Scholarly food system research has been criticised for haphazard disciplinary overlap, sometimes not even addressing the same problems or questions, and for being “advocacy driven”. Data on urban agriculture (UA) and food systems has also been criticised as missing, weak or out of date. In response, this paper looks at how interdisciplinary overlaps should be handled. It also presents an overview of quantitative data on households practising UA in Africa over several decades, yielding important empirical results. These can be used to advance debate on the effectiveness of food systems and UA in different settings. Questions are also raised for further research on the relationship of UA to food systems.
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