The 10-year agricultural outlook by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that income growth in middle-income countries will see consumers transform their diets from staples to higher-value products, such as fats and animal-based protein. Meanwhile, environmental and health concerns in high-income countries are expected to support a transition from animal-based protein towards alternative sources.
The latest edition of the ‘State of food security and nutrition in the world’ has found that the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. The report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, estimates that almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019, an increase of almost 10% over the past five years. The high costs and low affordability of healthy and nutritious diets also continue to contribute to the malnutrition of billions of people.
By disrupting international supply chains, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered much debate about the need for deglobalisation. This presents an ideal opportunity for Africa to explore the regionalisation of agribusiness on the continent, writes Louis van Ravesteyn, head of Agri Business Pan Africa within the Personal and Business Banking division at Standard Bank Group.
Demand for nuts is set to continue growing strongly worldwide, but this does not mean the industry can grow complacent about improving production efficiencies. This is the opinion of Axel Breuer, CEO of AgroPress, which publishes The Clipper, an international magazine dealing with nut and dried fruit production and processing.
While gene editing has the potential to reduce human suffering, irresponsible use could be devastating, according to Dr Jamie Metzl, futurist and author.
Pierre Cloete, CEO International Wealth & Prosperity, writes that the future of South Africa is gloomy and that investors and workers need to protect themselves by diversifying their portfolios with offshore investments.
The re-evaluation of government spending, although much needed, will not be enough to address South Africa’s immense economic challenges. There also needs to be stronger political will and leadership to address poor implementation, writes Dr John Purchase, CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber.
Tshepo Moloi and Prof Johann Kirsten of the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University suggest that a zero-based budgeting approach could offer an opportunity to reassess the role of the state in rural development.
While growth and development initiatives have tended to focus on growing the commercial farming sector, a new school of thought argues for the coexistence of smallholder and commercial farmers to achieve household-level food security in South Africa, writes Dr Sifiso Ntombela, chief economist at the National Agricultural Marketing Council.
The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of agriculture in South Africa and across the continent because of the sector’s capacity to support economic growth, create and sustain jobs, and boost exports, writes Roux Wildenboer, head of agriculture at Absa Corporate and Investment Banking.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; if you fall, you run the risk of not having breakfast. Farmers should spread their risk by adding a second component to an existing farming operation, or even by investing in industries unrelated to agriculture, says Dawie Maree, head of information and marketing at FNB Agriculture.
The strip of land spanning just over 900km along the Lesotho-South Africa border remains a source of economic loss and trauma for the many rural South Africans living there. Sabrina Dean spoke to Dr Jane Buys and Richard Chelin about the safety and security challenges in the area.