Newsletter no 35 – Editorial

Food sovereignty at the rural-urban interface

Illustration: Lucy Everitt for the Australian City Farms and Community Gardens Network –

The rural-urban interface is a complex social space where politics and culture are in constant flux. It can also be a physical place, where the wealth and resources of villages, towns, peri-urban suburbs, and suburbanized rural areas are in dispute. Taken globally, it is a vast territory with potential to grow food sovereignty.

This issue of the Nyéléni Newsletter addresses the challenges and opportunities of building food sovereignty in peri-urban areas, and the ways that the producers and consumers of urban and rural communities form alliances to transform the food system.

There are many emblematic cases of food sovereignty at the rural-urban interface, including the peri-urban farms of Havana, Cuba; the institutional provisioning experiences of Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and the multitude of farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and coops around the world. These all occur within the fluid movement of people, politics, goods and ideas linked to global processes of de-peasantization and re-peasantization.

The contributors to this issue of the Nyéléni Newsletter seek to open a dialogue on the interface by asking:
What is happening with rural-urban relationships? How are they or can they build food sovereignty?
What are the bridges (political, economic, social and cultural) that link the city and the countryside?
Who are the main actors building these relationships?
What are the obstacles and opportunities to building urban-rural food sovereignty?
What are the goals and objectives of food sovereignty at the urban-rural interface?

Eric Holt-Gimenez, Food First