Food security in artisanal mining communities: An exploration of rural markets in northern Guinea

Laetitia X. Zhang, Fatima Koroma, Mohammed Lamine Fofana, Alpha Oumar Barry, Sadio Diallo, Joseph Lamilé Songbono, Ronald Stokes-Walters, Rolf D. Klemm, Stella Nordhagen, Peter J. Winch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The number of people engaged in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has grown rapidly in the past twenty years, but they continue to be an understudied population experiencing high rates of malnutrition, poverty, and food insecurity. This paper explores how characteristics of markets that serve ASM populations facilitate and pose challenges to acquiring a nutritious and sustainable diet. The study sites included eight markets across four mining districts in the Kankan Region in the Republic of Guinea. Market descriptions to capture the structure of village markets, as well as twenty in-depth structured interviews with food vendors at mining site markets were conducted. We identified three forms of market organization based on location and distance from mining sites. Markets located close to mining sites offered fewer fruit and vegetable options, as well as a higher ratio of prepared food options as compared with markets located close to village centers. Vendors were highly responsive to customer needs. Food accessibility and utilization, rather than availability, are critical for food security in non-agricultural rural areas such as mining sites. Future market-based nutrition interventions need to consider the diverse market settings serving ASM communities and leverage the high vendor responsiveness to customer needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number479
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Artisanal and small-scale mining
  • Diet
  • Food security
  • Markets
  • Social environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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