n Africa Insight - Bio-fuels and food security : a case study of South Africa

Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The impact of an expanding bio-fuels sector in South Africa is expected to be widespread and substantial and could affect the agricultural sector. For example, an expanded bio-fuels industry in the country is predicted to lead to marginal price increases of 7.5% for milk, 2% for chicken, 9.6% for beef and 2.5% for eggs per annum until 2015. Although these price rises are not as high as those predicted in other countries, concerns are being raised that a larger bio-fuels industry could cause a serious food crisis in South Africa in the near future. The reasons for this concern include an estimated 14 million households in South Africa that are vulnerable to food insecurity and the precursors to the world food crisis in 1973-74 - poor global harvests and a reduction of global grain stocks through large purchases - are present again.

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