World Food Day marks the foundation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945 and heightens the plight of food insecurity.
To address food security challenges, the government developed the Integrated Food Security Strategy (IFSS) to streamline, harmonise and integrate the diverse food security programmes.
Food insecurity still remains a challenge for the country especially at rural household level.
Not withstanding the successes achieved through the IFSS, more than 12-million people in South Africa are still vulnerable to food insecurity.
Urbanisation and declining agrarian activities have transformed the South African economy into a wage economy. Most households are net consumers of purchased food, rather than producers thereof.
Access to food is mostly the function of household cash income and thus cash deficit households are more likely to experience inadequate access to food.
The government has initiated an intervention called the Fetsa Tlala Integrated Food Production Initiative, which seeks to afford smallholder farmers, communities and households the ability to increase production of basic food, and increase access and availability of it to attain basic food security at household and local levels.
Through this initiative the government has managed to mobilise additional resources from different departments across all spheres of government, and as a consequence about 39 225ha of the underutilised agricultural land was put under production during the previous production season, with maize and beans being the main commodities.
This programme was implemented in Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North West.
In accordance with the national develpoment plan vision 2030 statement, "we have food on the table", the government approved a Food Security and Nutrition Policy to be implemented through the Fetsa Tlala Integrated Food Production Initiative. All of these strides endeavour to ensure food security and nutrition for all.
This article forms part of a supplement paid for by the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Contents and photographs were supplied and signed off by the department