Agro-food market policy and food security in South Africa

South Africa experienced two waves of rapid food inflation in 2001–02 and 2007–08. During both periods the surge in the cost of food undermined the food-security status of low-income families. Belated state reactions to the food-price crises pay scant attention to the fact that poor net food buyers rely on agro-food markets for their food supplies. Moreover, the touted non-interference of the state in agro-food marketing policy gives the impression that this policy is disconnected from food security. This article challenges that notion. It analyses the content and evolution of agro-food marketing policies and argues the case for food security to be at the core of such policies.