Researchers, policymakers, NGOs and activists met at the Food and Nutrition Security Indaba hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Organised under the theme: “Attaining food and nutrition security for all, a multi-sectoral approach,” the event, which took place from 26-27 January in Benoni, brought together the various stakeholders to discuss and generate ideas to be integrated into the National Food and Nutrition Security Plan (NFNSP) and other national and provincial strategic plans for implementation.
The selected topics of discussion, aimed at advance the food and nutrition security agenda of the country included:
The NFNSP sets ambitious targets. The plan seeks to reduce households vulnerability to hunger from 11.3% (2015) to 5.7% (2022), and to bring down the under-five stunting from 26% (2013) to <15% (2022).
Speaking on the need to improve efforts towards reducing stunting, Mr Thulani Masilela of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation said it was time to tackle the issue of nutrition. “Over 22 years since democracy, we focused heavily on food security, but paid too little attention to nutrition,” he said.
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative, DrLewis Hove added that we need to tackle hunger, poverty & climate change together.
Representing the Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE), Dr Steven Devereux, SARChI in Social Protection for Food Security delivered a presentation on the scope of research conducted at Centre. Devereux said: “Although the CoE is a research Centre, it undertakes policy-relevant research that aims to contribute to the goals set out in the National Food and Nutrition Security Plan.”
Dr Joyce Chitja of the African Centre for Food Security at UKZN called for the creation of a ‘one-stop Agency to coordinate all food and nutrition security activities across sectors and ministries.’
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