SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.110 issue1-2The impact of accent identification errors on speech recognition of South African EnglishThe first-year augmented programme in Physics: A trend towards improved student performance author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353


LUAN, Yibo; CUI, Xuefeng; FERRAT, Marion  and  NATH, Reshmita. Dynamics of arable land requirements for food in South Africa: From 1961 to 2007. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2014, vol.110, n.1-2, pp.1-8. ISSN 1996-7489.

Food consumption puts pressure on natural resources and arable land. In the present study, we examined the dynamics of land requirements for food in South Africa from 1961 to 2007 and investigated the relationships between dietary patterns, yield, cropping intensity, population and the area of required land using the thought experiment method. Strong population growth and the development of agricultural technology (indicated by yield) accounted for more than a 2.5-fold increase in the total land requirements for food from 1961 to 2007. Before the 1990s, the increase in crop yields enabled constant land requirements, whereas, after the 1990s, the combined effect of agricultural technology and population growth, together with a small contribution from dietary changes, led to an increase in the land requirements for food. Our findings confirm that the variation in land requirements for food is a complex, non-linear function of agricultural production techniques, population growth and dietary patterns and show that the complex relationship between dietary pattern changes, and economic development challenges future predictions of land requirements for food in South Africa.

Keywords : dietary pattern; historical analysis; land requirements for food; South Africa; apartheid.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License