Academic journal article The Indonesian Journal of Geography

The Intervention of Rural Enterprise Development Hub Project on Maize Production in Mqanduli: The Implication on Food Security Status of Maize Farmers

Academic journal article The Indonesian Journal of Geography

The Intervention of Rural Enterprise Development Hub Project on Maize Production in Mqanduli: The Implication on Food Security Status of Maize Farmers

Article excerpt

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Food insecurity and poverty is a problem most African Countries are battling to eradicate. The pattern of hunger and poverty in rural areas calls for urgent intervention (Agriculture Special Report 2013; Ndleve et al. 2013). Food security is said to be the state when people can have access to adequate, safe and nutritive food physical and affordable all the time to meet the requirements of their diet and other food options for a robust life (Joseph, 2014; Sonnino, 2016). According to Abate et al. (2017), "Food access means the ability to get food (physically, financially and socially)" whereas food utilization involves the absorption of nutrients by the body (Poppy et al., 2014).

Maize is essential in South Africa's strategy for food security, and its importance can never be overemphasized (Sinyolo et al., 2016). Maize production in South Africa is achieved using different farming systems, small scale subsistence-oriented farmers, and emerging commercial farmers (medium/large scale) predominate the system (Iortyom et al., 2018). As a result of this systems, the production is typically characterized by low yields, irrespective of farm size, the consequence is the high unit cost which leads to low output (Trefry et al., 2014).

Depending on the continent, maize as a staple food and its importance differs. There is a very high per capita consumption of maize in Southern Africa countries, which is at 85 kg in a year. This is in contrast to the per capita consumption rate of 27 kg in East and West Africa per year and 25 kg per capita consumption in Central Africa per year. In Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and South Africa, the conventional rate of maize intake is at 100 kg per capita per year. These consumption rates represent the overall calories of over 50% in Lesotho, Zambia as well as Malawi, while in Zimbabwe is 43%, and 31% in South Africa (Smale et al., 2011).

Maize has potential in solving deficiencies in micronutrients and promotion of dietary diversity among the populations due to its richness in vitamin A (USAID, 2011). It is the view of Onasanya and Obayelu, (2016) that cereals are known to be the primary source of food as regards achieving food security in a country. One of the most important food crops consumed in the world is maize. The other two major food crops are rice and wheat, which combined with maize provide more than 30% calories to an estimated population of 4.5 million people living in developing countries. However, maize contributes over 20% of food calories and is the principal source of food for the majority of Africans and Latin Americans. Maize consumption among human consumption is based on the proportion of calories it contributes to all staple cereal crops across regions. Also, as compared to other cereals, the role of maize as a source of protein and energy from all other staples is the same (Shiferaw et al., 2011).

In the USA, maize is used mostly as raw material for industries, especially as a key component in the production of bioethanol. Despite this change in demand for maize, there are states in America and countries in Asia in which maize still provides essential energy requirements. In Mesoamerica and the Andean region, maize contributes 61% and 29% respectively of calories from the staple cereals. Mexico, Guatemala, and Paraguay have high maize supplies of 986 kcal/ capita/day, 820 kcal/capita/day and 551 kcal/capita/day respectively (Shiferaw et al., 2011).

According to Matlou et al., (2017) in Southern Africa Community (SADC), maize is the most important source of carbohydrates for both animal and human consumption. It is also the largest locally cultivated field crop. Being the significant, highly important, and extensively cultivated grain crop, it is a main part of the diet for communities in South Africa both in rural and urban areas. South Africa is a significant contributor to maize production in the SADC region (Matlou et al. …

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