Research shows 49% of South Africans will go to bed hungry by 2025

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Forty nine percent of the South African population will go to bed hungry by 2025. This is according to the Shoprite Food Index compiled by the World Data Lab launched on Monday to mark World Food Day. However, despite the bleak forecast, the index shows that the incidence of people escaping food insecurity is improving. In August, food inflation in the country slowed to 8.2 % from 10 % the previous month.

Hunger remains a huge problem in South Africa. This as the country continues to be faced with a multitude of economic challenges. Inequality, extreme weather patterns driven by climate change in the country are some of the factors leading to food insecurity.

Provincially, Limpopo will suffer the worst food insecurity in 2025.

“By 2025 World Data Lab forecast 49 % of South Africa population will be living in food scarcity conditions and 21 % of children will be stunted in 2025,” says Jack Gisby from World Data Lab.

Seventy percent of children in South Africa are born into poverty. And, according to the World Food and Agriculture Organisation, nearly 20 million people across the globe are without food. Shoprite Group says this is why it sees food insecurity as a crisis as big as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Group says due to this, it seeks to intensify its efforts to reduce hunger in the country through collaborations with different stakeholders.

“Our intention efforts will massively shift the needle and that’s why we have to work collaboratively across the value chain including agriculture, manufacturing, retailers, government and NGOs to address this,” says Sanjeev Raghubir, Head of Group Sustainability: Shoprite.

Shoprite Group says hunger remains a direct threat to humanity and a barrier to social development. The index predictions show that 47 % of the population in Gauteng will be food insecure of which 1 % will be from the rural areas of the province, while 99 % will form part of the urban population.

Video: World Food Day – Concerns over food security