The UN Food Systems Summit, which took place in 2021, underscored that food systems – the way food is produced, accessed, and consumed – are broken. The Summit concluded by focusing on solutions that (i) contribute to people’s nutrition, health, and well-being; (ii) restore and protect nature; and those that (iii) adapt to local circumstances. Key to these solutions was a recognition that we must build on good practices, such as are inherent in indigenous food systems. In its official commitment declaration to transforming its national food systems, the South Africa Government identified promotion of indigenous systems and indigenous food products among its priority agenda objectives.
- DIALOGUE AGENDA
The overall goal of the dialogue is to continue to push for concrete action on commitments made by the UN body and the South African Government to advance the food system transformation agenda.
The objective of discussions will be to address 5 practical questions within the context of South Africa’s food system transformation agenda. Discussions will focus on sorghum.
- What is the relevance of indigenous systems and food crops, particularly sorghum, to the food system transformation agenda?
- Is there demand at-scale?
- Is there supply at-scale?
- What are key issues faced in aligning demand and supply markets for sorghum and sorghum-based products?
- What should be done to unblock pathways to ensure sustainable demand and supply markets for sorghum (and other indigenous food crops), to contribute to South Africa’s food system objectives?
See agenda in Annex for list of speakers
The panel discussion should aim to identify three priority recommendations (to be elaborated into a position paper after the Dialogue) for the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. The position paper will contribute to the Department’s preparation for the Stocktaking Moment of the UN Food Systems Summit, scheduled for 24-28 July 2023. The recommendations should also be accompanied by suggested actions with which the panelists (as an individual institution or a collective) could assist to facilitate follow-up by the Department/Government
Box 1. Selected Findings and Recommendations from the
“Study to Establish Market Opportunities for Sorghum in South Africa.”
Cereal grains (maize, wheat, sorghum, and the like.) make up a considerable portion of daily energy intake in Africa, and South Africa in particular. The growing population of South Africa will thus be a key driver of demand for grains, including sorghum
The dominance of junk foods is placing increasing stress on the public healthcare system as the population undergoes a ‘nutrient transition’ – from traditional diets high in grains and dietary fiber to a diet high in sugars, fats, salt, and animal-source proteins.
Because sorghum has higher nutritional qualities than other cereals, maize particularly, it can assist in addressing food insecurity and nutrition challenges in South Africa.
However, sorghum and sorghum-based products will have to be competitively priced to capture a fair market share of the growing population’s demand for food. Sorghum and sorghum-based products will be competing with other basic foodstuffs, such as maize meal and highly processed, nutritionally poor but energy-dense food products.
The sorghum industry in South Africa is exposed to local and international commodity prices and elasticities of supply and demand. The status of the sorghum industry is largely affected by the attractiveness of sorghum as an agriculture commodity to the farming community, the market demand from consumers in the local and international markets and the capacity, capability and profitability of the food, feed and beverage manufactures to convert sorghum into viable and attractive end-user (consumer and animal feed) products.
With South Africa’s extreme climate fluctuations and the expected warmer and drier conditions for the future, the key role of sorghum (a drought and flood tolerant crop) in food security can no longer be overlooked.
Market opportunities and recommendations to support the growth of South Africa’s sorghum industry include (i) promoting import substitution; (ii) increasing exports – particularly within the continent; (iii) increasing value-added products – including for exports; (iv) increasing consumer awareness/demand.
The Dialogue is convened by AgriLuxe Marketing with the support of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), Local Village Foods, and Shared Value Africa initiative (SVAI). See Box 2 in ANNEX for some more details on these organizations
EXPANDING MARKETS FOR INDIGENOUS CROPS
A SUSTAINABLE PATHWAY TO TRANSFORMING FOOD SYSTEMS – THE CASE FOR SORGHUM
MARCH 2, 2023
A WILD FEAST™ DIALOGUE
CHAIR: Ms. Vuyo Lutseke, Head, Stakeholder Relations, Funding, and Partnerships; Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI)
|10:00-10:05||WELCOME & SETTING THE STAGEChair: Ms. Vuyo Lutseke|
|10:05-10:20||OPENING REMARKSDr. Tshilidzi Madzivhandila – CEO, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)Dr. Babagana Ahmadu –Country Representative, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (tbc)Dr. Jemina Moeng – Chief Director, Food Security, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development|
|10:20-10:35||KEYNOTE ADDRESS A response to the findings and recommendations of the “Study to Establish Market Opportunities for Sorghum in South Africa,” Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), 2021. (See Error! Reference source not found.) Presenter: Professor Julian May – Director, DSI-National Research Foundation, Centre of Excellence in Food Security|
|10:35-11:10||PANEL DISCUSSION Chef Mokgadi Itsweng – Plant-based Chef and Indigenous Food ActivistMs. Siphiwe Sithole – CEO, African Marmalade FarmMs. Sipamandla Manquele – Co-Founder & Commercial Director, Local Village Foods Ms. Mpho Tshukudu – Registered Integrative and Functional Nutrition DietitianMr. Lethu Tshabangu – Co-Founder, Ukhamba Beerworx|
|11:20-11:30||CLOSING REMARKSDr. Tshilidzi Madzivhandila – CEO, FANRPANMs. Jeanette Sutherland – CEO/Founder, AgriLuxe Marketing|
Box 2. Institutions supporting the Dialogue
FANRPAN The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network is an all-inclusive multi-stakeholder pan-African network that provides independent evidence to inform and influence policy processes at national and regional levels. FANRPAN is a multi-tiered network consisting of a regional secretariat and established national nodes, currently present in 18 African countries, and growing.
The organization’s vision is ‘Resilient African agriculture and food systems, securing prosperity and health for all’ and focuses on three strategic goals”
Transformed agriculture and food systems through the development and implementation of evidence-based policy. Adequate, safe and nutritious food.Climate change resilient and resource sustainable food systems in Africa.
For more on FANRPAN, visit: https://fanrpan.org
Local Village FoodsLocal Village Foods is a fast moving consumer goods business that trades in indigenous food products. Local Village was founded on a vision for a network of vibrant, local agri-preneurs across the continent supplying equitably sourced and sustainably grown indigenous African ingredients to the global village. It is an aspirational brand, celebrating shared humanity through culinary diversity. For more on Local Village Foods, visit: https://localvillagefoods.com
Shared Value Africa Inititiative (SVAI)SVAI is a pan-African organization and the regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative business network working to build Africa’s most impactful Shared Value business network for sustainable social, economic, and environmental value.
Shared Value is a competitive business strategy that reconnects profits with purpose. It represents a shift in business mindsets to find new ways to do business that are more efficient, more innovative, reach more markets and make companies more sustainable over the long-term – while also being less harmful to the environment, less onerous for employees, less neglectful of the value chain, and less exclusionary.
To learn more about SVAI, visit: https://svai.africa
AgriLuxe MarketingAgriLuxe Marketing is a boutique social enterprise that facilitates high-quality market connections to three inter-related dynamic growth markets within the agriculture space: wellness and nutrition, agritourism, and food waste management. The aim is to promote sustainable, profitable, and healthy returns to all investors: financiers, producers, and consumers alike. Emphasis is placed on facilitating market connections for smallholder producers, notably farmers.
AgriLuxe’s vision is to redefine the concept of luxury to represent economic, social, and environmental health and well-being for everyone, including the poor. The enterprise’s objectives and vision are premised on the belief that access to nutritious food and a healthy environment are fundamental human rights and not just luxuries afforded by the rich
To learn more about AgriLuxe Marketing, visit: https://agriluxemarketing.com
Box 3. The Launch of the WILD Feast Platform
A common factor in all cases of successful sector transformation is access to expanding markets with paying customers. The launch of WILD Feast – a market-oriented platform for promoting Wholesome, Indigenous, Local, and Diverse (WILD) food products, is a follow-up initiative to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit to support the transformational food system agenda.
Climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, and the fall-out from the war in Ukraine have exposed the fragility of the Global food system and reinforced vulnerabilities and inequalities among population groups. At the same time, market data show that consumers – wherever they travel to – are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on personal health interests and social and environmental sustainability awareness. Aligning with these market trends and in the context of the 2021 UN Food System Summit, the South African government, identified indigenous systems and agritourism as two priority foci in their agenda to increase local, healthy food production and consumption, improve its citizens’ health outcomes, generate sustainable economic activities, and enhance biodiversity and the environment. In response to these market drivers and the government’s development agenda, WILD Feast targets South Africa’s agri-culinary cultural assets as catalysts for transforming the country’s food systems that increase widespread access to nutrient-dense foods, create new and sustainable jobs – particularly in the agri-tourism space – and promote biodiversity and environmental conservation.
WILD Feast aims to bring together stakeholders in the food value chain, from farmers, researchers, processors, retailers all the way to consumers over a fine WILD dinner and hands-on dialogue on opportunities existing in markets for indigenous crops and related food products.
The launch will take place on March 4, 2023, in collaboration with Spier Wine Farm.