The informal sector’s role in food security: A missing link in policy debates?

Reviews the role played by the informal sector in general and informal retailers, especially in the accessibility of food in South Africa

Abstract

This paper aims to review what is currently known about the role played by the informal sector in general and informal retailers in particular, in the accessibility of food in South Africa. The review seeks to identify policy relevant research gaps. Drawing on Statistics South Africa data, the authors show that the informal sector is an important source of employment, dominated by informal trade with the sale of food a significant subsector within this trade. We then turn our attention to what is known about the informal sector’s role in food sourcing of poorer households.

This work was partly supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Department for International Development.

Abstract

Skinner, C., Haysom, G. 2016. The informal sector’s role in food security: A missing link in policy debates? Working Paper 44. Cape Town: PLAAS, UWC and Centre of Excellence on Food Security

The informal sector’s role in food security: A missing link in policy debates?

Published 12 September 2016