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 Programme to manage food security first in Africa

2015-02-05 10:00
Issued by MediaVision on behalf of USB-ED
The food security challenge in sub-Saharan Africa is complex and paramount, with approximately 200 million people across the continent currently affected by chronic malnutrition and a population exceeding one billion.

According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) this figure is expected to more than double by 2050.

It is against this background that the public executive development and training company of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, USB Executive Development (USB-ED) and the University of Stellenbosch Food Security Initiative has joined forces to present a programme in Managing Food Security as a development opportunity.

The programme is to be presented from 2 to 5 March 2015 in Cape Town.

The Food Security Initiative, with the focus on three key areas of sustainable production for safe and nutritious food, utilisation of safe and nutritious food and post-harvest optimization, is part of the Stellenbosch University’s HOPE Project. The aim of the project is to create sustainable solutions to some of South Africa’s and Africa’s most pressing challenges.

Head of open programmes at USB-ED, Willemien Law, says the programme is a first for Africa, providing participants with a learning experience that is both theoretical and practical.

“Food security and the management of it provides a growing opportunity for producers and retailers, with Africa's increasingly urban population purchasing food on an ever greater scale. For those working across the food system, it is a huge challenge to ensure enough safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food that minimises waste and copes with the economic and climatic stresses.

“Addressing the challenges of the food system requires producers, managers, retailers, directors and policy makers to understand the changing context of the food system. Failure to understand the context will result in inefficiency, waste, poor service delivery, unsafe or even insufficient food,” Law says.

Sustainable development promotes the idea that social, environmental, and economic progress is attainable within the limits of our earth's natural resources. It approaches everything in the world as being connected through space, time and duality of life.

This connectivity is critical to thinking about the food system and, in managing food security, it needs to be addressed and managed within the framework of sustainable development.

There is a critical knowledge and skills gap in understanding the various food system pressures, such as land reform, governance, production and consumption trends, climate change, quotas and the availability of affordable safe, nutritious food to those who are food insecure.

Understanding the food system challenges enables people to undertake accurate scenario planning and manage risks in order to develop adaptation and change management plans.

For more information visit the Managing Food Security programme page.
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Africa; Courses / Programmes; Management; Specialist; South Africa