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Open AccessArticle

Food Security in Artisanal Mining Communities: An Exploration of Rural Markets in Northern Guinea

1
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
2
Helen Keller International, New York, NY 10017, USA
3
Julius Nyerere University of Kankan, Kankan, Guinea
4
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), 1202 Geneva, Switzerland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(4), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040479
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 21 March 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 10 April 2020
The number of people engaged in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has grown rapidly in the past twenty years, but they continue to be an understudied population experiencing high rates of malnutrition, poverty, and food insecurity. This paper explores how characteristics of markets that serve ASM populations facilitate and pose challenges to acquiring a nutritious and sustainable diet. The study sites included eight markets across four mining districts in the Kankan Region in the Republic of Guinea. Market descriptions to capture the structure of village markets, as well as twenty in-depth structured interviews with food vendors at mining site markets were conducted. We identified three forms of market organization based on location and distance from mining sites. Markets located close to mining sites offered fewer fruit and vegetable options, as well as a higher ratio of prepared food options as compared with markets located close to village centers. Vendors were highly responsive to customer needs. Food accessibility and utilization, rather than availability, are critical for food security in non-agricultural rural areas such as mining sites. Future market-based nutrition interventions need to consider the diverse market settings serving ASM communities and leverage the high vendor responsiveness to customer needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: artisanal and small-scale mining; food security; diet; social environment; markets artisanal and small-scale mining; food security; diet; social environment; markets
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Zhang, L.X.; Koroma, F.; Fofana, M.L.; Barry, A.O.; Diallo, S.; Lamilé Songbono, J.; Stokes-Walters, R.; Klemm, R.D.; Nordhagen, S.; Winch, P.J. Food Security in Artisanal Mining Communities: An Exploration of Rural Markets in Northern Guinea. Foods 2020, 9, 479.

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