A Systematic Scoping Review of the Impacts of Community Food Production Initiatives in Kenya, Cameroon, and South Africa.
Journal of global health reports 2021 ; 5: .
Hutton GB, Brugulat-Panés A, Bhagtani D, Mba Maadjhou C, Birch JM, Shih H, Okop K, Muti M, Wadende P, Tatah L, Mogo E, Guariguata L, and Unwin N
DOI : 10.29392/001c.19468
PubMed ID : 33829114
PMCID : PMC7610539
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in two people in Africa were food insecure. The burden of malnutrition remains high (e.g. childhood stunting, anaemia in women of reproductive age) or are increasing (e.g. overweight and obesity). A range of coordinated actions are required to improve this situation, including increasing local food production and consumption. The aim of this review was to provide a systematic and comprehensive overview of recently published research into the health, social, economic, and environmental impacts of community food production initiatives (CFPIs) in Kenya, Cameroon and South Africa.
We searched eight electronic databases covering health, social, environmental, economic and agricultural sciences. Primary research studies published from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2018 were considered. Data on geographic location, study design, type of CFPI and the impacts assessed were abstracted from eligible articles.
We identified 4828 articles, 260 of which required full-text review and 118 met our eligibility criteria. Most research was conducted in Kenya (53.4%) and South Africa (38.1%). The categories of CFPIs studied were (in order of decreasing frequency): crop farming, livestock farming, unspecified farming, fisheries, home / school gardens, urban agriculture, and agroforestry. The largest number of studies were on the economic and environmental impacts of CFPIs, followed by their health and social impacts. The health impacts investigated included food security, nutrition status and dietary intake. One study investigated the potential impact of CFPIs on non-communicable diseases. Over 60% of studies investigated a single category of impact. Not one of the studies explicitly used a theoretical framework to guide its design or interpretation.
Our findings on research studies of CFPIs suggest the need for a greater focus on interdisciplinary research in order to improve understanding of the relationships between their health, environmental, economic, and social impacts. Greater use of explicit theoretical frameworks could assist in research design and interpretation, helping to ensure its relevance to informing coordinated intersectoral interventions and policy initiatives.