South Africa: Food for Thought - Until Policy Meets Action, Hunger and Poor Nutrition Will Stalk the Land


On paper, the South African government has approached food and nutrition security in what appears to be a co-ordinated manner. But in reality, structures responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of policy and action remain largely dysfunctional.

The outcomes of food and nutrition security (FNS) interventions in South Africa have often fallen short of policy objectives due to weak or missing co-ordination mechanisms. Solving these policy co-ordination failures is not easy.

If the nature, extent and causes of co-ordination problems are not accurately identified, then proffered solutions are unlikely to be effective and lasting. co-ordinating food and nutrition policy shares a lot in common with policy cycles that are characterised by multiple actors, conflictual institutions, socioeconomic change and fragmentation.

There are three areas that need exploring to address the problem of food and nutrition security.

Co-ordination in modern food and nutrition policy domains

Finding integrated and holistic solutions to poor dietary intake and nutrition-related illnesses are the overriding preoccupations of modern food and nutrition policy. This stands in sharp contrast to the traditional focus on maximising the production of staple crops and animal-sourced foods.

Modern and traditional agro-food systems pose different policy co-ordination problems. In the traditional model, household farming dominates,...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.