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CSS Seminar: Uncomfortable Tensions in the Food (In) Security Conundrum - The Role of Communities in Southern African Contexts

Speakers: Joyce Chitja Discussants: Tapiwa Muzerengi and Xolisile Ngumbela
Date: Thursday 27 June 2019
Time: 12:30-14:00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room A726, Level 7, Shepstone, Howard College, UKZN

One of the key questions of our time is whether the billions of people on the planet will have adequate access to food. Another concern is whether there will be food safety in a context where there is pressure to intensify agricultural production and yields. While food security alludes to the physical, social and economic access to safe and nutritious food by all people at all times, food safety alludes to the handling, preparation and storage of food employing ways that prevent foodborne illness.
This seminar considers the theoretical, methodological, and conceptual hardware in the discourse around food security. Presenters will address key issues in feeding humanity while keeping it safe. They will also examine issues of vulnerability, safety, community engagement, and consumer activism. Various Southern African case studies will be discussed to propose interventions to engage innovative and adaptable models at policy and community levels to address food security.

Speaker Bio:
Joyce Chitja holds a PhD in Food Security. She is a widely published academic, a passionate community engager and committed to translating research into action. Her research involves socio-economic development issues in agriculture including food and nutrition security, food safety and hygiene practices, agricultural development, rural development, gender in farming, empowerment, smallholder farmer development, farmer empowerment and agency, livelihoods and market access. Her research is informed by her community and stakeholder engagement model that feeds into setting the research agenda aimed at contributing to uplifting rural and peri-urban farming livelihoods, especially that of women farmers. Nationally and regionally (SADC), she contributes to food security policy and programmes through training and networking. She has for several years spearheaded and led a Food and Nutrition Security short course training across five SADC universities. She has led UKZNís African Centre for Food Security and has collaborated with researchers at Bonn University, Cornell University and Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Studies. She has also served as Deputy Chair of the Agricultural Council of South Africa.

Discussants Bios:
Tapiwa Muzerengi is a PhD candidate in Community Development at the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at UKZN. As a community mobiliser he has developed a community-based model of engagement and grassroots participation in addressing food security issues drawing from his research in Zimbabwe, Senegal, Mozambique, and Japan.
Xolisile Ngumbela is a PhD candidate at UKZNís College of Law and Management at the School of Management, IT and Governance. He has experience in social justice, advocacy and lobbying, community development, as well as policy formulation and analysis, for pro-poor policies. He is currently employed as the Performance Outcomes Manager at the Office of the Premier in the Eastern Cape Province. His main function is to provide content support with a special focus on the Social Transformation Cluster and Social Transformation Cabinet Committee.

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