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Governance of Urban Informal Food Trade

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Danielle Resnick
Urban Food Systems for Better Diets, Nutrition, and Health
MAY 17, 2019 - 12:15 PM TO 01:45 PM EDT

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Governance of Urban Informal Food Trade

  1. 1. Governance of Urban Informal Food Trade Danielle Resnick Washington, DC | May 17, 2019
  2. 2. Benefits of informal food trade Food security Predominant source of food access for urban poor Employment Key for older women and young men Food system linkages Tap into domestic and global value chains Revenue mobilization Essential for local government tax revenue
  3. 3. Challenges of, and for, informal food trade Food safety High bacterial contamination in ready-to-eat food in LMICs Decent employment Lack of social protection, dire working conditions Diet quality High levels of salt, sugar, and oil in prepared foods Political pawns Vote banks, source of bribes and violence
  4. 4. Our Research on Governance of Urban Informal Food Trade ▪ Institutional architecture for oversight oWho is accountable at what level (metro, city, market levels)? ▪ Taxation and the social contract oWhat services do traders receive for the fees they pay? ▪ Food safety regulation oWhat are the levels of capacity and coordination for enforcement? ▪ Right to public space oWhen and why are some traders harassed and others not?
  5. 5. Insights from Ghanaian Cities
  6. 6. Complex Institutional Architecture for Informal Food Trade Source: Fieldwork interviews, Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, March 2018
  7. 7. Taxation and Service Delivery ▪ Informal does not mean untaxed o Business operating permit (BOP) o Shop/stall rental fees or daily “ticket” o Toilet use, storage, waste collection o Quarterly tax to GRA ▪ Female, stall owner in Tamale pays o 100 GHS a year for BOP o 50 GHS a month for rental o Security man o Market sweeper “When the rainy season comes, the toilets overflow and feces stream down the alleyways. Why are they taking our money but we are not seeing anything?” Primary benefit from paying Assembly taxes (%) Source: IFPRI-CDD Ghana Informal Food Traders Survey N = 907 who pay taxes to Assembly 82 7.5 5.4 3.1 1.5 0.4 Nothing Secure trading spot Sweeping and waste collection License to trade Protection of goods from confiscation Protection from violence Taxes on goods and services in city revenue Source: Composite Budgets, Ministry of Finance, 2017 41.3 65.1 37.6 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 0 5,000,000 10,000,000 15,000,000 20,000,000 25,000,000 Accra Kumasi Tamale Shareoftotalcityrevenue Revenuefromtaxesongoods andservices(GHS)
  8. 8. Food Safety Regulation ▪ Traders required to undergo annual health exam and pay for food handler certificate but erratic enforcement ▪ Environmental health officers regulate counterfeit, expired, and damaged merchandise o Often rely on consumer reports due to large number of vendors ▪ Food safety enforcement financed from own sourced revenue, explaining inter-city disparities ▪ Waste collection decentralized, resulting in unequal collection across markets Confiscated items from food vendors, Kumasi 15.5 74.7 9.8 Yes No Don't know Do you need a special permit or license for selling food items? (%) Source: IFPRI-CDD Ghana Informal Food Traders Survey N = 1,214 sampled food traders
  9. 9. Rights to Public Space ▪ Cities create “decongestion” bye-laws o Task Force and Metro Guards patrol daily in CBDs o Operation Red Line in Accra ▪ Forced removals when malls or new markets built o Rental fees in private upgraded markets too high o New markets too far from customers o Poorest traders pushed back on streets ▪ Found harassment highest in Kumasi o “KMA should stop seizing our goods because that is what we are using to take care of our kids” (Male, 45-54) o “My things were thrown away like some rubbish by the [Kumasi] task force” (Male, 18-24) Half-empty new Racecourse Market, Kumasi (2018) Operation Red Line in Accra
  10. 10. Going Forward ▪ Governance perspective allows for points of entry into policy process o Identify accountability for decisions about regulations, taxation, and services o Highlight policy inconsistencies o Consider limits on capacity to implement and how to mitigate ▪ Expand comparative analysis o Cross-city analyses in the same country useful to reduce capital city bias o Mixed methods uncover both policymakers’ and traders’ perspectives ▪ Consider options to enhance benefits, minimize challenges of traders o Earmarking revenue for re-investment in markets o Scorecards of food safety hazards o Consolidation of responsibilities by local government departments