Improving policy coherence for food security and nutrition in South Africa: a qualitative policy analysis
This article (PDF) in the Food Security Journal analyses the coherence of food supply policy content with respect to nutrition and food security in South Africa. In the rise of the double burden of malnutrition, the supply-side policy interventions are a critical component of action. However, the food supply is governed by a number of different policy sectors, and policy incoherence can occur between government action to promote a healthy food supply and objectives for economic liberalization. Three coalitions of actors related to food security and nutrition in South Africa are identified: the Economic Growth coalition, the Food Security coalition and the Health coalition. The analysis indicates that the current reconsideration of economic policy agendas favouring liberalization in South Africa, including the termination of most bilateral investment treaties, may present an opportunity for increased recognition of food security and nutrition priorities in food supply policy making. A number of opportunities to strengthen policy coherence across the food supply for food security and nutrition are identified. Firstly, specific changes to economic policy relating to the food supply that achieve both food security/nutrition and economic objectives are needed. Furthermore, create links between producers and consumers through markets and fiscal incentives that make health and fresh foods more accessible and affordable. Formal avenues for engagement by civil society in nutrition and food security policy making should be increased. Finally, consideration of the nutritional quality of food supply in policy objectives across sectors should be increased, to create a framework for policy coherence across sectors relating to the food supply.