Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
Cash transfers successfully alleviate poverty in many developing countries. South Africa is a case in point, implementing one of the largest unconditional cash transfer programmes internationally, and with substantial benefits to household well-being along multiple dimensions. Yet, grants discourage formal labour market attachment, creating dependencies on the fiscus.
Climate and weather variability in sub-Saharan Africa disproportionately leave female-headed households food insecure. However, the extent and reasons for these gender differences are, thus far, not well understood. This study examines gender-food-climate connections using longitudinal data from rural households in north-eastern South Africa. Results confirm gender distinctions in that male-headed households are more food secure. Importantly, however, female-headed households are not a homogenous group.
This study examines the role of gender of the head of household on the food security of small-scale subsistence farmers in urban and rural areas of South Africa, using the exogenous switching treatment-effects regression framework. Our results show that agriculture contributes to food security of female-headed more than male-headed households, especially in rural areas. We also observe that male-headed households are more food secure compared to female-headed households, and this is mainly driven by differences in off-farm labour participation.
To the extent that in utero and childhood malnutrition negatively affects later stage mental and physical health, it can possibly constrain later stage human capital acquisition, which is an important driver of economic growth. This paper considers the impact of famine on aggregate adolescent human capital formation in Sub-Saharan Africa. We parameterize a joint adolescent human capital and food nutrition production function to estimate the effects of famine on primary school completion rates of individuals age 15 - 19.
The withdrawal of the Maize Board in 1996 meant that farmers could no longer rely on its pre-planting price or “voorskot” for price discovery and price risk management. Some have claimed (UNCTAD, 2007) that the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX) can provide these functions. We test this claim and analyse the implications of it. To do so, we build on an acreage response model developed earlier by Chavas and Holt (1990) by allowing for a futures market as well as accounting for farmer heterogeneity and the relative impact of price risk and yield risk.
This paper informs government policy insofar as it relates to the agricultural and rural development sectors and infrastructure investment within these sectors. The paper first quantifies the role of agriculture in the South African economy. This is done within the context of, inter alia, food security, agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), economic linkages and multipliers with respect to the agricultural sector, as well as agriculture’s employment creation and external stabilisation capacity.