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Towards designing and managing food security in South Africa: a critical analysis of a complex situation

While South Africa is food secure at a national level this is not the case for many households. Comparing South African households classified as food insecure indicates that food insecure households have a low household income, a large household size, are more likely to be headed by women and have a low level of education. These households also have usually a high dependency ratio and are not very active in farming. The food secure households are more likely small households in size, have a lower dependency ratio, are more probable headed by males and have a better level of education.

Vorster (2010) reviewed the nutritional problems in South Africa and came to the conclusion that the following dimensions are important: inequity between and within population groups, the double burden of under- and over-nutrition, overweight and obesity, hidden hunger and the negative effects of the nutrition transition. Volatile price cycles and ever increasing food prices also prove to be a serious source of social and civil unrest. All these factors make “achieving food security”, as emphasised in the National Development Plan, extremely complex and multi-facetted and operationally challenging.

The expected output will include the design of a comprehensive framework for policy and strategy evaluation and development of a strategic cum operational structure to continue with the monitoring, analysis and the provision of intelligence to the relevant authorities on “achieving food security in South Africa”.


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