Food Security The hunger games
Some context: According to the World Bank, 60% of South Africans live below the poverty line, and 2.5 million adults and 600,000 children experience hunger every day. The United Nations has established the end of hunger as integral to its sustainable development goals (SDGs), specifically Goal no. 2 (Zero Hunger) and Goal no. 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). And a 2021 NASA study reveals that climate change may affect the production of maize and wheat as early as 2030 should emissions continue unabated. Fitting that we should consider all this as the UN marked World Food Day on 16 October. “By aiming for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life,” they said, “we can transform agrifood systems and build forward better by implementing sustainable and holistic solutions that consider development in the long term, inclusive economic growth, and greater resilience.” This against the backdrop of a Transnet strike locally, involving 40,000 employees who are asking for a wage increase that matches inflation, that may very shortly threaten the availability of fuel, electricity, and of course food. And the IMF has lowered its expectation for our GDP growth for the year from 2.3% in July to 2.1% as the global economy cools more broadly.
Comment: Food security is one of the defining issues of our age, our country, and our industry, and as players in the food sector we are all uniquely positioned to bring our talents and resources to bear on the challenges that lie ahead.