Gareth Haysom

Gareth’s work uses food as a lens to understand the complex nature of the urban transition currently underway in the Global South. His work seeks to understand the implications of these changes for food and nutrition security specifically, and more generally, in the food systems of African Cities.


Gareth is based at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town where he is involved in a number of urban food system research projects. He is currently (2017) the Southern cities project coordinator for the IDRC-funded Hungry Cities Partnership project (Mexico City, Kingston (Jamaica), Cape Town, Maputo, Nairobi, Bangalore and Nanjing), and leads a work package in the ESRC/DFID-funded Consuming Urban Poverty project, (Kitwe, Zambia; Kisumu, Kenya and Epworth, Zimbabwe).


He holds a PhD in Environmental and Geographic Sciences from UCT and an MPhil in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University.


Recent Publications

Book chapters

Haysom, G. (2017). Climate change, food and the city: Agency and urban scale food system networks, in Thomas-Hope, E. (ed). Climate Change and Food Security: Africa and the Caribbean, Routledge, London.

Haysom, G. (2016). Agro-ecological farming and soil rehabilitation, in Swilling, M., Musango, J. and Wkeford, J. (eds). Greening the South African Economy: Scoping issues, challenges and opportunities. UCT Press, Cape Town. pp 96 – 111.

Haysom, G. (2015). The Philippi Fresh Produce Market: Misunderstood Development?, in Brown-Luthango, M. (ed.). in State/Society Synergy in Philippi, Cape Town. African Centre for Cities. Cape Town.

Haysom G. (2015). Urban scale food system governance: An alternative response to the dominant paradigm?, in Allen, et al (eds). Untamed Urbanisms. Routledge, Oxon. pp 76-88.

Haysom, G. (2012). The Ithemba Farmer’s story of climate change and food security adaptation in Cpae Town, South Africa – Housing versus food?, in Frayne, B., Moser, C. and Ziervogel, G. (eds.). Climate Change, Assets and Food Security in Southern African Cities. Earthscan, London.

Haysom, G. and  Metelerkamp, L. (2012). Agriculture – From vulnerability to viability, in Swilling, M., et al (eds). Sustainable Stellenbosch, opening dialogues. SUNMedia, Stellenbosch.

Kelly, C., Schulschenk, J., Landman, A. and Haysom, G. (2012). Food – A sustainable system for Stellenbosch, in Swilling, et al (eds). Sustainable Stellenbosch, opening dialogues. SUNMedia, Stellenbosch.

Haysom, G. (2010). Urban Agriculture in the City of Cape Town, in Swilling, M. (ed). Sustaining Cape Town: Imagining a Livable City. Stellenbosch, SunMedia. pp 211-223

Ashley, C. and Haysom, G. (2008).  The development impacts of Tourism Supply Chains – increasing impact and decreasing our ignorance, in Spenceley, A. (ed), 2008.  Responsible Tourism: Tourism, Conservation and Poverty alleviation in Southern Africa. London, Earthscan


Journal Articles

Haysom, G. (2015). Food and the City: Urban Scale Food System Governance. Urban Forum, Vol. 26(3). pp 263-281.

(with Frayne, B., Battersby-Lennard, J., Fincham, R.), 2009. Urban Food Security in South Africa: Case study of Cape Town, Msunduzi and Johannesburg. Development Planning Division Working Paper Series, No.15, DBSA: Midrand.

(with Ashley, C.), 2006. From philanthropy to a different way of doing business: Strategies and challenges in integrating pro-poor approaches into tourism business. Development Southern Africa, Vol. 23: 2; pp 265 – 280.


Working Papers

Haysom, G. (2016). Alternative food networks and food insecurity in South Africa, Working Paper 33. Cape Town: PLAAS, UWC and Centre of Excellence on Food Security.

Skinner, C. and Haysom, G. (2016).     : A missing link in policy debates? Working Paper 44. Cape Town: PLAAS, UWC and Centre of Excellence on Food Security.

Battersby, J. and Haysom, G. (2016). Africa’s Urban Food and Nutrition Transition: A Call to Action. Consuming Urban Poverty Project Working Paper 1. Governing Food Systems to Alleviate Poverty in Secondary Cities in Africa Project. African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town.


Reports and media