Sub-Saharan Africa is still overwhelmingly rural, with 70% of its people living in rural areas engaged primarily in producing food for household consumption. However, the scene is changing rapidly and with an average annual urban growth rate of 4.8% (1980-93), Sub- Saharan Africa is now urbanizing more rapidly than any other part of the world. Whilst the urban elites will no doubt continue to purchase large quantities of imported food from supermarkets, there is increasing concern about feeding the growing numbers of urban poor, many of whom have no permanent employment and limited access to resources. The situation is likely to become even more difficult as we move towards and into the twenty- first century. In addition to increasing poverty and malnutrition, the absence of a reasonably priced and plentiful source of basic foodstuffs for the urban poor could prove a major threat to local and national political stability.
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