Global Agro-food Governance, Supermarket Chain Expansionism and Household Food Insecurity in Rural South Africa

Johannes Tsheola


Global governance of agricultural markets has enforced the collapse of conventional rural agricultural production systems and eroded tenuous guarantees of household food security. With the ascendency of global agro-food governance, transitory food insecurity increasingly evolved into moderate chronic vulnerability among rural households in most developing economies. The exposure of household and smallholder food self-provisioning systems to stressors attendant to global agro-food governance through, among other factors, commodity and food pricing, production, marketing, distribution and expansion of supermarket food chains, undermined rural household food security. As conventional mainstay for food security in rural South Africa, the collapse of household and smallholder food self-provisioning triggered disproportionate exposure to risks and increased vulnerability to both chronic and transitory food insecurity. This article concedes that global agro-food governance, through food agents and supermarket expansionism, have conditioned rural households into deficit producers and net consumers of purchased foods. It contents that the moderate chronic household food insecurity within rural South Africa, wherein the majority merely avoid hunger, is intricately connected to the liberalized and deregulated global agro-food governance.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n8p656

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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