Nutrition-sensitive agriculture – a South African perspective

McLachlan, M. and Landman, A.P. (2013) Nutrition-sensitive agriculture – a South African perspective. Food Security, 5 (6). pp. 857-871.

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As environmental and social sustainability becomes more urgent, and the resilience of the industrial food system is under threat, addressing nutrition through food systems must go hand in hand with restructuring these systems for greater resilience. South Africa is a middle-income country with a highly dualistic agro-food system, dealing with the burden of undernutrition, diet-related chronic diseases and widespread micronutrient malnutrition. In South Africa, agriculture must maintain national food security while contributing to improving household food security through employment and production for own consumption; and providing access to a more diverse range of safe and quality foods at affordable prices. Agricultural activities can contribute to improved nutrition, if implemented in conjunction with direct nutrition interventions. This study gives an overview of the nutritional status of the South African population, and the history and current operations of the agro-food system. It identifies entry points for nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) to begin to address food and nutrition security challenges. Case studies were identified using grey literature. With few exceptions, these cases were not NSA initiatives per se, yet demonstrated efforts that could inform actions to strengthen the nutrition-sensitivity of the South African food system. NSA is not an all-encompassing solution to food and nutrition insecurity in South Africa, but offers a way of strengthening the nutrition-sensitivity of agricultural initiatives. Viable entry points include linking small scale production and nutrition education; combining low external input farming and nutrition education; strengthening alternative marketing channels and local food economies; monitoring food prices; and developing appropriate governance and institutional arrangements.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nutrition-sensitive agriculture, Dualistic agro-food system Entry points, South Africa
Author Affiliation: Division of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Francie Van Zijl Avenue, Tygerberg, 7505, South Africa
Subjects: Plant Production
Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Ms Ishrath Durafsha
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2014 06:11
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2014 06:11
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