The world’s urban population is set to increase to 66% by 2050. The dynamics of urbanization and urban life escalate the pressure on food systems to sustainably provide sufficient amounts of healthy foods. Poverty, malnutrition and hunger persist as urban diets are more likely to be unbalanced, with higher levels of energy and salt, lower levels of fiber, and still inadequate levels of micronutrients.
Growing cities can also be part of the solution. Levereging their market demand presents a unique opportunity to stimulate sustainable agricultural practices, economic opportunities along agri-food value chains and consumption of diverse and nutritious diets. Bioversity International's approach takes into account the diversity of food systems, food sources and nature of demand - including the range of sources where people get their food, including small neighborhood stores, supermarkets, fresh markets, street vendors, and urban and peri-urban agriculture (both home gardens and commercial enterprises), and even institutions, such as schools.