Promoting food security through indigenous and traditional food crops
Van der Merwe, Johannes D.
Cloete, Philippus C.
Van der Hoeven, Marinka
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Despite many factors weighing in South Africa’s favor on the agricultural front, including having official “food secure” status, millions of households have insufficient access to nutritionally safe food. This is largely a function of poverty, which is particularly pervasive in the rural areas. While the government’s largely unsuccessful agricultural development programs have focused on large-scale commercial crops, such as wheat and maize, indigenous and traditional food crops could play a significant role. In this article, multiple criteria analysis is used to identify indigenous and traditional food crops that have the greatest potential to enhance food security in South Africa. The different indigenous and traditional food crops options were rank according to set criteria that were derived from the definition for food security as adopted in the article. Accessibility, affordability and nutrition formed the basis of the definition as subsequently the criteria used to rank the alternatives. Results from the analysis revealed that sorghum, sweet potatoes, and amaranth are among the indigenous and traditional food crops with the greatest potentia