Quantity 'not a problem in the food crisis'

07 December 2017 - 07:38 By Farren Collins
File photo.
File photo.

Enough food is produced to nourish and feed every person on the planet, but despite this nearly a billion people went to bed hungry every day last year.

Patrick Caron, chairman of the high-level panel of experts at the UN's Committee on World Food Security, called the situation "absolutely unacceptable" and showed the strong link malnutrition had with poverty and conflict.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Conference on Global Food Security in Cape Town, Caron said scientists were convinced the new knowledge they had produced could be "instrumental in shaping and helping policy decisions".

He added: "There is a consciousness of a totally new map of food insecurity and malnutrition. We are interested in food supply and the capacity to have enough to nourish all of humanity."

Cape Town is playing host to the third edition of the international conference, where more than 600 delegates from 60 countries arrived to discuss issues related to food insecurity.

The conference will conclude with the launch of the Unesco chair in African food systems, which has been awarded to Professor Julian May from the University of the Western Cape's Centre for Excellence in Food Security.

May said: "The goal of the chair is to contribute, through research, training and innovation, towards building a sustainable food system across Africa that provides adequate, nutritious and safe food to poorpopulations.

"Gender equality is key to achieving this goal due to the role of women throughout the food system. This is through the production, distribution and preparation of food, as well as through maternal health and the care of children and the elderly."

Stats SA said in August that 25% of the population was living below the food poverty line of R17.48 a day in 2015.