Food Security Effects of Food and Agricultural Inputs Trade Shocks from the Russia-Ukraine Region in South Africa and Mozambique: Exploring the Roles of the Maputo Corridor, SADC, and Continental Sources

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Ngepah, Nicholas
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African Economic Research Consortium
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has had significant implications for global food and nutrition security, particularly in Mozambique and South Africa. This study examines the extent and the causes of food and nutrition insecurity in both countries with an econometric focus on the role of external trade shocks from the Russia-Ukraine region relative to other regions. It considers the potential contribution of the Maputo Corridor in alleviating food insecurity. The findings reveal that Mozambique faces higher levels of food insecurity compared to South Africa, with limited access to food due to poverty, inadequate infrastructure, and climate change impacts. Similarly, South Africa experiences food insecurity challenges, particularly at the household level, resulting from inequality, inadequate infrastructure, and market concentration. These internal factors should be tackled through sustainable agricultural practices, infrastructure development, market competition, and supportive macroeconomic policies. The econometric results indicate that the disruption of inputs imports has a more significant impact than direct food imports, with Mozambique being affected more than South Africa. While both countries rely on imports from Ukraine and Russia, the study suggests that alternative sources within Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region can mitigate the impact of trade shocks. Additionally, the establishment and enhancement of the Maputo Corridor play a crucial role in improving food security, particularly for Mozambique. The study recommends strengthening trade linkages within the Maputo Corridor, SADC, and Africa to enhance food security. Challenges to the potential of the corridor, such as trade imbalance, limited infrastructure, and weak institutional frameworks, need to be addressed through diversifying the agricultural sector, improving transportation infrastructure, promoting regional cooperation, and streamlining implementation. Overall, the study highlights the importance of addressing internal factors, diversifying trade partnerships, and leveraging regional cooperation to ensure long-term food and nutrition security in the face of external shocks such as the Russian-Ukraine war.