134 research outputs found

    The impact of smallholder commercialisation of organic crops on food consumption patterns, dietary diversity and consumption elasticities

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    The impact of smallholder commercialisation on food consumption patterns in a rural community of South Africa was investigated. The dietary diversity, nutrient intakes and consumption patterns of certified, partially certified and non-members of an organic farmers’ organisation were compared. Engagement in certified commercial organic farming promoted comparatively greater dietary diversity and improved nutrient intakes. While smallholder agriculture commercialisation has the potential to improve food consumption patterns and food quality through increased income and labour opportunities, caution should be exercised before claiming that such commercialisation can alleviate food insecurity and solve hunger in rural South Africa.agriculture, growth, smallholder, consumption, nutrition, Food Security and Poverty,

    The Impact of Small Holder Commercialisation of Organic Crops on Food Consumption Patterns in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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    The impact of smallholder commercialisation on food consumption patterns in a rural community of South Africa was investigated. The consumption patterns, dietary diversity and nutrient intakes of certified and partially certified members of an organic farmers' organisation were compared to data from a random sample of non-member households. Two consecutive survey rounds (n = 200) conducted in November 2004 and March 2005 enabled comparison of dietary diversity, nutrient adequacy (in terms of per household adult female equivalents for energy, iron, and vitamin A) and expenditure elasticities between seasons. Households with members engaged in certified comm ercial organic farming enjoyed greater dietary diversity, improved nutrient intakes com pared to households with members in conversion to organic production and households not engaged in commercial organic farming. Farm and non-farm income strongly and positively influenced nutritional adequacy for households of partially certified and certified members of the organisation. Marked differences in expenditure elasticities were found between the three groups. The results suggested that commercialisation of small holder agriculture has potential to improve food consumption patterns and food quality directly through income generated and indirectly through increased labour opportunities that result in wages and inkind food transfers. While commerciali sation of small holder agriculture shows potential for improving nutrition, caution should be exercised before claiming that such commercialisation can alleviate food insecurity and solve hunger in South Africa.food consumption, nutrition, farm households, small holder, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, D1, Q12,

    Expenditure elasticities for rural households in the Embo ward, Umbumbulu, KwaZulu-Natal

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    Household consumption patterns were investigated to determine the impact of an income shock on household expenditure and to establish the potential for demand-led growth in a rural area of KwaZulu-Natal. Household consumption data were collected from sample households in the Embo ward of Umbumbulu, KwaZulu-Natal during October 2004 and March 2005. Budget shares and expenditure elasticities were estimated for household consumption categories for the two study periods, allowing for a comparison of expenditure elasticities between the two seasons. Results suggest that expenditure elasticities for consumer expendables, durables and transport were highly elastic, while expenditure elasticities for the aggregate food category were negative (October) and highly inelastic (March). Analysis of the expenditure categories of tradable and non-tradable goods and services showed expenditure on tradable non-farm goods and services to have the greatest potential for demand-led growth with expenditure elasticities of 2.88 and 2.91, respectively. The category of non-tradable non-farm goods and services was not statistically significant for both periods and the category non-tradable farm goods and services was not statistically significant for October. A seasonal difference in expenditure patterns was apparent, suggesting that responses to income changes vary at different times of the year.Expenditure elasticities, demand-led growth, Umbumbulu region, KwaZulu-Natal, Consumer/Household Economics,

    Large-scale agricultural investments and household vulnerability to food insecurity: Evidence from Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique

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    This study set out to estimate the role of large-scale agricultural investments on household vulnerability to food insecurity in sample communities in Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique based on their adoption of coping strategies. The study used secondary data from the three countries (Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique). The findings of the study revealed that households with members engaged in contract agreements with LSAIs adopted fewer coping strategies and were less food insecure than other households. Contract farming households seemed to cope better during food shortages (based on the marginal effects of the model). In comparison, households with members employed by a LSAI adopted more coping strategies than contract farming households. This might be because households with employed members had smaller numbers of livestock and smaller landholdings. Many LSAIs jobs were seasonal and low-paid, making the household less able to cope with food shortages. The study confirmed that households with more educated heads, smaller households, larger plot sizes and more livestock were less likely to slip into deeper levels of food insecurity should they face adversity. Most employed household heads had migrated from nearby districts. The job opportunities helped migrant workers mediate food insecurity. These results suggest that governments hosting LSAIs can promote plantation and contract farming that protect the land ownership of smallholder farmers, transfer good agricultural practices to improve agricultural production, household incomes and food security of smallholder farmers

    Potential role for wild vegetables in household food security: a preliminary case study in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

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    The value of wild edible vegetables in food security has not been given sufficient attention in South Africa. Consequently, there are no formal interventions that seek to encourage people to use traditional vegetables as sources of essential nutrients. Studies on the role of wild leafy vegetables in food security could provide important information for development of policies on careful exploitation of natural resources for human sustenance. The objective of this study was to provide a rapid assessment of general knowledge about wild leafy vegetables among subsistence farmers from Ezigeni, a rural location in South Africa, and to determine the availability of wild leafy vegetables from cropping fields during spring - before the cropping season started. A focus group discussion and transect walk were used to collect qualitative data on knowledge of traditional vegetables. Availability of wild leafy vegetables was quantified using one-square-meter plots, randomly located in a cropping field and in an area that has never been cultivated (veld). Results showed that knowledge of wild leafy vegetables among the participants was positively correlated with age. Education status improved knowledge of wild vegetables for middle-aged participants, but not for the youth (35 years or younger). Availability of wild edible leafy vegetables (plant numbers and yield) increased from August to October, but there was a significant difference between species. Data from a focus group discussion showed that wild leafy vegetable availability occurred early in spring, when traditional crops were less abundant. It is concluded that knowledge of wild leafy vegetables may be lost in the near future, unless efforts are made to educate younger generations about their importance. They could be used as an important source of nutrients during the pre-cropping season, before traditional crops are available for human consumption. It is recommended that agronomic investigations into cultivation of wild leafy vegetables that are adapted to rural areas where exotic leafy vegetables are not widely available be undertaken. Those studies could contribute significantly in government policies to improve food security in rural areas, and in the improvement of wild vegetable status, whose potential as sources of nutrition is currently undervalued. Keywords: availability, knowledge, wild leafy vegetables African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development Vol. 6(1) 200

    Expenditure elasticities and growth linkages for rural households in two study areas of KwaZulu-Natal.

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    Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2002.Expenditure patterns were investigated to determine the potential impact of a widespread income shock on household expenditure and to estimate the potential for growth linkages to spur agriculture-led growth in two communal areas of KwaZulu-Natal. Expenditure data were collected from 99 sample households at the rural areas of Swayimana and Umzumbe during 1997. District and wealth group expenditure analyses for commodity groups suggested expenditure elasticities of close to unity for food. Low expenditure elasticities were found for staple foods. Expenditure elasticities for meat, meat products, and poultry were close to unity, while horticultural products showed the greatest potential for demand growth within the food category. Of the statistically significant commodity categories, expenditure elasticities for durables, housing, and transport were more than double those estimated for the aggregate food category. There was little difference in the response of wealthier households (the top expenditure decile) and that of poorer households. However, wealthier households have a greater propensity for increased expenditure on transport, while poorer households show a greater propensity for increased expenditure on housing and durables. District and wealth group expenditure analyses for tradable versus non-tradable farm and non-farm goods and services suggest a less than proportional increase in the demand for tradable farm commodities, and a more than proportional increase in demand for non-tradable farm commodities, following a one percent increase in household expenditure. Expenditure on non-farm tradables (imported consumer durables) showed the greatest potential for demand growth, with expenditure elasticities ranging from 1.75 to 2.59. A one Rand increase in household income is predicted to add an additional 28 cents (multiplier of 1.28) to the local economy. However, even relatively weak growth linkages could lead to much needed new income and , employment opportunities within the local farm and non-farm sectors if the constraints inhibiting agriculture, and hence broad-based growth in rural incomes are alleviated. Agriculture-led growth in South Africa requires public investment in both physical and institutional infrastructure to reduce transaction costs and risks in all markets, encouraging greater participation by local entrepreneurs and private sector investors. In addition, the roles, functions and services offered by extension agents should be extended to promote collective marketing, facilitate land rental contracts, provide training, and technical and business support for farm and non-farm entrepreneurs

    The food security continuum : a novel tool for understanding food insecurity as a range of experiences

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    The current lack of consensus on the relationships between hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity frustrates efforts to design good policies and programs to deal with the many problems. Disputes over terminology distract from the need for urgent action. This paper argues that our understanding of food insecurity is incremental: it develops as new research in a variety of food-deprived and nutrition-deprived contexts reveals causes, experiences and consequences and how they are interlinked. If we are to improve beneficiary selection, program targeting and intervention impact assessment, it is vital to coordinate our new understandings. The paper brings convergence to our understanding of food insecurity by introducing a new framework that visualizes levels of food insecurity, and the concomitant consequences and responses, as a continuum. Some potential benefits of using the continuum as a diagnostic tool are increased focus on less extreme but nevertheless urgent manifestations of food insecurity, more accurate targeting of interventions and better follow- up, and improved accountability for donor spending.http://link.springer.com/journal/12571hb201

    Child factors associated with complementary feeding practices in Uganda

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    Objectives: The objective of the study was to identify child factors that influenced complementary feeding practices in 2006 and 2011 in Uganda.Design: Trend analysis of Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys (UDHS) from 2006 and 2011.Subjects and setting: Children aged 6 to 23 months, Uganda.Results: Between 2006 and 2011, the percentage of children in Uganda consuming an adequate complementary diet increased by 3.1%. Duration of breastfeeding increased in this time from 11 months to 12 months, with the percentage of mothers who were still breastfeeding their children at two years decreasing from 55.2% to 46.5%. Factors such as child’s age, deworming for intestinal parasites and receiving DPT3 and measles vaccines, increased the likelihood of caregivers providing children with a minimum acceptable diet. Children aged 6 to 8 months and 12 to 17 months tended to receive adequate complementary in both 2006 and 2011. Although bottle-feeding was highest among the children aged 6 to 11 months, amongst those reported with a fever, acute respiratory infection (ARI) or diarrhoea, it had no statistically significant effect in either 2006 or 2011.Conclusion: Caregivers who take their children for deworming and DPT3 and measles vaccinations are more likely to feed them adequate diets, especially those aged 6 to 17 months. This is probably due to the mothers’ interaction with healthcare practitioners who teach and support complementary feeding. Telling caregivers about complementary feeding practices during immunisation and deworming consultations is likely to encourage beneficial complementary feeding practices in Uganda.Keywords: child age, complementary feeding, deworming, immunisation, Uganda Demographic and Health Surve

    Will renewed attention and investment in African agriculture ensure sound nutrition?

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    Africa is home to just over a quarter of all undernourished children. While food supply has largely kept pace with population growth in most African countries since the 1990s, high levels of under-nutrition pose threats to productivity and efficiency of the agriculture and food system. Ensuring food security for all in Africa in the future will require more than simply increasing aggregate food supplies. Future agriculture and food security strategies, policies and investment in Africa will need to consider the unique dynamics of Africa's population growth and balance the need for a very significant and rapid increase in food demand with careful consideration of dietary requirements to ensure healthy and productive lives. There is broad agreement that African agriculture has enormous potential for growth thanks to its abundant natural resources, namely land and water. But, will the renewed attention and investment in African generate the exponential growth necessary to feed the continent's growing population in a manner that ensure sound nutrition?http://www.palgrave-journals.com/ejdr/index.htmlhj201

    Food security in South Africa : status quo and policy imperatives

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    Although the term itself was only developed in the 1970s, food security has played a central role in policies that have shaped the history of South Africa from the 17th century. As with the changing international interpretation of food security over the past four decades, South African food security determinants have been interpreted differently by different ruling authorities and governments over three centuries. The Natives Land Act of 1913 played a significant role in determining the food security context of the country in terms of the character, composition and contribution of the agricultural sector, shaped consumption patterns and determined rural livelihoods. While food security is expressed as a national objective in a plethora of strategies and programmes, no formal evaluation has been carried out of the food security impact of these programmes, and there is a dire lack of coordination and no enforceable policy to ensure food security. Any national food security policy will need a framework of enforceable legislative measures and statutory coordination and reporting. This article explores the current national and household food security and nutrition situation in South Africa, and it offers recommendations for a comprehensive food security policy.http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ragr202015-02-28hb201
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