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Working Paper - 220 - Developing a Food (in) Security Map for South Africa
South Africa has for long been food secure as a nation. This being the case, however, food insecurity at the household level is becoming a challenge as majority of households are becoming more food insecure (Altman, Hart, Jacobs, 2009). This is supported by the following estimates – 50% by National Department of Agriculture (2002), 52% by Labadarios, et al (2009), and 80% by Jacobs (2009).
The differences in the above national level estimates could be ascribed to the measurement used (under nutrition versus undernourishment) and the type of survey data relied on (Income and Expenditure Survey (IES) or General Household Survey (GHS) or the National Food Consumption Survey (NFCS). Despite the differences in these estimates, the studies shed some light on the severity of food insecurity at the household level. However, the use of these studies for national policy planning is limited as they are silent about the spatial dimensions of food insecurity in the country. Spatial studies of food insecurity would facilitate evidence-based policy planning that relies on credible data to determine which areas, population, and households are food insecure. By having this data available, policy planners could determine which programs would be suited to particular areas across a wide array of geographical spaces.