Document Type

AFSUN Urban Food Security Series

Publication Date



Balsillie School of International Affairs


Over the last decade, two issues have risen to the top of the international development agenda: Food Security & Migration and Development. Each has its own agency champions, international gatherings, national line ministries and voluminous bodies of research. There is thus a massive institutional and substantive disconnect between these two development agendas. The reasons are hard to understand since the connections between migration and food security seem so obvious. Food security needs to be “mainstreamed” into the migration and development agenda and migration needs to be “mainstreamed” into the food security agenda. Without this happening, both agendas will proceed in ignorance of the other to the detriment of both. The result will be a singular failure to understand, and manage, the crucial reciprocal relationship between migration and food security. This paper aims to promote a conversation between food security and migration experts and policy-makers with particular reference to the crisis of urban food security in Africa. The empirical basis of the conversation is an AFSUN survey in 2008 and its findings on the differences between migrant and non-migrant households in 11 cities in Southern Africa.