Phase three of the national food and nutrition security survey kicks off in Gauteng today as part of a national effort to ensure that every household in Mzansi has access to adequate food and nutrition.
The research conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on behalf of the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development, gathers information at household level.
According to a statement, the government will use this to ensure everyone in the country, through targeted interventions, enjoy access to nutritious food wherever they are, as well as effective planning and deployment of resources for food production.
According to the study’s principal investigator, Dr Thokozani Simelane from the HSRC, the survey is South Africa’s first in-depth, countrywide study of food security and nutrition vulnerability.
It intends to provide a first step towards the development of a multidimensional index to assess they country’s vulnerability to food insecurity across all four dimensions: food availability, access, utilisation and stability.
“The survey is meant to be a national ’village-based‘ assessment and ’household-based‘ survey, providing data at district and, where possible, at municipal level for the highest precision required to measure the severity of food insecurity to support evidence-based decision making and planning.
“Data will be collected across the country from selected households in rural and urban areas,” said Simelane.
Get ready Gauteng, E Cape and KZN
The study targets at least 49 210 households across all 52 districts of South Africa in all nine provinces. Over 100 000 people are expected to participate in the survey.
Phase three covers Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal with HSRC fieldworkers expected to visit households in various districts to conduct interviews in local languages using a questionnaire to gather information.
Phase one was conducted in 2021 in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North-West, and phase two started in February 2022 in the Free State and Northern Cape and is expected to conclude in the Western Cape this month..
The objectives of the survey are to provide a baseline assessment of the food security and nutrition situation in households by focusing on:
- Availability, through determining food availability at household level;
- Access, through determining food access at household level;
- Food utilisation, through determining food consumption and compiling anthropometric measurements of household members (height, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) etc.); and
- Food stability, through assessing household food stability with respect to food supply, food price changes, shocks and household coping mechanisms.
The survey is aiming to analyse the link between food security and nutrition, and assess the reasons for household vulnerability to hunger and poor nutrition, including the impact of Covid-19.
The results are meant to determine policy recommendations and options for targeted food and nutrition security interventions.
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