The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry And Fisheries hosted a two-day workshop on Food Security and Safety with the Portfolio Committees of Health and Social Development and the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources. The committees engaged with food security and safety experts to examine what structures are in place to ensure that the country's food supply was sufficient and nutritious, and to come up with an action plan to address national problems of food security and safety.
According to the Department on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), 14 million (26%) South Africans are still predisposed to hunger and malnutrition. The provincial outlook shows that Limpopo was the best performing province with only 11.4% of people having inadequate access to food while the North West province was the worst at 43.7%. DAFF attributed the favourable situation in Limpopo to the fact that many people produced food for themselves. High prices, climate change and poor infrastructure were highlighted as contributing factors to food insecurity.
The ongoing nationwide drought and its effect on the harvest of staple foods, especially white and yellow maize contributed to the food security challenge. Six provinces (KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape) have been declared ‘drought stricken’ areas. The impact of the drought on the 2016 summer crops production season compared to the 2015 season showed the following:
30.53% decrease in white maize production
20.38% decrease in yellow maize production
27.48% decrease in soybean production
52% decrease in dry bean production
DAFF also stated that food inflation is expected to increase 12% by August 2016.
Approximately 9.04 million tons of food waste is generated in SA every year. The following are estimations of food wastage within the food value chain:
4% of food waste is generated by consumers with an average of 7kg per capita per annum
26% of food waste is generated during primary agriculture production (pests, fungi, nematodes, etc.)
26% of wastage happens during the post harvest handling and storage process (pesticides and herbicides residue and mycotoxins above the country’s threshold)
27% of food wastage is generated during processing and packaging
17% of waste occurs during distribution
To see the presentations made by food safety and security experts and the planned interventions, see full reports of the two-day workshop here and here. See infographic below for details on the Department’s status report on food security in SA:
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