The global food system is characterised by increasing concentration and financialisation. In South Africa, the deregulation of agriculture from the late 1980s onwards has accelerated both trends, leading to a rapid reduction in the number of farming units and the concentration of processing and distribution units. This period was also characterised by the development of highly controlled input markets in agricultural supplies (especially seeds, fuels, feeds, fertilisers, chemicals and farm machinery), as well as in agro-processing, agribusiness services, food manufacture and retail. This contributes to the reshaping of mega-farms and other segments of agro-food value chains as investment opportunities for institutional investors.
This programme is concerned with the structure, dynamics and influences on the South African food system and how this is changing. The research aims to answer the following questions:
About 54% of South Africa’s township microenterprises trade in food or drink. More than two-thirds of these are grocery retail businesses in the form of spaza shops and smaller ‘house shops’. These are the predominant businesses within the ‘township economy’ ...
In South Africa, livelihoods of smallholder cattle farmers are constrained by a lack of appropriate production knowledge, climate change, inadequate support services, societal inequity, irrelevant pro-poor policies and inappropriate delivery of improved livestock technologies. A transdisciplinary team of local and ...
Effective management of waste and the promotion and management of recycling activities are necessary for sustainable and liveable cities. A key but unrecognised element in promoting recycling is the efforts of waste pickers who make a living from recycling mainline ...
One in five children display stunted growth. Yet since South Africa's democratic transition in 1994, social protection programmes have increased dramatically.
The POLITICS Programme explores human relationships to food, the power dynamics around food production and access and the meanings that food acquires in particular cultural and social contexts.
The POLICY programme facilitates dialogue between researchers, the community and policy makers to inform policy making and shape research.
The CHILDREN programme examines trends, determinants and consequences of food insecurity for mothers and children in South Africa
The PLATES programme investigates the dietary intake of poor and vulnerable South Africans, and details the food environments that shape food preferences and choices.
If food is not handled, stored, distributed and prepared correctly, it can become contaminated and no longer be fit for human consumption.
Organisational and technological innovations of food systems can help maintain and improve livelihoods through enterprise development for food security.