Rural development

South Africans Urged to Use Land ‘Productively’

President Jacob Zuma has reiterated his support for the campaign that encourages South Africans to productively use the land to improve food security for millions of citizens.

Zuma states that in order to reduce food insecurity in rural areas, government is promoting food gardens and other forms of subsistence agriculture, involving civil society.

He stresses the importance of people going back to the land and not to view social grants, wage employment and non-agricultural informal activities as the only source of income for rural households.

Presidency: Land Proposals Part of NDP

The Presidency says that President Jacob Zuma's recent proposals for land reform are part of the national development plan released in August 2012.

In a press statement, the department says it welcomes the debate that has ensued over the proposals in the agriculture and land sectors, as it enriches the discussions on this important topic.

Monitoring the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests: A Civil Society Perspective

The global context of hunger and poverty today is further characterised by conflicts over land and other natural resources that are often related to human rights violations. These conflicts are currently growing, in respect to both their number and their intensity. This situation is the result of a wide range of structural and contextual factors, including but not limited to 'resource grabs'. In this context the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests becomes urgent.

Southern Africa Food Insecurity Worsen

The United Nations deputy humanitarian head says food shortages are ‘a chronic problem’ in Southern Africa and more than 5.5 million people in eight countries need aid this year, a 40 percent increase compared to 2011.

Catherine Bragg, winding up a five-day Southern Africa trip, said worsening food shortages are the result of drought or floods and rising world food prices.

World Grain Reserves Low - FAO

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that world grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a hunger crisis next year.

FAO senior economist, Abdolreza Abbassian, points out that, "We've not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year.”

Sustainability Challenge for Rural Upliftment Initiatives

A R500 000 vegetable growing project aimed at providing food and jobs for one of the poorest areas in the North West has failed and only one of the staff members originally tasked with looking after the project was still on the premises.

A few years ago, the Tosca project was one of six vegetable tunnel enterprises that the Dr Ruth Mompati municipality spent R3 million on.

NGO, Govt, Fight Hunger and Poverty

Zambia has experienced more than a decade of food production declines which has resulted in widespread hunger and poverty in rural communities.

The organisation works with rural communities specifically and priority is given to income generating projects, which include small-scale enterprises in farming, beekeeping, aquaculture, agro-processing, carpentry and other skills training, in targeted communities.

868 Million People Starve Worldwide, Says FAO

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that one out of every eight people in the world is chronically undernourished.

The UN agency warns that progress to reduce hunger has slowed since 2007/08 when high food prices sparked riots in several poor countries.

In its latest report on food insecurity, FAO estimates that 868 million people are suffering hunger in 2010-2012, or about 12.5 percent of the world's population, down more sharply than previously estimated from about 1 billion, or 18.6 percent in 1990-92.

Seeds for Growth: Financing Smallholder Farming in Southern Africa

Between 250 and 300 million Africans suffer from hunger.

Seeds for Growth: Financing Smallholder Farming in Southern Africa’ explores how governance and political decision-making about the allocation of resources could transform the smallholder agricultural landscape in southern Africa. It affirms the role smallholder agriculture can play in a national and regional political system in the pursuit of social and economic justice.

Farmers Not Uniquely Vulnerable to Armed Attacks

The number of farm attacks per 100 000 farmers and their families is comparable to the number of criminal attacks per 100 000 people in the general population.

This is according to an analysis of farm attack data conducted by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR). Because the South African Police Service does not publish data on farm attacks, the SAIRR relies on data collected by the Transvaal Agricultural Union. According to this data there were 108 confirmed cases of attack in 1994 and 85 in 2011.

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