Two quite unrelated news items caught my attention today. The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) of South Africa yesterday announced that it will impose provisional anti-dumping duties for the following 26 weeks against Brazilian imports of frozen whole chickens and boneless chicken cuts. The magnitude of the duties is between 6 and 63 percent. (Read the tralac report here.) A few hours ago, the DA released a media statement “Mr Mulder needs a history lesson”, in which they attack Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder’s claims of land redistribution. Mmusi Maimane, the DA National Spokesperson, makes a fair point about land redistribution, but he then makes the following claim: “The first freedom is the freedom to eat. We need working farms that ensure the food security of our people and create employment opportunities in rural areas.”
Unfortunately, Mr Maimane and ITAC (and, for that matter, the Freedom Front Plus) is guilty of the same incorrect rhetoric. Food security is not about production. Food security is not about producing enough food for your citizens. If it was, then Hong Kong and Singapore would be the most food insecure regions in the world, which it isn’t. Food security, as Wikipedia will tell you, refers “to the availability of food and one’s access to it”. Food insecurity is the inability of citizens to consume, not produce, food. Food insecurity can occur in a country that is nearly entirely agricultural, such as Somalia and Ethiopia, two countries that only recently experienced food shortages and starvation.
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