Annual Reports

CoE-FS Annual Report 2022

It has been almost a decade since the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) was launched, with the vision “to become a global leader in research, capacity building, and knowledge brokerage and service provision in food security and nutrition in Africa”. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, the University of Pennsylvania’s ‘Global Go To Think Tank Index’ ranked the CoE-FS in the top 100 global think-tanks in food security. This has been achieved through our output, science communication and collaborations with outstanding institutions and scholars. Since our inception, we have concluded 43 memoranda of agreement and Collaborating Agreements...

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CoE-FS Annual Report 2022 (Full Version)

It has been almost a decade since the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) was launched, with the vision “to become a global leader in research, capacity building, and knowledge brokerage and service provision in food security and nutrition in Africa”. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, the University of Pennsylvania’s ‘Global Go To Think Tank Index’ ranked the CoE-FS in the top 100 global think-tanks in food security. This has been achieved through our output, science communication and collaborations with outstanding institutions and scholars. Since our inception, we have concluded 43 memoranda of agreement and Collaborating Agreements...

read
CoE-FS Annual Report 2021

In 2021, the extension of the State of Disaster, additional waves of COVID-19 infections and the emergence of the Omicron variant continued to shape both the research environment of the CoE-FS as well as global, national and local food systems. In our 2021 Annual Progress Report, we document the work of the CoE-FS, in the context of the above.

read

joint publications

Phase 2 – Agroecological initiatives in South Africa: Lessons and recommendations from three study sites – Synthesis report

Background to the study  Low- and medium-income countries face several interlinked sustainability challenges. In particular, food systems must provide food and nutrition security, decent jobs and incomes, and adapt to climate change in a context where government budgets are constrained. Agroecological approaches are increasingly recognised as relevant solutions for ensuring sustainable food production and security under climate change and without any negative environmental impacts.  Several knowledge gaps exist about the possible contribution of agroecological food systems for sustainable development and, particularly, their capacity to provide:  food security: sufficient, affordable, nutritious and healthy food for rural and urban populations;  decent...

read
Foods procured, nutritional status and dietary intake of people living in South Africa: Desktop review

The estimated population of 58.8 million South Africans live in a country that is regarded as nationally food secure, but the divide in terms of access to resources and high unemployment continues to render a significant proportion of citizens food insecure and at nutritional risk. In addition, urbanisation is contributing to changed livelihoods and diets in both rural and urban areas. Food acquisition is primarily dependent on cash in food systems that are being transformed through the penetration of formal retail, international trade and globalisation. In most parts of South Africa, subsistence agriculture has been eroded as a result...

read
TAFS Policy Brief 2: Learning from Local Initiatives for Agroecological Development in South Africa

Synopsis Transformation of food systems in line with agroecological principles remains marginal in South Africa. In spite of numerous policies, plans and programmes, limited change highlights the weak budgets, segmented interventions and lack of coordination. These problems reflect the power dynamics in the prevailing food system, which is dominated by large-scale conventional agriculture and food corporations. At the national level, several social movements support agroecology, organic production and food sovereignty. These, however, lack the connection with consumers required to establish a coalition for change that could influence the political scene and lead to policy changes. Consumers are understandably focused...

read

policy briefs

TAFS Policy Brief 2: Learning from Local Initiatives for Agroecological Development in South Africa

Synopsis Transformation of food systems in line with agroecological principles remains marginal in South Africa. In spite of numerous policies, plans and programmes, limited change highlights the weak budgets, segmented interventions and lack of coordination. These problems reflect the power dynamics in the prevailing food system, which is dominated by large-scale conventional agriculture and food corporations. At the national level, several social movements support agroecology, organic production and food sovereignty. These, however, lack the connection with consumers required to establish a coalition for change that could influence the political scene and lead to policy changes. Consumers are understandably focused...

read
TAFS Policy Brief 1: Transitions to Agroecological Food Systems in South Africa – Policy landscape and strategic opportunities

Synopsis for an agroecology transition in South Africa In South Africa, access to food and adequate nutrition is a right enshrined in the Constitution. Yet, hunger is rife and food access is a daily struggle for more than 14 million South Africans (23% of the population), with malnutrition in its various forms being a significant health challenge. In parallel, South African agriculture is increasingly unsustainable in the context of climate change and environmental degradation. Transforming the food system is imperative. Current approaches to transformation are restricted to incremental adaptations to the dominant agricultural model, primarily using Conservation Agriculture (CA)/Climate...

read
Civil society organisations: CSOs should have a central role in food governance

This policy brief explores the role that civil society organisations can play in addressing food security, building on its contributions during the COVID-19 lockdowns. (Colour version.) Click here to download a low-resolution, black and white version of the policy brief. Centre of Excellence in Food Security · The role of civil society organisations in addressing food insecurity in South Africa

read

working papers

Investigating the South African food insecurity paradox: A systematic review of food system governance in South Africa

South Africa presents a paradox of a country which is nationally food secure, with a wealth of institutions and targeted food policies, a strong research system and developed social welfare programmes, but where under- and over-nutrition persist. This paradox has major consequences for the people and the economy, and the importance of food and nutrition insecurity has resulted in massive research investment and analyses over the last decades. This was a major incentive for engaging in a systematic literature review with the objectives of providing a synthesis of what is known with regard to food system governance in South...

read
Engaging civil society organisations in food security governance in the Western Cape: Reflections from emergency food relief during COVID

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, South Africa was experiencing a food crisis but this was deepened and made more visceral by the subsequent lockdown. Low-income households bore the brunt of this economic and social shock: 3 million jobs were lost; two in every five adults reported that their household lost its main source of income; existing government-funded feeding schemes (including the National School Nutrition Programme) closed; and government support, in the form of extended social grants, was slow to be paid out. These manifestations of lockdown had a grave effect on food security: 47% of adults reported that their...

read
Food Sensitive Planning and Urban Design – A Blueprint for a Future South African City?

South Africa’s demographic profile is predominantly urban. As a result of our history, South Africa’s food system was largely an urban food system before the country’s demographic shift to being predominantly urban. It is therefore strange, that one of the key public goods, food, is absent from almost all urban planning and wider urban governance practices and strategic thinking. Central to ensuring equitable developmental opportunities for all is access to safe, affordable and nutritious food. The current urban system does not provide equitable access, with many having to contend with unequal and unjust food system outcomes. Responding to this...

read

Research Reports

Phase 2 – Agroecological initiatives in South Africa: Lessons and recommendations from three study sites – Synthesis report

Background to the study  Low- and medium-income countries face several interlinked sustainability challenges. In particular, food systems must provide food and nutrition security, decent jobs and incomes, and adapt to climate change in a context where government budgets are constrained. Agroecological approaches are increasingly recognised as relevant solutions for ensuring sustainable food production and security under climate change and without any negative environmental impacts.  Several knowledge gaps exist about the possible contribution of agroecological food systems for sustainable development and, particularly, their capacity to provide:  food security: sufficient, affordable, nutritious and healthy food for rural and urban populations;  decent...

read
Food insecurity and hunger: The experiences of child-headed households in a selected community in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Former CoE-FS-funded student, Charity Pote, co-authors the chapter, “Food insecurity and hunger: The experiences of child-headed households in a selected community in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”, in the Relational Child & Youth Care Practice (34:4).

read
Hands-on Anthropometry: A South African Handbook for Large-Scale Nutrition Studies

Anthropometry, the science of measuring and evaluating human body size and proportions, is the backbone of most nutrition surveys and a core component of nutrition assessment. The purpose of this manual is to: • outline equipment requirements, • detail the training of fieldworkers and • provide guidelines for quality assurance procedures for basic anthropometric measurements of able-bodied persons in multi-site research studies. The emphasis is on the South African setting, especially for tertiary education and research institutions, when numerous fieldworkers must be trained to take anthropometric measurements for a research study.

read

Annual Reports

CoE-FS Annual Report 2022

It has been almost a decade since the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) was launched, with the vision “to become a global leader in research, capacity building, and knowledge brokerage and service provision in food security and nutrition in Africa”. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, the University of Pennsylvania’s ‘Global Go To Think Tank Index’ ranked the CoE-FS in the top 100 global think-tanks in food security. This has been achieved through our output, science communication and collaborations with outstanding institutions and scholars. Since our inception, we have concluded 43 memoranda of agreement and Collaborating Agreements...

read
CoE-FS Annual Report 2022 (Full Version)

It has been almost a decade since the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) was launched, with the vision “to become a global leader in research, capacity building, and knowledge brokerage and service provision in food security and nutrition in Africa”. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, the University of Pennsylvania’s ‘Global Go To Think Tank Index’ ranked the CoE-FS in the top 100 global think-tanks in food security. This has been achieved through our output, science communication and collaborations with outstanding institutions and scholars. Since our inception, we have concluded 43 memoranda of agreement and Collaborating Agreements...

read
CoE-FS Annual Report 2021

In 2021, the extension of the State of Disaster, additional waves of COVID-19 infections and the emergence of the Omicron variant continued to shape both the research environment of the CoE-FS as well as global, national and local food systems. In our 2021 Annual Progress Report, we document the work of the CoE-FS, in the context of the above.

read
CoE-FS Annual Report 2020

The events of 2020 highlighted the importance of the research and capacity development that is undertaken by the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS). The unprecedented measures put in place to slow the pace of new infections of COVID-19 had an immediate and direct impact on household food security. Overall, the access and utilisation dimensions of food and nutrition security may be compromised into the future. Long-lasting structural changes seem likely due to the jobs and livelihoods that have been lost: food price increases arising both from speculation, increased costs and value-chain disruptions; and changes in diet...

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CoE-FS Annual Report 2019

In 2019 the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), National Research Foundation (NRF), and the Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) concluded the process of responding to the recommendations arising from the mid-term review. This Annual Report reflects on the achievements, challenges and the lessons learnt from this process while also providing detail on progress on the core mandate of the CoE-FS.

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Biennial Report 2017 – 2018

This Biennial Report reflects research achievements and activities undertaken at the Centre of Excellence in Food Security, for the period 2017-2018. Since 2016, we have focused on and committed to a comprehensive and integrated programme of research.

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CoE-FS Annual Report 2016

As might be anticipated, research at the Centre of Excellence in Food Security in 2016 has generated a plethora of results at different levels of detail, innovation and impact. This information is provided in the body of the annual report and in the publications listed in the appendices.

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CoE-FS Annual Report 2015

The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS), hosted by the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and co-hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP), was launched on 15th April, 2014. Transdisciplinary research, capacity development, knowledge sharing and engagement activities are underway to fill strategy and policy knowledge gaps and to realise food security for poor, vulnerable and marginal populations. This is in line with our goal to become the leading hub of knowledge production on food security and nutrition in Africa.

read
CoE-FS Annual Report 2014

The DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS), hosted by the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and co-hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP), was launched on 15th April, 2014. Transdisciplinary research, capacity development, knowledge sharing and engagement activities are underway to fill strategy and policy knowledge gaps and to realise food security for poor, vulnerable and marginal populations. This is in line with our goal to become the leading hub of knowledge production on food security and nutrition in Africa.

read

joint publications

Phase 2 – Agroecological initiatives in South Africa: Lessons and recommendations from three study sites – Synthesis report

Background to the study  Low- and medium-income countries face several interlinked sustainability challenges. In particular, food systems must provide food and nutrition security, decent jobs and incomes, and adapt to climate change in a context where government budgets are constrained. Agroecological approaches are increasingly recognised as relevant solutions for ensuring sustainable food production and security under climate change and without any negative environmental impacts.  Several knowledge gaps exist about the possible contribution of agroecological food systems for sustainable development and, particularly, their capacity to provide:  food security: sufficient, affordable, nutritious and healthy food for rural and urban populations;  decent...

read
Foods procured, nutritional status and dietary intake of people living in South Africa: Desktop review

The estimated population of 58.8 million South Africans live in a country that is regarded as nationally food secure, but the divide in terms of access to resources and high unemployment continues to render a significant proportion of citizens food insecure and at nutritional risk. In addition, urbanisation is contributing to changed livelihoods and diets in both rural and urban areas. Food acquisition is primarily dependent on cash in food systems that are being transformed through the penetration of formal retail, international trade and globalisation. In most parts of South Africa, subsistence agriculture has been eroded as a result...

read
TAFS Policy Brief 2: Learning from Local Initiatives for Agroecological Development in South Africa

Synopsis Transformation of food systems in line with agroecological principles remains marginal in South Africa. In spite of numerous policies, plans and programmes, limited change highlights the weak budgets, segmented interventions and lack of coordination. These problems reflect the power dynamics in the prevailing food system, which is dominated by large-scale conventional agriculture and food corporations. At the national level, several social movements support agroecology, organic production and food sovereignty. These, however, lack the connection with consumers required to establish a coalition for change that could influence the political scene and lead to policy changes. Consumers are understandably focused...

read
TAFS Policy Brief 1: Transitions to Agroecological Food Systems in South Africa – Policy landscape and strategic opportunities

Synopsis for an agroecology transition in South Africa In South Africa, access to food and adequate nutrition is a right enshrined in the Constitution. Yet, hunger is rife and food access is a daily struggle for more than 14 million South Africans (23% of the population), with malnutrition in its various forms being a significant health challenge. In parallel, South African agriculture is increasingly unsustainable in the context of climate change and environmental degradation. Transforming the food system is imperative. Current approaches to transformation are restricted to incremental adaptations to the dominant agricultural model, primarily using Conservation Agriculture (CA)/Climate...

read
Food Systems Profile – South Africa: Catalysing the sustainable and inclusive transformation of food systems

Year of publication: 2022 Place of publication: Rome, Italy; Brussels, Belgium; Montpellier, France; Pages: #50 p. ISBN: 978-92-5-136209-9 Author: FAO, European Union, CIRAD By Country/Territory: South Africa Publisher: FAO; European Union ; CIRAD; Agrovoc: food systems; food consumption; sustainability; South Africa Abstract: Food systems are intimately linked to our lives – through the food we eat, our nutrition and health, our livelihoods, jobs, and the environment and natural resources of the planet. The main challenge for food systems is to produce nutritious food for all while preserving our biodiversity and environment and ensuring equitable distribution of wealth. This Food Systems Profile provides a summary of the main food system issues...

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The state of the debate on agroecology in South Africa: A scan of actors, discourses and policies

This review of the agroecology debate in South Africa is part of the research project Transitions to Agroecological Food Systems: a case for policy support (TAFS) launched in 2020. TAFS is a multi-country project coordinated by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), with five partnership research platforms in three continents: ISA (Information pour la Sécurité Alimentaire), PP&G-GovInn (Public Policies and Governance), and SPAD (Systèmes de Production d’Altitude et Durabilité à Madagascar) in Africa; Malica (Markets and Agriculture Linkages for Cities) in South-East Asia; and PP-AL (Red Políticas Publicas and Desarrollo Rural) in Latin America. TAFS collaborates...

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Food Dialogues Report 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic exposing the shortcomings of the national and global food systems, the 2020 Food Dialogues came at an opportune time; bringing diverse voices into the conversations about how we bring about the changes we need in our food system to protect livelihoods and eliminate hunger, while at the same time dealing with the health and economic consequences of the virus and their mitigation. This report weaves together common threads from the wide range of speakers, topics, themes, and talks. It aims to be a resource that others can draw upon for guidance in shaping policies, activism,...

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The right to food of students in tertiary institutions in South Africa

The right to food in South Africa is recognised and guaranteed in various laws at the international regional and national level. Access to adequate food is a serious challenge across the globe, leading to hunger and malnutrition. Currently, 1 in 8 people worldwide go hungry every day. In 2015, the international community adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the second of which is to end hunger by 2030 and ensure that no one anywhere in the world is hungry or malnourished. Although South Africa is striving to meet the SDGs, hunger remains pervasive, with millions of people in the...

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What price cheap goods? Survivalists, informalists and competition in the township retail grocery trade

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’ and play an important role in food security, self-employment and community cohesion. In the last decade, the business of spaza shops (dedicated, signposted businesses with a range of foodstuffs and open five days per week or more) has undergone extensive change towards a new class of entrepreneurial traders – mostly foreign nationals. This change has meant that the sector...

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policy briefs

TAFS Policy Brief 2: Learning from Local Initiatives for Agroecological Development in South Africa

Synopsis Transformation of food systems in line with agroecological principles remains marginal in South Africa. In spite of numerous policies, plans and programmes, limited change highlights the weak budgets, segmented interventions and lack of coordination. These problems reflect the power dynamics in the prevailing food system, which is dominated by large-scale conventional agriculture and food corporations. At the national level, several social movements support agroecology, organic production and food sovereignty. These, however, lack the connection with consumers required to establish a coalition for change that could influence the political scene and lead to policy changes. Consumers are understandably focused...

read
TAFS Policy Brief 1: Transitions to Agroecological Food Systems in South Africa – Policy landscape and strategic opportunities

Synopsis for an agroecology transition in South Africa In South Africa, access to food and adequate nutrition is a right enshrined in the Constitution. Yet, hunger is rife and food access is a daily struggle for more than 14 million South Africans (23% of the population), with malnutrition in its various forms being a significant health challenge. In parallel, South African agriculture is increasingly unsustainable in the context of climate change and environmental degradation. Transforming the food system is imperative. Current approaches to transformation are restricted to incremental adaptations to the dominant agricultural model, primarily using Conservation Agriculture (CA)/Climate...

read
Civil society organisations: CSOs should have a central role in food governance

This policy brief explores the role that civil society organisations can play in addressing food security, building on its contributions during the COVID-19 lockdowns. (Colour version.) Click here to download a low-resolution, black and white version of the policy brief. Centre of Excellence in Food Security · The role of civil society organisations in addressing food insecurity in South Africa

read
Urban agriculture: Quick fix for urban food insecurity or site of struggle for deep, just food systems change?

This policy brief reflects on the complexities of urban agriculture and its place in addressing food insecurity and poverty. For a full-colour PDF of the policy brief, download below. For a black and white, printer-friendly version of the policy brief, click here.

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Leveraging informal trade: Governance strategies to cultivate resilient, inclusive food economies

This policy brief explores ways in which government can support the informal economy. For a black and white, printer-friendly version of the policy brief, click here. For a full-colour PDF of the policy brief, download below.

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Foodways of the poor in South Africa: How poor people get food, what they eat, and how this shapes our food system

Foodways are the set of strategies shaping what food people choose as well as how and where they access and consume it. Informed by culture and social context, the foodways of the poor simultaneously respond to and influence food systems change. South African food systems are in a process of change. These changes are caused by many factors, including urbanisation, consolidation and concentration in food value chains, and changing dietary patterns. These transitions have important consequences for the nature of poverty and food insecurity. In this policy brief, Florian Kroll explores these links between the foodways of the poor...

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Enhancing Food and Nutrition Security in a Corporate Dominated Food System

The South African food system is capable of supplying enough food for its people either through production or trade. At the same time South Africa faces a ‘dual burden’ of malnutrition. Persistent under-nutrition exists alongside rising rates of diet-related NCDs (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers). In this policy brief, Stephen Greenberg looks at the role of the highly concentrated corporate structure of the South African food system and looks at the kinds of interventions that are needed to ensure that poor people can have an adequate diet.

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working papers

Investigating the South African food insecurity paradox: A systematic review of food system governance in South Africa

South Africa presents a paradox of a country which is nationally food secure, with a wealth of institutions and targeted food policies, a strong research system and developed social welfare programmes, but where under- and over-nutrition persist. This paradox has major consequences for the people and the economy, and the importance of food and nutrition insecurity has resulted in massive research investment and analyses over the last decades. This was a major incentive for engaging in a systematic literature review with the objectives of providing a synthesis of what is known with regard to food system governance in South...

read
Engaging civil society organisations in food security governance in the Western Cape: Reflections from emergency food relief during COVID

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, South Africa was experiencing a food crisis but this was deepened and made more visceral by the subsequent lockdown. Low-income households bore the brunt of this economic and social shock: 3 million jobs were lost; two in every five adults reported that their household lost its main source of income; existing government-funded feeding schemes (including the National School Nutrition Programme) closed; and government support, in the form of extended social grants, was slow to be paid out. These manifestations of lockdown had a grave effect on food security: 47% of adults reported that their...

read
Food Sensitive Planning and Urban Design – A Blueprint for a Future South African City?

South Africa’s demographic profile is predominantly urban. As a result of our history, South Africa’s food system was largely an urban food system before the country’s demographic shift to being predominantly urban. It is therefore strange, that one of the key public goods, food, is absent from almost all urban planning and wider urban governance practices and strategic thinking. Central to ensuring equitable developmental opportunities for all is access to safe, affordable and nutritious food. The current urban system does not provide equitable access, with many having to contend with unequal and unjust food system outcomes. Responding to this...

read
A Food Charter for the Western Cape? A Critical Inquiry and Scoping Study

The idea of a food charter has been proposed in several fora by diverse organisations and individuals for several years as one potentially effective tool for addressing food system challenges in South Africa. This working paper undertakes a critical inquiry into what a charter means, historically, both internationally and nationally, the subsequent proliferation of ‘food charters’ in the ‘global north’, South Africa’s special relationship with charters, and finally their connection or lack thereof to the various proposals to undertake a food charter locally. The paper unravels some of the influences as well as presumptions about what a food charter...

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Multilevel Government, Municipalities and Food Security

Realising the right to food in South Africa requires more than an increase in food production. Increasing access to food is equally important, so this contribution adopts a ‘food systems approach’. It argues that food security is not just a national and/or provincial government concern but that the Constitution demands of municipalities to contribute to realising the right to food. Against the backdrop of a general introduction into the division of responsibilities between national, provincial and local government, it deploys two arguments to make this assertion. The first is located in the jurisprudence of the South African Constitutional Court...

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School Feeding in South Africa: What we know, what we don’t know, what we need to know, what we need to do

This working paper draws on the proceedings of a ‘National Workshop on School Feeding in South Africa’, convened in November 2017 by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security. Workshop participants engaged with unresolved debates in school feeding, notably its objectives and impacts, which include food security and nutrition, education access and outcomes, intergenerational poverty reduction, employment creation and support to local agriculture. In South Africa, the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) currently provides meals to over 9 million learners. The NSNP has two other pillars – Nutrition Education and Deworming, and Sustainable Food Production – but 96%...

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Accountability and the right to food: A comparative study of India and South Africa

It remains a great source of concern that, as richly endowed as the world is, each day millions of people go to sleep hungry and almost 870 million people, particularly in developing countries, are chronically undernourished. Also, every year, 6 million children die, directly or indirectly, from the consequences of undernourishment and malnutrition – that is, 1 child every 5 seconds. The international community at various forums in the last twenty years or so have committed to ending undernourishment in the world. The right to adequate food is guaranteed in a number of international and regional human rights instruments....

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Food security and nutrition: Impure, complex and wicked?

By Julian May, October 2017 Food security and nutrition are receiving renewed attention in international and national policy agendas. This has been accompanied by a profusion of theoretical concepts borrowed from diverse disciplines and then employed to describe challenges to achieving food security and adequate nutrition. Complex eco-systems, wicked problems and public goods are among these.  In order to make a constructive contribution to policy debate, the underlying political economy of food security is interrogated to understand why food security problems may be indeterminate. This reveals food to be an outcome from a complex problem-determined food eco-system. The problems...

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Why does malnutrition persist in South Africa despite social grants?

According to most subjective and self-reported indicators, food security in South Africa is improving over time.  However, objectively measured anthropometric indicators record only a marginal improvement in children’s nutrition status since the early 1990s. This is despite the introduction in 1998 and subsequent expansion of the Child Support Grant, which now reaches over 11 million children in South Africa and has been found to increase food consumption and dietary diversity in poor households. How can this paradox be explained? This paper reviews the evidence on food security and child nutrition trends in South Africa and identifies several reasons why...

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Research Reports

Phase 2 – Agroecological initiatives in South Africa: Lessons and recommendations from three study sites – Synthesis report

Background to the study  Low- and medium-income countries face several interlinked sustainability challenges. In particular, food systems must provide food and nutrition security, decent jobs and incomes, and adapt to climate change in a context where government budgets are constrained. Agroecological approaches are increasingly recognised as relevant solutions for ensuring sustainable food production and security under climate change and without any negative environmental impacts.  Several knowledge gaps exist about the possible contribution of agroecological food systems for sustainable development and, particularly, their capacity to provide:  food security: sufficient, affordable, nutritious and healthy food for rural and urban populations;  decent...

read
Food insecurity and hunger: The experiences of child-headed households in a selected community in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Former CoE-FS-funded student, Charity Pote, co-authors the chapter, “Food insecurity and hunger: The experiences of child-headed households in a selected community in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”, in the Relational Child & Youth Care Practice (34:4).

read
Hands-on Anthropometry: A South African Handbook for Large-Scale Nutrition Studies

Anthropometry, the science of measuring and evaluating human body size and proportions, is the backbone of most nutrition surveys and a core component of nutrition assessment. The purpose of this manual is to: • outline equipment requirements, • detail the training of fieldworkers and • provide guidelines for quality assurance procedures for basic anthropometric measurements of able-bodied persons in multi-site research studies. The emphasis is on the South African setting, especially for tertiary education and research institutions, when numerous fieldworkers must be trained to take anthropometric measurements for a research study.

read
Phase 1 – The state of the debate on agroecology in South Africa: A scan of actors, discourses and policies – Final report

Executive summary  This study was conducted under the auspices of the Transitions to Agroecological Food Systems project. Its main objective is to provide policymakers and stakeholders with convincing arguments about the importance and adapted ways of promoting agroecological transitions in order to address current and coming sustainability challenges.  Specific initiatives and current policies related to agroecological transitions at the national level are identified with different stakeholders. Several questions are addressed such as: what are the visions and narratives of agroecological transitions and related food systems? How sustainability challenges and agroecological transitions are framed. What are the social forces promoting...

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SUPERMARKETS, STREET TRADERS AND SPAZA SHOPS: SPATIAL DETERMINANTS OF FORMAL RETAILERS’ IMPACT ON INFORMAL MICRO-ENTERPRISES IN PHILIPPI, CAPE TOWN

There is growing concern around the impact of formal retailers and supermarkets, in particular on marginalised urban communities in developing countries. This report unpacks the impact of formal retailers on informal micro-enterprises through a case study in Philippi East township, Cape Town. The cases focuses on a high street precinct which encompasses a number of formal food retailers and supermarkets. Supermarkets are the main supply of household food (in value terms), with residents spending about one third of their food purchases at one of three outlets.

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THE DETERMINANTS OF STUNTING AT AGE TWO: A HOLISTIC MODEL FOR SOUTH AFRICA USING THE BIRTH TO TWENTY COHORT STUDY

In this report, we examine the determinants of child malnutrition using the Birth to Twenty data, a cohort study of children born in Soweto-Johannesburg in 1990. In particular, we focus on the causes of low height-for-age, or stunting, at age two, the measure most commonly used to capture chronic undernutrition in children. The consequences of stunting in early childhood have been widely studied across various disciplines, and include impaired cognitive function, poor schooling outcomes, reduced earnings in adulthood and poor maternal reproductive health outcomes (Walker, Chang, Powell & Grantham-McGregor, 2005; Victora et al. 2008; Dewey & Begum, 2011).

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Dietary intake assessment: 24-hour recall

Purpose of manual To describe the procedures used to collect dietary intake data using a 24-hour dietary recall method for research participants older than two years. To guide researchers to assemble a dietary kit for their study. To be used as a resource by researchers when training interviewers to conduct a 24-hour dietary recall. This manual should not be used for dietary assessment of infants. This manual does not include information on baby foods, alcoholic drinks or nutritional supplements. End-user defined Collecting, analysing and interpreting dietary intake data is a specialised field. Dietary intake data should be overseen and...

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Journal Article & book chapter links

2024-06-12, Journal Articles
Functional and nutritional properties of infrared- and microwave heat-moisture-treated sorghum meals

Author Rose Otema Baah, Kwaku-Gyebi Duodu, John Reginald Nuttal Taylor, Mohammad Naushad Emmambux

Publication Cereal Chemistry

2024-06-06, Journal Articles
Microwave Pretreatment of Presoaked Bambara Groundnut Seeds Enhances the Functionality and Phenolics-Related Antioxidant Properties of the Resultant Flour

Author Anton Venter, Mohammad Naushad Emmambux, Kwaku Gyebi Duodu

Publication Journal of Food Biochemistry

2024-05-24, Journal Articles
Effects of Combining Microwave with Infrared Energy on the Drying Kinetics and Technofunctional Properties of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato

Author Daddy Kgonothi, Nwabisa N. Mehlomakulu, M. Naushad Emmambux

Publication Journal of Food Processing and Preservation