A South African look at Food Security issues of 3-5 June 08 Summit, Rome

By | 4 June 2008

South Africa and other Member countries of SADC are attending the FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security, in Rome, between 3-5 June 2008.

The main issues of the Conference, that has gathered more than 160 countries, namely High food prices, Bioenergy, Climate change and food security, and Transboundary pests and diseases do concern the people and governments of that part of Africa.

The following is a focus on South Africa:

1. The level of food price inflations has not only impacted stable countries like South Africa but the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. SADC Regional Programme Manager for Food Security Programme, Duncan Samikwa shares with us some of their major interventions in dealing with the challenges of climate changes on food insecurity.

Interviewee: Duncan Samikwa (SADC) Produced for FAO by: Nkgowa Media Duration: 5:10 Format: MP3

2. Food prices and rising fuel costs are gradually impacting South Africa’s food security. With the recent draft on biofuels as another effort to minimize the risk of food security and climate change, independent non -governmental organization Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme (RHVP) in South Africa say the country has done well by excluding maize in their biofuels strategy. They also believe that the country should be cautious when finalizing its plans and should also invest in secondary generation biofuels.

Interviewee: Josee Kosh (RHVP) Produced for FAO by: Nkgowa Media Duration: 4:23 Format: MP3

3. South Africa is still in the process of completing the land redistribution to the previously disadvantaged communities. With its neighboring countries such as, Namibia and Zimbabwe also in similar situation, land remains one of the key issue when implementing biofuels. Neil Townsend is the Programme Development Manager for Renewable Energy at Oxfam. He talks about biofuels targets with relation to the impact it will have to the farming community. He also touches on the advantages of biofuels in an attempt to alleviate climate change.

Interviewee: Neil Townsend, Oxfam Produced for FAO by: Nkgowa Media Duration: 5:01 Format : MP3

4. Political will is vital in responding to food crisis. South Africa’s Economic Policy Research Institute, Dr Seshi Kanki says the challenges of food crisis could be minimized with introduction of solid social protection systems for the vulnerable community. He says South Africa has done well in developing social protection system that has benefited the community particularly in rural areas often affected by food insecurity. He also gives their view on the recent attacks of foreigners seeking refugee in South Africa because of high migration rate to big cities which was somehow caused.

Interviewee: Dr Seshi Kanki Produced for FAO by: Nkgowa Media Duration: 4:03 Format: MP3

5. South Africa’s Wits University Research Group on Vulnerability Adaptation Mitigation Planning believes there should be an extensive research before we could all blame climate change on impact of food security. Professor Colleen Vogel says the emphasis should also focus on current climate variability and its impact on people. Prof Vogel believes we should educate rural and commercial farmers about these challenges and find out where extension workers are working well. She says there are also opportunities that come with challenges of biofuels and climate change.

Interviewee: Professor Colleen Vogel (Wits University REVAMP) Produced for FAO by: Nkgowa Media Duration: 4:35 Format: MP3

By Chris Ngadima, Nkgowa Media, South Africa

For FAO, May 2008





– Chris Kgadima, Executive Director, Nkgowa Media, Tel: +27 11 440 0983 – Email: chris@nkgowamedia.co.za

– Media Relations Service: Liliane Kambirigi, Information Officer, (+39) 06 570 53223

Email: liliane.kambirigi@fao.org

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