There’s plausible concern for South Africa’s future food security and nutrition regime if South Africa does not adopt climate smart agricultural practices.
According to a 2nd Biannual Review Report (BRR) presented at the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) Dialogue, food and insecurity has long been an issue in South Africa.
“With 11% of the population (6.5 million people) suffering from hunger in 2019 COVID-19 pandemic compounding issues – imposed lockdown restrictions have caused major job and income losses and worsened the food and nutrition insecurity in the country” said Dr Njongenhle Nyoni of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Policy Advocacy Network (FANRPAN).
Since the adoption of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) Framework in 2003 in Maputo, it was South Africa, Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique that were lagging behind in implementing CSA targets.
On the nutrition theme, the last time South Africa conducted a nutritional barometer was in 2016 which explained possibly the delay in reporting.
Officials from the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development (DALRRD) said the lag behind submission of CSA and NSA targets was data sharing by the private sector.
“The issue is the leadership of the entire agricultural sector. As a government we collect data, but the private sector is unwilling to share. The way we measure data is misaligned to the Malabo Declaration Measurement” said Heidi Phalane from DALRRD.
Johann Kotze from the South African Pork Producers Association (SAPPO), disagreed with officials from the department and said the industry was always willing to share information.
“I think it is rather the communication between the government, commodities and farmers should be better. There is enough data going around and we were sharing it with all concerned government officials” he said.
Dr Abongile Balarane concurred with SAPPO and said that most of the industries that collected levies and those that administered Agricultural Trust’s by law had to submit data to the government according to the NAMC’s Transformation Guidelines.
“I therefore believe there is a strong collaboration between us (Private sector) and the NAMC. We may probably need to improve in some areas, especially those that are under the MAP Act. Definitely we all need to know the market share of developing farmers” he said.
CARE International said South Africa’s water resources challenges were dropping substantially and this had an impact on birthing perpetual drought.
“In terms of limited water supply – Some predictions show surface water supply could decrease by 60% by the year 2070 in parts of the Western Cape alone” said Dhaquirs Bashir partnership advisor of CARE International.
This could spell disaster for RSA agricultural exports, which contributed 10% of the country’s exports, affecting the entire value chain.
However, South Africa was beginning to make inroads in the CSA debate. Prof Sue Walker of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) said her institution was currently completing training of 100 Extension Practitioners from three provinces funded by GIZ together with DFFE & DALRRD on Project Management Team. A set of manuals is being prepared.
Policy Dialogue hosted by NAMC, FANRPAN and CARE International