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Digital Re-print - July | August 2010

Food security - A proposal for South Africa

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Food security Feature
Shangdong Yingchun
Steel Silo Manufacturing


A proposal for South Africa

“With over 50 years of experience in the industry, we have built a solid reputation for “Yingchun”.
This reputation is based on our scientific management, advanced processing, strict quality control
and excellent after sales service.
We will stick to our tenet of “Quality first, credit uppermost, customer guided, common
development” and provide the best products and services for you”

by Jannie de Villiers, Executive Director, SA Agricultural Processors Association, South Africa

t the same speed at which the The second leg of food security is indices of the various staple foods in the coun-
credit crunch and recession in affordability which is the responsibility of try, the free market system remains the most
the Developed World reached Government providing a policy environment credible system to ensure enough food to the Shandong Yingchun Steel Silo Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
the inhabitants across the world, the whereby competition will drive down prices, people of South Africa. Address: No.101, Beiyi Road, Dongying City, Shandong Province
food-price crisis disappeared from economic growth and job creation will pro- Invest in infrastructure - The agricultural Tel: +86 546 8313068
the radars of leaders in the Northern vide the means to buy the food and a social sector has been left with very poor infrastruc-
Hemisphere. Researchers and policy safety network to assist those in distress. ture and disinvestment by the South African
makers, however, are hard at work Lastly, affordability also necessitates infra- Government over the past 10 years.
and their results are to be seen in quite structure provision by Government to ensure a If we want to avoid a similar experience
a number of protectionistic measures proper support system for the market. than that which happened with Eskom, we
to improve food security. Food self-sufficiency, however, has to do need serious investment in especially our rail
with surplus produc- infrastructure. Shangdong.indd 1 01/06/2010 11:35

The fundamentals tion, no imports and In the 1980s 85 percent of all grains was
that have driven the exports of surplus transported by rail and the processing sector

w e b s i te
food prices in 2007/08 food. In South Africa has been developed for rail intake. The current

s i t o
V i
are still there and are the self-sufficiency percentage transported by rail is in the vicinity
just temporarily cov- index (production as of 30 percent and is ± 20–30 percent less
. v i g a
ered by the recession.
As soon as the world
percentage of con-
sumption) for white
expensive than road transportation.
This inefficiency in our rail system is add- www
awakens from the reces- maize over the past ing substantial cost to the price of basic food
sion we will see the oil 10 years has been products in South Africa. The goal should be
prices surging; followed 131 percent. For yel- to transport 85 percent of grain in South Africa VIGAN manufactures bulk materials handling systems mainly: Latest references
by maize prices driven low maize the self- on rail by 2012.
• Mobile pneumatic conveyor or vacuvators. in LA REUNION island
by the biofuel sector. sufficiency index for This will not just save consumers substantial (Coop. Ouvrière Réunion) :
• Pneumatic continuous barge unloaders and mechanical barge loaders.
Global freight rates will increase from the same period was 116 percent but for costs in basic foodstuffs, but also a tremendous 1 ship unloader
• Mechanical and pneumatic continuous ship unloaders for vessels up to post-Panamax. 500 tons/hour
their current levels of US$40/tonne-$90/ wheat the self-sufficiency index is only 77 saving in the maintenance account of our road •Mechanical loaders for any size of ships. EL DEKHEILA PORT
tonne again. China, India and Brazil will percent. system as well as a decrease in the conges- as well as complete storage systems in ports and the agricultural industries. in Egypt (Africa silos) :
increase their demand for proteins, for tion especially around our cities. It has been 1 ship unloader
500 tons/hour
example in poultry meat production, etc and South Africa: A Proposal reported that the road infrastructure in South From project conception and feasibility studies to turnkey delivery of complete
this will support grain prices. In an effort to maintain food security in Africa is built to past 20 years. installations, VIGAN is your reliable partner.
We could have shortages in electricity South Africa, we would like to propose the Recently some data was released that
producing pap and bread in SA. High food following as the building blocks for healthy showed 78 percent of the roads in South in Bangladesh (Toma Co.) :
VIGAN acquired AS-C (UK) and its famous line of SIMPORTER unloaders with a proven
prices are a drop in the ocean compared to food security in our Africa are already 1 ship unloader
consumption of 0.3 kWh/ton: this twin-belt technology has the lowest energy cost 250 tons/hour on rails
food unavailability! country: older than 20 years. per unloaded ton amongst all existing Continuous Ship Unloaders (CSU). with cable reels
We currently have a window of oppor- Maintain the free The fixing of all the
tunity to do something about food security market - We need main grain corridors
whist the recession last. to maintain the free is essential for farm- An affiliate company from • Strong sales remain of VIGAN’s business :
market mechanism ers to maintain their Dry Cargo International - March 2009
• VIGAN awarded Pakistan grain and fertilizer contract :
Definitions as a system to ensure access to the mar- Dry Cargo International - November 2008
Food security is defined by the availability the availability of kets. Quite a number • Unloading agribulk from barges :
Dry Cargo International - July 2008
of food which is the responsibility of the free food to all. Although of grain silos in this
market. This will ensure enough safe food to tempting to increase country have been VIGAN Engineering s.a. • Rue de l’Industrie, 16 • B-1400 Nivelles (Belgium)
be physically accessible to all. the self-sufficiency delisted on the JSE Phone : +32 67 89 50 41 • Fax : +32 67 89 50 60 • Web : • E-mail :

32 | July - august 2010 Grain &feed millinG technoloGy Grain &feed millinG technoloGy
Ann revue anglaise paysage.indd 1
24/03/10 16:29:36
July - august 2010 | 33
Food security Feature

because of either stolen railway lines or poorly processing plants remains an essential part sector role players in agriculture need to be
maintained rail lines. of food security. The basic rule applies: ‘no supported. Jointly they are providing the critical 7th - 8th October I The 10th GLOBALG.A.P Conference I London, UK
International information indicated that the electricity = no food’. support services to new black farmers that
bulk carrier ships that is been built in the world We need to ensure a proper supply of the become part of the main stream economy.
is getting bigger by the day. This necessitates skills needed to produce and process food for
a deeper draft in the ports of South Africa South Africa. Other opportunities
to ensure our participation on imports and We would also like to list a few other legs
exports of soft and hard commodities. Market information: Crop to the proposal of a food secured South Africa:
Spending on research: Government spending estimates • No food should be used for the
on research in agriculture has decreased in the In analysing the white maize crop estimates manufacturing of biofuels
past 10 years with the major impact of climate in South Africa over the past 14 seasons, it • The speculation on the JSE Securities
change we need to increase the spending in became eminent that 13 of the past 14 season Exchange (Safex) should be lim-
research to maintain the current levels of pro- the Department of Agriculture’s National Crop ited where it affects food
duction. Early surveys have indicated a three Estimates Committee has under estimated the • South Africa should strive to
to five percent drop in yields for every 0.56˚C maize crop. become a preferred food aid sup-
increase in our average temperatures. This leads to higher maize prices to con- plier to the World Food Programme
South Africa also has to invest more in our sumers. especially in our African region

Farming for
water usage and research. It also influences our ability to export profit- • Higher prices will be best
If the quantity of water becomes a problem able as we are not sure about the crop size. cured by higher prices and let
and we replace all irrigated maize and wheat Government needs to increase the amounts the market react to that
production with dry land yields, we will see a available to improve the crop estimates to the • It is also of huge importance that

minimum of 12 percent drop in production. extent that it will be within the ±5 percent the World Trade Organisation final-
This will most certainly put South Africa at a margin as was agreed upon between all role ise its DOHA Round to improve
deficit grain situation. players. a free and fair trade environment
We have also noted that the quality of We therefore recommend that the pro- in agriculture internationally
water has deteriorated substantially because of ducer independent crop estimate system be Lastly, we would like Government to con-
pollution affecting food safety severely. maintained and that only scientific inputs be tinue with their fight against collusion and to
Infrastructure spending on capacities at the
local Government level to process sewerage
used to estimate the crops in South Africa.
This history has proven that biased information
increase competition to drive prices down. This
is an essential part of a healthy free market. The Everything you need to
and the enforcement of pollution legislation
especially in the mining sector becomes of criti-
supplied by farmers is without exception under
estimating the crops in more than 90 percent
Competition Commission in South Africa has
done us a great favour in their recent offensive know about Good Agricultural
cal importance affecting food security.
The capacity to process the registration of
of the instances. action against collusion practices in South Africa.
Practice certification in one
new products that enhances the productivity Agricultural tariff system Conclusions
of our crop production as well as animal health The Department of Agriculture has In conclusion, the proposal for healthy food
needs to be improved substantially. A backlog approved a new trade and tariff policy regime security in South Africa is not to panic with ad
of up to two years is preventing the agricultural but it is not being implemented due to the fact hoc policy decisions that would have a long
sector of benefiting from new technologies that the major implementation body reports to term detrimental impact on South Africa.
that is already been successfully used in the the Department of Trade and Industry. The Government has done very well thus
Developed World. The trade and tariff policy are very powerful far and did the sensible thing in its reaction
Genetically modified foods: The global per- policy tools to enhance food security. towards the food price crisis. We do however, Come and join us for the best net- HOT TOPICS
ception of genetically modified organisms is Actions taken by the Argentinean govern- need a much bigger commitment in terms of working, discussion and debates at the
also threatening the availability of food in the ment to ban wheat and maize exports are red investment in agriculture to ensure the smooth world‘s favourite conference event for  Learn about the New Version of the
world. The acceptance of GMOs in maize and lights indicating that South Africa should recon- supply of food at affordable prices to the GLOBALG.A.P Standard
Good Agricultural Practice!
the non-acceptance of GMOs in wheat are sider relying so much on basic food imports in people of South Africa in future.
Top International speakers from the private and  Responsible Management of Resources
putting wheat at a huge disadvantage. times of global short supplies. The net result that Lastly, consumers in the country as well as
Farmers are planting more and more selective import duties on chicken meat (as an policy makers need to be educated that food public sector will provide key insights into Good  Residue Monitoring
acceptable bio crops (maize and soya) as it example) will have on jobs and food security prices eventually must carry the cost to be food Agricultural Practice developments around the  Smallholder Programmes
becomes more profitable and wheat is loosing could outweigh the initial increase in food prices. secured as well as to protect the environment globe. Join our retailer and supplier members as  Certification Integrity
substantial acreage planted. This will eventually in which the food is produced. they share with you how they are implementing  Social Practices in Primary Production
lead to a situation where either the wheat price Sustainable transformation GLOBALG.A.P into their global supply chains.  Aquaculture and Livestock Trends
needs to increase substantially to maintain its In evaluating the food security in our region
More inforMation  Linkages to Consumer Labels
profitability to farmers, or consumers will have it is sad to note that although most of the
to accept the genetically modified properties SADC members are better endowed with Jannie de Villiers 7th - 8th October 2010
that could be used in wheat. climate and agronomic conditions, yet they Executive Director HILTON London Metropole Hotel
SA Agricultural Processors
No proven information has been published remain food insecure. It is just proving that it London, UK
that shows any safety concerns with regard to has more to do with the policy environment
South Africa
the uses of GMOs. than with the climatic environment.
The continuous supply of electricity to our Successful initiatives undertaken by private
Email: You want to know more about our event?
Then please visit
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