Research: Food crops: Perceptions and realities from South africa Reply

Our Research posts are about the latest academic research being done in the School of Economics. This week:

Food crops: Perceptions and realities from South Africa

by Flippie Cloete and Ernst Idsardi *

Strategies adopted to address on-going food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition, particularly in developing countries, narrow the food supply base by using technological options that neglect indigenous and traditional food crop systems. These crops are commonly being labelled as “poor people’s food” by South African consumers. The question that arises is whether this categorization is justified and what interventions are needed to unlock the potential of these crops in improving household food security levels. Survey data of 600 African households in the North West Province of South Africa were used for the analysis of the consumption patterns of several traditional  and indigenous food crops. The results show that the link between income and the consumption of these food crops is more nuanced.

Agroecology and Sustainable food systems, 37: 1-13.

Flippie and Ernst are agricultural economists working in the TRADE Research Niche Area.

Guest post: Saving, investment and reverse causation 1

This year we invited extraordinary Professor Peet Strydom to write a series of guest posts about economic theory. In this first post he considers the relationship between savings and investment.

Prof Strydom

Prof Strydom

Investment, which refers to capital formation, determines production capacity and long-term economic growth.  Conventional wisdom relates investment to saving in the sense that investment is financed by saving.  From this true proposition the argument easily jumps to the conclusion that investment is driven by saving.  The causation runs from saving to investment. In this sense saving could be a constraint on investment.  We argue that this causation is only true under special conditions.  In terms of a more general case the causation is reversed so that investment determines saving.  Before we elaborate on these topics a few observations on saving behaviour are in order.

1. Saving and saving behaviour in South Africa

As opposed to investment statistics, saving is obtained as a balancing item in the national accounts.  This complicates the stability of this variable as well as its interpretation. Empirically the corporate component is the most dominant in terms of size.

Our understanding of household saving behaviour comes primarily through research on personal consumption functions. It is not surprising that saving is also referred to as postponed consumption. Saving, as consumption, is primary a function of income. More…

Nuus uit die Skool Reply

Gereëlde lesers van ons blog sal weet dat ons aan die einde van verlede semester nuus uit die Skool gedeel het. Intussen het daar baie dinge gebeur en ons gee graag hier ‘n opsomming:

Honneursstudente by die Nedbank Graduate Showcase

Honneursstudente by die Nedbank Graduate Showcase

  • In ‘n afsonderlike berig het ons al vertel van Proff Saayman en Krugell se referate by die International Association of Tourism Economics se konferensie in Ljubjana, Slovenië.
  • Prof Riaan Rossouw en Henri Bezuidenhout het einde verlede semester IHS Global Inisight se African Economic Outlook konferensie in Santon bygewoon.
  • Prof Ewert Kleynhans het die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns se jaarlikse toekenningsfunksie in Pretoria bygewoon – Prof Philip Mohr (vroeër van Unisa) het die Stalsprys vir Ekonomie ontvang.
  • Dr Henri Bezuidenhout het deelgeneem aan die GIBS Business in Africa program en was as deel daarvan op besoeke aan Kenia en Nigerië.
  • Prof Andrea Saayman is verkies tot Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA) se akademiese komittee.
  • Onder die TRADE vaandel het Proff Wilma Viviers en Riaan Rossouw ‘n aanbieding oor die DSM gedoen by Wesgro.
  • Ook aan die onderrigkant was daar opwinding: Prof Gary van Vuuren het verlede week weer vir die Risikobestuur studente honneursklasse aangebied.
  • ‘n Deel van die Honneursgroep was by die Nedbank Graduate Showcase bygewoon en Sandton se wêreld van “high finance” baie geniet.
  • Ander is weer saam met Prof Kleynhans na die SAIRR waar Dr Frans Cronje hulle meer vertel het van die insituut se politieke en ekonomiese vooruitskattings vir Suid-Afrika.
  • Laaste is Dr Henri Bezuidenhout hierdie semester met navorsingsverlof en Carike Claassen en Requier Wait met studieverlof. Ons verwelkom graag ‘n paar impakspelers in die span: Dr Flippie Cloete (saam met Ernst Idsardi) by ECON221 en Danielle le Clus en Clarissa van Tonder by ECON121.