Food and cash: Understanding the role of the retail sector in rural food security in South Africa

Laura M. Pereira, C. Nicholas Cuneo, Wayne C. Twine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A decline in subsistence agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa has meant an increased role for the private sector in food security strategies, but this role remains a relatively blind spot in food policy. We address this gap by analyzing retailers and consumers in a rural region of South Africa. Our results show that purchasing food is an important food security strategy for the rural poor, but is constrained by a lack of access to income. Furthermore, a reliance on specific non-perishable foodstuffs impacts the micronutrients that the poorest can access if they are unable to grow their own fresh produce. Adaptive food policy thus requires a holistic appreciation of the food system - emphasizing production as well as building livelihoods outside of agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-357
Number of pages19
JournalFood Security
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deagrarianization
  • Food security
  • Retail sector
  • South Africa
  • Sustainable rural livelihoods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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