South Africa is the Most Food Secure Country on the Continent

I have said this before, but I will repeat it because I think it is important in highlighting the enormous contribution of South Africa’s agricultural sector.

South Africa is ranked as the most food-secure country on the continent and is 44th out of 133 countries worldwide, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2017 Global Food Security Index. The Index captures the most critical aspects of food security, namely; affordability, availability, as well as quality and safety.

South Africa’s relatively high rating has been made possible by robust agricultural output over the years, making it one of a few net exporters of agricultural products (chart below).

agri trade balance

This is, of course, a remarkable achievement considering the fact that South Africa is relatively resource-poor when compared to many other African countries. But what differentiates it from other countries is the high level of investment in the agricultural sector, which is largely driven by transparent markets, strong institutions and robust property rights capable of being enforced through the courts.

Follow me on Twitter (@WandileSihlobo)

Author: Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa. He is a columnist for Business Day and Farmers Weekly magazine. Sihlobo is a member of the South African Agricultural Economics Association. He has previously served as an economist at Grain South Africa. He holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University.

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