Advances in Food Security and Sustainability in South AfricaAuthor(s): S Drimie, L Pereira
Link to CST author(s): Dr Laura Pereira, Prof Scott Drimie
Publication: Advances in Food Security and Sustainability
Full reference: From S. Drimie and L. Pereira, Advances in Food Security and Sustainability in South Africa. In: David Barling, editor, Advances in Food Security and Sustainability, Vol. 1, Burlington: Academic Press, 2016, pp. 1-31.
There is overwhelming evidence that the national food system in South Africa is in crisis, without any clear or shared understanding of a pathway toward a more sustainable configuration (Pereira and Drimie, 2016). A number of examples illustrate this: as food insecurity becomes a more serious problem, the increasing consolidation of the food value chain, both vertically and horizontally, acts as a contradictory force to the equitable distribution of power and profit within the food system (Greenberg, 2016). The spread of big retail food chains and fast food has also had an impact, increasing the availability of processed, high-energy, nutrient-poor foods, and making them more affordable than fresh, healthy food (Hawkes, 2015). The agrarian system remains highly dualistic with a commercial farming sector producing most of the food, juxtaposed against a large number of smallholder and subsistence farmers that remain marginalized from the dominant system (NPC, 2012). Other powerful forces such as climate change, rapid urbanization, and resource scarcity compound the crisis.