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Research Report

THE FOOD SECURITY SITUATION IN THE SADC REGION:: Policy dimensions and scope for recovery

R.T. Mano (Co-author)
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2004
Pages: 27

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. i-i)
  3. (pp. ii-ii)
  4. (pp. 1-1)

    At the height of the 2002 food security crisis, the Food Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), organized a regional study financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to explore the policy and economic nature of the food crisis. The study focused on five SADC countries including three of the countries hardest hit by the current food crisis i.e. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as two surplus countries i.e. South Africa and Tanzania that were expected to play a leading role in the supply of food exports to the famine-hit countriesĀ¹. Research has included...

  5. (pp. 2-4)

    In 2002 fourĀ² SADC countries experienced severe national food shortages arising from drought-induced crop failures whose impacts were exacerbated by a combination of domestic policy and institutional failures. This happened despite early warnings of the pending crop failures and food shortages from a network of national early warning units and primarily due to lack of timely and effective preemptive policy reactions from famine-threatened SADC countries and the international community. The situation further deteriorated into a famine and a humanitarian disaster threatening the lives of over 13 million people. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are among the countries hardest hit by the...

  6. (pp. 4-12)

    Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the three famine-hit countries became aware of the impending 2002 food crisis in November 2001. Governments appear to have waited almost four months to assess the full extent of the droughtinduced crop failure before officially acknowledging the impending national food security disaster in February/March, 2002 giving the countries three to six months to implement disaster management programs and avert famine. However, the famine-hit countries appear to lack an effective disaster management plan and a rapid emergency reaction plan. Lacking significant stocks in their strategic grain reserves and in foreign currency reserves to finance timely supply of...

  7. (pp. 13-21)

    The 2002/3 famine has once again reminded SADC countries of the precarious nature of both national and regional food security situation. While seasonal climatic variations account for the variation in annual food production across the region, the food security problem facing most countries appears to be much more complex in terms of a multiplicity of causative root factors. In the past, the SADC region has attempted to respond effectively to similar food security disasters at both national and regional level. But the return of good rains and normal harvests, albeit temporarily, often fooled governments into setting aside the implementation of...

  8. (pp. 21-22)

    The food security crisis of 2002, demonstrated the complexities of the food security situation in the SADC region. Studies conducted in five countries yielded quite specific insights on the policy dimension that contributed to its severity and suggested policy changes that enhance disaster preparedness of countries and the region. The fundamental recommendations could be grouped into five categories:

    (a) Preparedness for Famine and Effective Management of the Food Security Crisis Situation : Effective famine disaster management strategies complete with specified national and regional institutional mechanisms for reacting and responding on an impending food security crisis should be designed.

    (b) Integrated...