urbanization, Environmental Pressures and Food Systems in The Sub-Saharan Region

Josphert N. Kimatu, Jacinta M. Kimiti, Mercy C. Kebenei, Evelyne J. Mutunga, Emily Kitivo


Full Length Research Paper I Published June,2019


Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Technology  Vol. 5 (4), pp.78-86.



Urbanization is rapidly increasing with half of the human population now living in urban areas. However, urban living comes with new lifestyles, food habits, and the concentration of food varieties in a small area. Most urban places were developed on agriculturally rich lands; therefore, there is an urgent need for governments to come up with strategies for realizing a sustainable interaction between the growth of urbanization, environment ecosystem services, and food systems, especially in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. This study highlights the probable implications and impacts of the sub-Saharan urban expansion on food systems and ecosystem biodiversity functions, with special reference to the Kenyan urban food systems. The study concludes that the rapid increase in the urban population in Kenya is shifting traditional diet preferences and may in the near future, have health, and environmental implications. The drivers of this change are; lack of information or advice on nutritional needs, increased intake of livestock products, increase in the consumption of processed foods, increasing the use of pesticides, herbicides, and environmental contamination. The study emphasizes the urgency of implementing a sustainable, intensive and multifunctional agricultural system.

Keywords: Ecosystem services, Biodiversity hot spots, Multifunctional agriculture, Kenya, Agricultural Intensification and food security.


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