BUNYA, 30 OCT – South African (SA) Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana said 29.4 million people in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) are food insecure during the 2018/19 consumption year.
Zokwana said this during the World Food Day commemoration held at Bunya village in the Kavango West Region on Tuesday.
The event is celebrated under the theme ‘Our Actions are our Future. A #Zero Hunger World by 2030 is Possible’.
The minister said this year’s theme is in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, the first SDG, which speaks to eradicating poverty in all its forms and the second SDG, which calls for ‘zero hunger’ to be attained.
Zokwana informed the gathering at Bunya that SA is one of four countries, alongside Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Zimbabwe that make up close to 90 per cent of the food insecure people.
“According to a 2017 general household survey, the number of South Africans with inadequate or severely inadequate access to food stands at 13.9 million,” he said.
Decreases in food insecure populations, Zokwana noted, have been recorded in Namibia and eSwatini.
The Consolidated Approach to Reporting Indicators of Food Security, he added, indicates that 39 per cent of rural Namibians are moderately food insecure and 1.4 per cent are severely food insecure.
“In urban areas, 69.3 per cent are food insecure and 1.1 per cent severely food insecure, with about 24 per cent of children under 5 years stunted.”
The SA minister said it is of importance to note that food and nutrition is a complex matter to address as it is fundamentally related to structural societal factors, including developmental issues such as access to land, credit, education and employment.
Agriculture, Zokwana further stated, is the key to economic transformation as about 70 per cent of the region’s population depends on agriculture for food, income and employment.
The event was also attended by Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Alpheus !Naruseb, governors of the 14 regions in Namibia and guests from the international community.