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Rural-Urban Interdependence in Food Systems in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria

Nicholas Ozor
Remigas Ozioko
Ernest Acheampong


The paper explored the rural-urban interdependence in food systems in Nsukka Local Government Area, of Enugu State in Nigeria. Using a stratified sampling technique, 270 household heads participated in the study, comprising of 180 respondents from two rural communities and 90 respondents from the urban area. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results show that household socio-economic characteristics such as age, income, education and occupation play significant role in rural-urban interdependence by influencing the decision to migrate, remain in the rural area, or provide urban services in rural areas. The interdependence revolves around five key aspects namely; the urban supply of food and raw materials, migration, labour supply, remittance, and socio-cultural obligations which facilitate the extent of flow of money, goods, and services between rural and urban economies. Large scale production mainly cassava, pepper, and maize occurs in the rural areas whereas small to medium scale production, mainly vegetables, are practiced in the urban areas. Most rural households use rudimentary farm implements and inputs which limit their capacity to increase agricultural production and maintain the flow of agricultural goods in the rural-urban food systems. Factors such as migration; lack of access to land, market and infrastructure; political instability; and poor policy support affect the rural-urban interdependence and hence will require the diversification of enterprises; provision of requisite infrastructure, technologies and farm inputs; and the provision of enabling environment for the interdependence to thrive.

Keywords: rural, urban, interdependence, food systems, remittance, migration