Food Security in Southern Africa: A loaf in hand is worth two in the oven?

By H.E. Zunckel, L.H. Botha on October 24, 2012

The increase in food prices in the period from 2006 to 2008 and the increased volatility of food markets has awakened a deep concern around the world over the problems of food security in food deficit and food importing countries.

Of particular concern are the adverse impacts of this volatility on poverty and the distribution of income. The subsequent 2008 to 2009 economic crisis reduced international prices of agricultural and non-agricultural commodities and attenuated preoccupations with food security. However, as predicted by some at the time, these were short-lived, and subsequently the price of foodstuffs has tended to increase and prices have continued to be volatile, rising to new peaks in 2011 in certain key commodities. In 2012-2103 global corn prices, corn being Africa's staple food, may reach new records once again.In that context, this essay examines the state of food security in Southern Africa, and identifies where government policies both in the region and outside can contribute to reducing hunger.

Newsletter details

Food and Agriculture
Focus area
IISD, 2012