The recently released International Food Policy Research Institute (IFRI) 2013 Global Hunger Index shows steady improvement in the eradication of hunger in South Africa.
It is encouraging that more and more people are able to put food on the table, however much more needs to be done to ensure that no one in South Africa goes hungry.
In order to continue to reduce the levels of hunger in South Africa, the DA encourages the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson to implement the following five policies and programmes to ensure household food security:
- Accelerated land reform that affords greater priority to currently successful small farmers as beneficiaries;
- Farmer support services targeted at those who need it most, especially farmers in remote rural areas. This will include assistance in accessing commercial supply chains, which favour large scale farmers. Such assistance will include support for collective action, as well as support for access to alternative markets where commercial processors and supermarkets play a less prominent role;
- Targeted efforts to improve the efficiency of the supply chains that bring farm inputs to the farm and that farm products to the final consumer, whether domestically or internationally;
- Support to existing and new entrants to export markets, including information and market intelligence and attendance at trade fairs; and
- Diligent application of competition policy along the supply chain, as has been accomplished in the past few years.
Food security is crucial for economic growth and job creation. You cannot educate a hungry child, and you cannot hope for productive employment if South Africans are starving.
We will request the Minister to engage with all relevant stakeholders and her Cabinet colleagues to implement these five policies in order to ensure that South Africans do not go hungry.