Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Enhancing the food security of the peri-urban and urban poor through improvements to the quality, safety and economics of street-vended foods

Johnson, Paa-Nii T. and Yawson, Robert M. (2000): Enhancing the food security of the peri-urban and urban poor through improvements to the quality, safety and economics of street-vended foods. Published in: Natural Resources Institute, Chatham Maritime, UK: : pp. 1-63.

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Abstract

There has been a continuing growth in urbanisation in developing countries, and governments’ face a major challenge in ensuring that city dwellers are able to procure sufficient food. Street foods are sold in almost every country in the world. In most towns and cities in Ghana, selling of snacks and whole meals on the streets is an important way to obtain income, especially among the poor women. Street foods have a long tradition in most countries. The role of this sector in the urbanisation process and the urban economy reflects the way of life and the survival and coping strategies adopted in most African cities. Some earlier studies on street food vending in Ghana have taken place. The FAO and WHO have funded these. Unfortunately, the studies did not include potential food safety concerns such as the presence of heavy metals, pesticide residues and the presence of mycotoxins. The studies did not also examine the contribution of these informal microenterprises to the Ghanaian economy. The DFID/NRI/FRI project on improved street-vended foods was a one-year exploratory study aimed at assessing the safety and quality of food sold in Accra as well as estimates the contribution of this sector to the national economy of Ghana. The project complemented previous work carried on the sector by other workers. This workshop was therefore organized to present findings and identifies new areas where further knowledge is required. As part of this dissemination, key stakeholders of the streetfood vending business in Ghana made short presentations on the status of the foods sold in Accra. These short presentations are also included in this report.

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