Food security in rural areas of Limpopo Province, South Africa

De Cock, N. ; D Haese, M. ; Vink, N. ; Van Rooyen, C. J. ; Staelens, L. ; Schonfeldt, H. C. ; D Haese, L. (2013-02)

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

The original publication is available at


Although South Africa is food secure as a nation, many households remain food insecure. The government has recognized several key food security challenges in the Integrated Food Security Strategy (IFSS). However, South Africa still lacks specific and accepted methods to measure food security and currently has no regulated way of monitoring the food security status of its population. This article reports on an investigation into the food security situation of rural households in the Limpopo Province. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered across five districts in the province. The study sample eventually involved 599 households in the rural areas of Limpopo. This allowed a thorough description of household characteristics and livelihoods and an assessment of the food security and poverty levels in the area. The findings showed that 53 % of the sampled rural households declared themselves to be severely food insecure. Multivariate analyses were used to identify the main food security status. These determinants were mainly human capital (education, household size and dependency ratio), household income and district in which the households were situated. The findings indicated that policy priorities should be focused on the promotion of rural education and creating an enabling environment for the rural labour market.

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