Meeting food security needs in very poor households in the Eastern Cape: the role of own agricultural production

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Michael Rogan, John Reynolds on 6 February 2018

Small-scale agriculture evokes strong views in terms of both its current and potential roles in rural development. We examine how many (or few) Black households in rural areas that are identified as ‘food poor’ in terms of their income levels are able to meet their basic food needs – and the role of household agricultural production. We find that although rural households engaged in some form of farming are more likely to be very poor in terms of their incomes, they actually experience hunger less frequently than non-farming households.

How did hunger levels in the former homelands catch up with the rest of South Africa? A hundred years after the Land Act of 1913

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Dieter von Fintel, Louw Pienaar on 14 January 2014

A century after the Land Act of 1913, and 20 years after the abolition of homelands, differences in poverty persist between the former homeland areas and the rest of South Africa. However, remarkably, hunger gaps between the former homelands and other regions have been eliminated in the post-apartheid era. The main cause has been the disproportionately high number of persons eligible for social grants in the former homelands, rather than increased food production or higher labour market incomes due to land reform.