Characteristics of Urban Food insecurity: The Case of Kinshasa

Philippe Lebailly and Damien Muteba (2011). African Review of Economics and Finance, Vol. 3, No. 1, Dec 2011.



Feeding  Kinshasa? How to ensure food security for millions of inhabitants who have to survive on low wages well below the poverty line? This is the daily challenge for a multitude of poor people in Kinshasa! Some see this situation as an opportunity for strengthening local producers. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the constraints affecting the agricultural economy mean it cannot supply the city of Kinshasa on the basis of predominantly local production but through food imports. In a context of crisis as experienced in the DRC, food is of strategic importance and the focus is essentially on quantity: households turn to cheaper products and high calorie intake at the expense of high-protein foods, leading to unbalanced diets.  This imbalance is exacerbated by an influx of imported  products , often of  poor nutritional quality but at very competitive prices and responding to new eating habits of urban consumers. To understand the issue of food security in DRC, a country with high agricultural potential but 70% of whose population is affected by food insecurity, various research devices have been established by an interdisciplinary research group to support policy, funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation Department (DGDC / CUD): the Research Group Supporting the Policy for Food and Agriculture in Africa (GRAP 3A). This paper presents one of the main focuses of the inter-university research program conducted jointly with researchers from the University of Kinshasa: an approach to food insecurity and strategies for a sustainable food policy based on the study of household food consumption in Kinshasa carried out by various surveys.


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Publication Type Paper
Publisher The Author(s)
Year 2011
Author(s) Philippe Lebailly and Damien Muteba
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