Food access in a food system in transition
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The main food security issue that urban households face is the access of food. This does not only mean physical access in terms of availability of food and food outlets; but in a monetized urban settings this also means economic access and the need of financial resources to ensure food security. Moreover, recent changes in the food system and the emergence of modern food retail outlets, could potentially influence the food access of urban households. This thesis therefore explores food access of households within the current food retail environment.Two neighborhoods in Namuwongo, Kampala were chosen as a case study. Here, data from low-income- and middle/high-income households is collected to explore different consumption patterns and food access issues. This has been achieved through: conducting quantitative household surveys and vendor interviews in order to gain an understanding of the significant issues and trends in the food retail sector and consumption patterns; completing a product scan and observations of the different food retail outlets to see what products are available to urban consumers; and conducting focus-groups amongst several respondents of the household survey to put quantitative data in perspective. Results demonstrate, that although modern food retail is emerging in Kampala traditional retail remains the most important source of food for all households in this study. Modern retail seems to serve a specific purpose for the more affluent households and has little effect on the urban poor. This thesis therefore recommends that policymakers should make efforts in improving traditional systems that will continue to serve the majority of the urban population.