Nutrition security, livelihoods and HIV/AIDS: implications for research among farm worker households in South Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Previous research on the health transition and nutrition security in black
South African households revealed the need for further research among farm workers
who belong to the poorest population categories. This article gives an overview of the
link between nutrition security, livelihoods and HIV/AIDS in South Africa, drawing
conclusions for research among farm worker households.
Design and setting: A literature review, observations on farms and interviews with
farmers and key informants were carried out in 2003 and 2004. Peer examination was
done with South African and German researchers from the natural and social sciences.
Results: Farm workers face poverty and nutrition insecurity and continue to be a
tragically underserved population group, also in terms of research. There is furthermore a lack of in-depth research on underlying causes for nutrition security in South Africa and on the link with livelihoods, poverty and HIV/AIDS. Micro-social qualitative research from the household and gender perspective is required, as valid data on households, their internal dynamics and therefore the reflection of social realities are missing. A multidisciplinary research approach based on a new conceptual framework was developed to address the situation of farm worker households.
Conclusion: The outlined research contributes to existing programmes on farms in the
NorthWest Province, with the findings being valid also for other parts of southern Africa facing poverty, nutrition insecurity and HIV/AIDS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-852
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Farm worker households
  • South Africa
  • Nutrition security
  • Livelihoods
  • Gender

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