MUT academic collaborates with HSRC on national nutrition and food security study

Dr Xolile Mkhize, right, with students and HSRC staff

Through Dr Xolile Mkhize, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Community Extension, Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), is partnering with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in an inaugural Food and Nutrition Security in South Africa study. Towards this end, the study investigates food production (agriculture), access to foods, dietary diversity, and nutrition status among other aspects of food security and nutrition at household and community levels.

“As the MUT, and as part of our anchor strategy, we are supporting the HRSC to investigate and as part of our anchor strategy to communicate research findings that support national priorities- food security and nutrition concerns in this case. This is important for the MUT’s Department of Community Extension and indeed for the institution’s (MUT) endeavours of building our communities.  Data collected from communities will inform policies on food and nutrition security,” said Dr. Mkhize.

Dr. Mkhize’s students completed the seven-day training programme which took place between 04 July and 10 July 2022. Thereafter, the students will get an opportunity to also participate in data collection within the eThekwini Metropolitan District, working under the supervision of experienced team leaders from HSRC. In addition, the students will participate in various research-linked community engagement activities in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

Speaking on the significance of the study, the HSRC’s Dr Vuyo Mjimba said the study will elicit important information about the availability and access to food in South Africa. Data collection will take the form of surveys at the household level and focus groups discussion at the community level all seeking to gauge how households access food, what food they have access to, the affordability of food, and the quantities and varieties of foods they produce.