Effects of rising food prices on household food security on femaleheaded households in Runnymede Village, Mopani District, South Africa

Mkhawani, K. ; Motadi, S. A. ; Mabapa, N. S. ; Mbhenyane, X. G. ; Blaauw, R. (2016)

CITATION: Mkhawani, K., et al. 2016. Effects of rising food prices on household food security on femaleheaded households in Runnymede Village, Mopani District, South Africa. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 29(2):69-74.

The original publication is available at http://www.sajcn.co.za

Article

Background: Rising food prices can have a devastating effect on the health of poor households by making it more difficult for them to afford basic food baskets. Although South Africa is food secure as a nation, it does not mean that every household is able to access nutritionally adequate food. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the effects of rising food prices on people’s perceptions and coping strategies regarding household food security. Setting: Sixty femaleheaded households were selected from 250 households in Runnymede Village in the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality, Mopani District, Limpopo province, South Africa. Design: A descriptive and exploratory study was conducted using quantitative methods by means of an administered, structured questionnaire. The accessible population was femaleheaded households residing in Runnymede Village. Participants representing 60 femaleheaded households were purposively selected from the 250 households. Open and closed-ended questions were used to collect the data. Results: The majority (58%) of participants indicated that their eating habits had changed owing to rising food prices. Approximately 60% of the participants indicated that they bought food in bulk as a shortterm strategy to cope with rising food prices. Approximately 50% had a vegetable garden to alleviate food unavailability, and harvested for subsistence to meet non-food expenses. The majority (57%) of participants converted to buying cheaper brands, such as generic store brands. In addition, rising food prices made high quality food scarce for poorer households, forcing them to resort to cheaper or less nutritious foods. Conclusion: Rising food prices had a negative impact on poor, femaleheaded households in Runnymede Village.

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