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Agriculture 2016, 6(3), 40; doi:10.3390/agriculture6030040

The Symbiotic Food System: An ‘Alternative’ Agri-Food System Already Working at Scale

1
Rural Sociology Group and Sociology of Development and Change Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Institute for Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
3
Sociology of Development and Change Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
4
Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension. University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giaime Berti, Moya Kneafsey, Larry Lev, Irene Monasterolo and Sergio Schneider
Received: 7 June 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4027 KB, uploaded 24 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

This article is an analysis of the agri-food system that feeds most of the over four million residents of the fast growing city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. It is based on qualitative research that has traced the sources of some important foods from urban eaters back through retailers, processors and transporters to the primary producers. Particular attention is given to the functioning of the market places and how new actors enter into the food system. These reveal that more important to the system than competition are various forms of collaboration. Of particular interest is how a wide range of small-scale and interdependent actors produce the food and get it to urban eaters at a city feeding scale without large vertically- or horizontally-integrated corporate structures. This “symbiotic food system” is an existing alternative to the corporate-dominated agri-business food system; it can and does deliver at scale and in a way that better responds to the needs of people in poverty who are buying food and the interests of food producers. It is not perfect in Dar es Salaam, but the food system is working and is a model that should be built on. View Full-Text
Keywords: food; food system; symbiotic food system; markets; agriculture; cultural repertoires; ethnography; Tanzania food; food system; symbiotic food system; markets; agriculture; cultural repertoires; ethnography; Tanzania
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wegerif, M.C.A.; Hebinck, P. The Symbiotic Food System: An ‘Alternative’ Agri-Food System Already Working at Scale. Agriculture 2016, 6, 40.

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