The role of development planning for food security in the sugar industry of KwaZulu-Natal

Mkhwanazi, Sinenhlanhla Princess
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The challenges of development planning for food security are analysed, using the case of the sugar cane industry of KwaZulu-Natal as a crop producing unit of analysis for the study. The impact analysis of climate and environmental changes appear to be detrimental to crop production. This has affected output and thus the sustainability of food production and security. The research methodology engaged experts in the field of sugar cane farming though questionnaires, books and journal articles. The analysis of data used a mixed methods approach. This assisted in identifying the current driving forces in the sugar cane industry as an agricultural crop producer. The identified trends were in line with global trends, identified as anthropogenic threats of a deteriorating environment which intimidates the global food production system. The research findings revealed that the existing planning methods used by the sugar cane industry focused on short term and production planning, limiting the analysis of the driving tools of food production and crop farming. To further engage the findings, the research analysed the identified trends and further applied future research methods of Scenario Planning as the proposed development planning tool. This applied method of forecasting assisted in identifying and projecting mitigating methods for acute threats that arise as the driving trends, such as climate change, the environment and the evolving of population dynamics. The research objective and anticipated outcome is to develop a food production system that is resilient and adaptable to the changing climate and agricultural environment. This research is a fundamental contribution to the development of methodology for a proposed policy strategy and framework because it demonstrates the possibility of the development of a food production system that is resilient and adaptable. This translates into informing forecasting methodology, which is projected through strategic policy development for the desired future outcomes. This presents an opportunity for further research and contribution to sustainable methods that develop agricultural systems and protect human security against food insecurity.
Research presented for the degree of Masters of Management in Public Policy to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management of the University of the Witwatersrand, February 2019