R585: the rising cost of a full stomach

  • 28 August 2020
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Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) recently released its National Poverty Lines 2020 report, and it indicates that any person living in South Africa needs to have at least R585 per month to afford enough food to meet the minimum required daily energy intake needed to survive. The Food Poverty Line (FPL) is based on the daily calories a person needs to survive and it is set at 2 100 calories (as stipulated by the United Nation’s minimum daily consumption requirement).

The 2020 edition of the report saw the revision of all three cost of living measurements, this includes the FPL, the Lower-bound Poverty Line and the Upper-bound poverty line. The Lower-bound poverty line was set at R840 and represents the amount derived from non-food items for household spending at FPL levels. The Upper-bound poverty line was set at R1 268 per person and refers to the FPL plus the average amount derived from non-food items of households whose food expenditure is equal to the food poverty line.

Poverty lines are not only important for allowing statistical reporting on poverty levels and patterns but also informs planning, monitoring and evaluation of poverty reduction programmes. One such a project is the Senwes Agricultural Value Chain (AVC) Food Umbrella Project

More and more are going hungry

According to the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) one of the biggest concerns is whether there will be sufficient food supplies at affordable prices for the country during and following the containment period.

The National Income Dynamics’ Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey recently reported that 47% of people surveyed indicated that they ran out of money for food in April 2020. This is in comparison to 21% of respondents surveyed in 2018. This points to a substantial increase in the amount of people that were unable to afford a monthly supply of food. In a follow up survey in May and June it was reported that one in five respondents indicated that someone in their household went hungry, and one in seven indicated that a child had gone hungry. These results suggest that vulnerable households are still facing deteriorating nutritional intake, despite the Social Relief Distress Grants made available during the pandemic.

Together we can make a difference

Senwes, in a concerted effort to ensure food security, especially amongst communities living under the FPL, has launched the Agricultural Value Chain (AVC) Food Umbrella Project. Through this project, Senwes is uniting the sector’s value chain by calling upon primary producers, agri-businesses, logistics companies, processors and distribution centres to work together towards the common goal of reaching out to communities destabilised by the pandemic.

Donate to this cause by delivering maize at any Senwes Grainlink silo on delivery number 418688. Other contributions outside of this spectrum can be made by logging onto the AVC Food Umbrella page available at www.senwes.co.za/avc-food-umbrella