The UN Food Systems Summit opening on Thursday, 23 September, has been captured. Why does it matter and what's to be done - globally, in Africa and in South Africa?
Dr Marc Wegerif is a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the Development Studies Programme in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at University of Pretoria. He does research on food systems and land issues. Ruth Hall is a professor and holds the South African Chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape. Nkanyiso Gumede is a researcher at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) at the University of the Western Cape. Ayanda Madlala, Fieldworker at Association for Rural Advancement (Afra).
What is a "food system"?
The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition declared that a "food system gathers all the elements [environment, people, inputs, processes, infrastructures, institutions, etc] and activities that relate to the production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food, and the outputs of these activities, including socio-economic and environmental outcomes". The most important outputs of a food system are people enjoying their right to food (or food and nutrition security) and improving livelihoods, especially...