Feeding Dar es Salaam: a symbiotic food system perspective

On Thursday 22 June 2017 at 11.00 hrs Marc Wegerif will defend his PhD thesis entitled ‘Feeding Dar es Salaam: a Symbiotic Food System Perspective’ in the Auditorium of Wageningen University. The ceremony will be live streamed by WURTV but can be viewed later as well.

The full thesis will be available online after the defence ceremony.

Marc is currently Land Rights Policy Lead for Oxfam and based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Before that he was in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) as Food and Land Rights Advisor for Oxfam with a focus on Horn, East and Central Africa. During that time he also undertook the fieldwork for his PhD thesis.

His thesis is based on qualitative research that explored the food system which feeds most of the over 4.6 million residents of the fast-growing city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Marc followed key foods (maize, rice, potatoes, green vegetables, eggs and milk) from the urban eaters to the retailers, processors and primary producers.

What has been found is a “symbiotic food system” made up of multitudes of small-scale and interdependent actors that together produce the food and get it to urban eaters at a city feeding scale. They do this without any vertically – or horizontally – integrated corporate structures.

The symbiotic food system that feeds Dar es Salaam is not perfect, but it is working and worthy of further research and interventions to create a more enabling environment for such foods systems to flourish in Tanzania and elsewhere.

Possible Thesis Topics: Trends in Global Food Security Governance

We are looking for good and motivated BSc and MSc students to conduct research on the following four topics:

  • Deconstructing the discourse of evidence-based policy making.

Project: Calls for evidence-based policy making are increasing evident in global food security policy processes, and beyond. For example, the follow up and review process for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to be “rigorous and based on evidence, informed by country-led evaluations and data which is high-quality, accessible, timely, reliable and disaggregated” (UN General Assembly, 2015, para. 74). Behind this push for evidence-based decision making lies a set of highly political questions about what evidence is considered appropriate? How should it be selected? Why? And by whom?

This thesis project will identify and analyse calls for evidence-based policy making made in food security policy processes at the multinational level so as to better understand the political nature of evidence and the implications this has for policies and claims to knowledge and expertise. Continue reading

Podcast – civil society participation global governance of food security

As part of the perfect storm seminar series at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Jessica Duncan gave a seminar about civil society participation in the global governance of food security on the 26th of January. ‘The Perfect Storm Scholars‘ interviewed her afterwards and posted a podcast that resulted of this interview on their blog.

The Perfect Storm scholars

As part of the perfect storm seminar series (see poster), Dr Jessica Duncan, Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, gave a seminar about civil society participation in the global governance of food security on the 26th of January at the University of Edinburgh.

She kindly made the time to talk to me about her seminar and research when she was in Edinburgh. You can find the result of this conversation in a podcast. Click HERE to listen to it.


Podcast structure

We talk about her seminar and research until around 24:40 min. From that point onwards we discuss the practical dynamics of undertaking empirical research in general, and specifically on global governance. At 30:00 min Dr. Duncan shares her views on interdisciplinary research.


Podcast notes:

You can find out more about Jessica’s research in her latest book: Global Food Security Governance: Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee…

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“We need policy rupture not incremental conservatism”: Toward a #commonfoodpolicy

Quote

Transmango

The EU-project TRANSMANGO is focussed at sustainable pathways to changing the food system. This project aims to combine and integrate different theoretical approaches to gain insight into Food and Nutrition Security (FNS).
In light of that, TRANSMANGO’s Terry Marsden has written an opinion paper about transitioning from the CAP to a Common Food and Nutrition Policy to start the debate.

Join the debate: 

A Common Food and Nutrition Policy for Europe?
Having been fortunate enough to have attended and participated in several international conferences and working groups over the spring and summer of this year, and had a change to explore and discuss the current ‘state of play’ in what seems to be the increasingly dysfunctional global food system, I have recently begun to seriously reflect on European policy, and the questions of radically changing the current EU CAP into a Common Food and Nutrition Policy. This was mentioned by Damien Canare, from Montpellier at a meeting of the FLEDGE research programme in Waterloo in September this year, and in my preparation and discussions for a presentation on the TRANSMANGO EU project at the Agriculture and Urbanising Society Conference in Rome thereafter.

“Some have perceived this as being something of a naive question, given the overall complexity and political inertia in the glacial process of CAP reform experienced over the past 25 years”

Continue reading

Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition – account of symposium hosted by the FAO

Maria Alicia MendoncaBy Maria Alice Mendonça, PhD-student Rural Development at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS, Brazil) and guest PhD at the Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University

During the days 18 and 19th of September, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations) hosted the International Symposium of Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition, in Rome, Italy. See the FAO webpage for more information on participants, presentations, poster, videos and so on.

The conference was attended by over 400 people. Amongst them were academics and representatives from government and social movements from all over the world. The aim was to discuss agroecology in the context of global debates and strategies related to: food security, sustainable agriculture and local food systems. The symposium was divided in three parts. The first was a plenary session with presentations by experts at the forefront of scientific research and bystate officials involved in the construction and implementation of innovative policies on Agroecology and Food Security. This was followed by parallel sessions where social movements, such as La Via Campesina and the Articulation in Brazilian Semiarid – ASA, as well as academics and government representatives shared on the ground experiences with Agroecology in diverse countries. At the closing session, State’s ministries of France, Nigeria, Japan, Senegal, Costa Rica, Brazil (video message), the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Union (video message) and the FAO’s general director, José Graziano da Silva made their statements and commitments to Agroecology and Food Security. Continue reading

New journal announcement: SITOPOLIS – Journal of Urban Agriculture and Regional Food Systems

SITOPOLIS – The Journal of Urban Agriculture and Regional Food Systems is a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed and open access journal focussing on urban and peri-urban agriculture and systems of urban and regional food provisioning in developing, transition and advanced economies.

The journal intends to be a platform for cutting edge research on urban and peri-urban agricultural production for food and non-food (e.g. flowers, medicine, cosmetics) uses and for social, environmental and health services (e.g. tourism, water storage, care, education, waste recycling, urban greening). It aims to explore, analyse and critically reflect upon urban and regional food production, processing, transport, trade, marketing and consumption and the social, economic, environmental, health and spatial contexts, relations and impacts of these food provisioning activities.

The journal addresses one of the contemporary grand societal challenges: how to secure the availability, affordability and access to culturally appropriate, nutritious and safe food for a growing and rapidly urbanizing world population in times of increasing resource scarcity, diet-related ill-health and climate change. This contemporary grand societal challenge requires a multi-disciplinary approach and hence SITOPOLIS welcomes contributions from a wide variety of disciplines, such as sociology, economics, marketing and consumer studies, gender studies, human and economic geography, urban and regional planning, architecture, urbanism, landscape architecture, political science, agronomy, soil science, water management, and public health studies. The journal publishes original research as well as critical reviews.

The journal is published by Baltzer Science Publishers in collaboration with ACSESS, the Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies in the USA and with the RUAF Foundation. Editor-in-Chief is Prof.dr. Han Wiskerke, supported by an international and multi-disciplinary editorial board.

Job opening: Assistant / Associate Professor in Food Sociology (tenure track position)

The Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University is looking for an assistant or associate professor in food sociology. As an assistant / associate professor you will teach and coordinate Bachelor and Master courses for the Bachelor and Master program International Development Studies (specialization Sociology of Development), the Master program Health and Society and for the Master program Food Technology (specialization Gastronomy), and supervise Master thesis research for these programmes. You will undertake independent research and participate in (and coordinate) international research projects, specifically focusing on food provisioning in urbanizing societies and on the relations between food and public health, social equity and sustainable urban and regional development. Other aspects of the job include project acquisition, training and supervision of PhD students and participation in various research and/or education committees.

 

We ask

  • A PhD degree in (rural) sociology, food policy, social/human geography or related social science discipline;
  • An inspiring vision on sustainable food provisioning in urban and metropolitan regions;
  • Considerable experience with agro-food research, proven by publications in key international journals, and preferably in the fields of food culture, alternative food networks, urban food strategies and/or public food procurement;
  • A relevant international network;
  • Good didactic qualities and the capacity to motivate students (candidates will be required to follow the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Programme (LTHEP, in Dutch referred to as BKO), a system adopted by all Dutch universities);
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Good management skills;
  • Fluent in English;
  • Preferably a proven record in acquisition of research projects;

To be considered for an Associate Professorship, substantial teaching experience, proven didactic qualities, publications in leading journals and a proven record in acquisition of research projects and supervision of PhD students are prerequisites.

 

We offer

A challenging career trajectory called Tenure Track. From the position of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor you can eventually grow into the position of a Professor holding a Personal Chair. Of course training and coaching are provided and interdisciplinary (international) cooperation is stimulated. You will also be given the chance to build up your own research line.

We offer you a temporary contract for three years (0.8 – 1.0 fte), which can lead to a permanent employment contract. Gross salary:

  • Assistant professor: from € 3227 to € 4418 (Scale 11 CAO Dutch Universities), based on full time (1,0 fte) employment and dependent on expertise and experience.
  • Associate professor: from € 4472 to € 5444 (Scale 13 CAO Dutch Universities), based on full time (1,0 fte) employment and dependent on expertise and experience.

For more information about Tenure Track within Wageningen UR look at http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Jobs/Tenure-Track.htm

 

Additional information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

Prof. dr. ir J.S.C. Wiskerke, Chair of Rural Sociology Telephone number: +31 317 482679/4507 E-mail address: han.wiskerke@wur.nl

 

Application

To apply, please upload your letter of motivation and your CV, including a list of publications via the online application button on the Wageningen University vacancy webpage before June 17 2013. You will receive an automatic e-mail confirmation within 24 hours.

Profitable organic farming – contribution to ‘The Broker’ food security blog

Profitable organic farming is a contribution of colleague Ina Horlings the ‘The Broker online‘ blog on food security.  The Broker has four interesting blogs from a manyfold of people across the world.

Framing urban food strategies

london food strategyDuring the first week of the course Food health and society, the students set on to analyse Urban Food Strategies, each of the six groups having their ‘own’ city. They received classes in what ‘policy’ is and had to apply the ‘what’s the problem’ approach by Carol Bacchi. The key idea is that policies are not neutral or objective but that how the problem is represented – what is brought to the fore and what is left out – is constructed in social context. It is therefore important to ask who’s problem is represented and how discourse has intended and unintended effects. Continue reading

Meat: the good, the bad and the complicated

By Birgit Boogard, former RSO-staff member, now Post-doctoral fellow at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) currently working on the imGoats project that has the objective to:  ‘increase incomes and food security in a sustainable manner by enhancing pro-poor small ruminant value chains in India and Mozambique’. (b.boogaard@cgiar.org).

Meat: the good, the bad and the complcicated (IFPRI Infographic)

Meat: the good, the bad and the complcicated (IFPRI Infographic)

The International Food Policy Institute recently published an interesting info-graphic on meat production and consumption in the world entitled ‘Meat: the good, the bad and the complicated . The debate about meat production and consumption is a very interesting one in many ways. I don’t need to remind us of the recent discussion at Wageningen UR on ‘the good’ of intensified animal production ‘to feed the world’. In response to such arguments, ‘the bad’ are brought into the debate (see for example earlier blog by Petra), which are subsequently answered by the animal production sector with defensive responses. Continue reading