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Saturday, June 28, 2014

SA falls behind on food indicators

Despite the fact that it is a leading force in Africa in terms of food security, for the second year running,
South Africa's scores have fallen with food affordability indicators declining consecutively for the past 24 months NaijaAgronet gathered.

South Africa’s The DuPont-Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Food Security Index, which was first published in 2012, showed that this year South Africa scored 57.9 out of 100 index points on affordability, a decrease of 2.9 index points from last year.

South Africa still ranked the highest in the sub-Saharan region in terms of food affordability but the scores of countries such as Botswana, Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire, which followed South Africa, have been on an upward trend.

South Africa’s affordability scores respectively declined from 61 and 60.8 points in 2012 and last year.
Botswana’s score, on the other hand, increased from 54 points to 55. Even the most food-insecure nation, the Democratic Republic of Congo, improved its food affordability indicator from 12.9 points in 2012 and 2013 to 16 this year.

 “It’s a reflection of [South Africa’s] GDP [gross domestic product] per capita. If the economy is not growing, inflation is high, which is the case in South Africa, it’s expensive and affordability is one category that will be affected,” said Pat Thaker, EIU’s director of Middle East and Africa, during the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association academic symposium in Cape Town yesterday.

South Africa’s GDP per capita, the indicator of countries’ standards of living, had fallen by 1.6 points when EIU compared this year’s index to last year’s.
The country’s food consumption as a share of household expenditure had worsened by 12.8 index points.

According to the last National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) food price monitor last month, Namibia, Zambia and South Africa had the highest food inflation in the year between April 2013 and April 2014. South Africa’s food inflation was 7.8 percent, significantly above the consumer price index of 6.1 percent over that period.

Chukwudi Obi

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