Food and nutritional security in Africa : a comparative analysis

Andeyhun, Yesake Demeke (2014-04)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this study the food and nutritional security of the African continent was analysed based on the three main pillars of food security, namely availability, accessibility and utilisation. FAO‟s Food Balance Sheet method of per capita caloric food supply along with food production, trade and food aid was used for the food availability analysis. Accordingly, the majority of Eastern and Central Africa countries still remain below FAO‟s recommended caloric food supply level. While Ghana and Egypt showed impressive progress, Madagascar and Zambia recorded a deteriorating performance of caloric food supply. Per capita cereal production showed deteriorating performance in Sudan, DRC, Madagascar, South Africa and Nigeria. However, the rate of area harvest (except in South Africa) and yield (except in DRC) increased over the case study countries. On the other hand the majority of African countries struggle to maintain their agricultural trade surplus. Also food aid was found to be more important in the East African region. Among the case study countries, the DRC, Sudan and Ethiopia showed increasing trend of cereal aid receipt over time. The food accessibility analysis of the continent revealed that Africa showed impressive economic growth over the last decade. While it was widespread, those countries with less dependence on mineral resources showed better performance in poverty reduction and income distribution. Besides the economic factors, physical, political and sociocultural factors are also important factors of food accessibility. The food utilisation analysis found that child malnutrition was generally decreasing over the case study countries. However, the level of micronutrient deficiency, especially in children under the age of five, was found to be high in almost all of the case study countries. Except in Egypt, South Africa and Zambia, the percentage of the population with access to better sanitation services was under 30% in all the case study countries. In the DRC, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Mozambique, the percentage of the population with access to improved water services was less than 50%. Although challenged by complex factors, the analysis found out a positive relationship of agricultural growth and food and nutritional security in Africa. Besides its importance as an engine for economic growth and poverty reduction, agriculture enhances nutritional security through the provision of cheap and nutritious food even to remote rural areas. On the other hand the expansion of supermarkets and food price variability found to be both opportunities for and threats to food security. Also unfair international trade environment is negatively affecting food security. To this end, agricultural promotion accompanied with political stability, investment on infrastructure, national and regional market integration together with maintaining productive and sustainable safety nets and social protection schemes are found to be very important. The study used electronic databases of the EIU's Global Food Security Index, FAO's FAOSTAT database, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank among others. Analysis of the long-term statistical trends in the quantitative data and a systematic qualitative literature review were the methods employed for undertaking this research at the regional and national level.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie studie is voedsel- en voedingsekerheid op die Afrika-vasteland op grond van die drie hoofkomponente van voedselsekerheid ontleed, naamlik die beskikbaarheid, toeganklikheid en aanwending van voedsel. Voedselbeskikbaarheid is aan die hand van die parameters van voedselproduksie, -handel en -hulp ondersoek. Uit die lande waarvan gevallestudies onderneem is, toon Zambië 'n daling in kaloriese voedselvoorraad. Ook Nigerië, Soedan en Madagaskar toon 'n afname in die vlak van kaloriese voedselvoorraad oor die afgelope paar jaar. Dít kan verband hou met die waargenome afname in landbouproduksie per kop in daardie lande. Die landbouhandelsontleding dui aan dat Afrika sedert die 1980's 'n suiwer invoerder ten opsigte van landbou geword het. Vier studielande, naamlik Ghana, Ethiopië, Suid-Afrika en Zambië, het egter in 2011 'n landbouhandelsurplus getoon. Daarenteen word voedselhulp oënskynlik al hoe belangriker in die Oos-Afrika-streek. Onder die studielande het die Demokratiese Republiek die Kongo (DRK), Soedan en Ethiopië mettertyd 'n toename in graanhulpontvangste getoon. Die ontleding van voedseltoeganklikheid op die vasteland het aan die lig gebring dat Afrika oor die afgelope dekade indrukwekkende ekonomiese groei beleef het. Hoewel dié groei wydverspreid was, het lande wat minder afhanklik is van minerale hulpbronne beter presteer wat armoedevermindering en inkomsteverdeling betref. Benewens die ekonomiese faktore, is fisiese, politieke en sosiokulturele faktore ook belangrike bepalers van voedseltoeganklikheid. Die ontleding van voedselaanwending het bevind dat wanvoeding onder kinders in die studielande aan die afneem is. Tog is daar 'n hoë vlak van mikrovoedingstoftekorte in bykans al die lande wat bestudeer is, veral by kinders onder die ouderdom van vyf. Buiten Egipte, Suid-Afrika en Zambië, het minder as 30% van die bevolking in die studielande met verloop van tyd toegang tot beter sanitasiedienste bekom. Daarbenewens het minder as 50% van die bevolking in die DRK, Ethiopië, Madagaskar en Mosambiek mettertyd toegang tot beter waterdienste verkry. Hierdie navorsing beklemtoon ook dat landbougroei in Afrika die hoeksteen van voedsel- en voedingsekerheid bly. Benewens die belang daarvan as 'n werktuig vir ekonomiese groei, versterk landbou voedingsekerheid deur goedkoop, voedsame kos te voorsien; deur metodes te bied vir die verhoging van voedingswaarde, soos industriële verryking en bioverryking, en deur met behulp van landbouvoorligtingsdienste in die voedingsbehoeftes van afgeleë landelike gebiede te voorsien. In hierdie opsig word die uitbreiding van supermarkte en die wisselvalligheid van kospryse as 'n geleentheid sowel as 'n bedreiging vir voedselsekerheid beskou. Hoewel supermarkte goedkoop kos van gehalte aan stedelike en buitestedelike inwoners verskaf, kan die gevolglike marginalisasie van kleinskaalboere uit die verskaffingsketting, sowel as die toenemende gesondheidsgevare verbonde aan verwerkte voedsel, 'n bedreiging inhou. Die styging in kospryse kan ook op lang termyn 'n geleentheid bied om boerderyinkomste te verhoog, terwyl dit op kort termyn voedseltoeganklikheid vir arm mense beduidend ondermyn. In dié verband verseker die instandhouding van produktiewe en volhoubare veiligheidsnette en maatskaplike beskermingskemas nie net voedseltoeganklikheid vir die armes nie, maar versterk dit ook algehele voedingsekerheid. Hierdie navorsing op streeks- en nasionale vlak is met behulp van 'n langtermynontleding van statistiese tendense in kwantitatiewe data sowel as 'n stelselmatige kwalitatiewe literatuuroorsig onderneem.

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