Food remittances: rural-urban linkages and food security in Africa
The transfer of funds by migrants to their home countries (cash remittances) is at an all-time high. By 2017, it is predicted to rise to US$500 billion – and there is a growing policy consensus that cash remittances can be mainstreamed into development. Equally, food remitting also has a role to play in urban and rural food security. Yet despite its importance, researchers and policymakers tend to ignore food remitting. This report is aimed at researchers and policymakers interested in transforming rural-urban linkages and the implications for food security of rural and urban residents. At a time of rapid urbanisation in the South, a wider lens is needed: focusing on ruralurban linkages and moving beyond cash-based, market transactions to consider the bidirectional flows of goods – including food – and their impact on food security. Using case studies from Zimbabwe and Namibia, this report demonstrates how lessons related to food remitting can be applied in other African contexts – and highlights the urgent need for a new research agenda.