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.
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