The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) is a non-profit company, founded in 2004 with the purpose to inform decision-making by stakeholders in the agro-food, fibre and beverage complex by providing independent research-based policy and market analyses. BFAP has offices at the University of Pretoria, the University of Stellenbosch, and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and consists of 40 public and private sector analysts and experts who pool their knowledge and research to inform decision-making within South Africa’s food and beverage sector.
BFAP has become a valuable resource to the agro-industrial complex by providing analyses of future policy and market scenarios and measuring their impact on farm and firm profitability. BFAP collaborates with various international institutions and is a partner in the newly established Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI) in Eastern and Southern Africa. The Bureau consults to both national and multinational private sector entities as well as to government in all spheres.
BFAP has developed a number of tools and systems of econometric and simulation models to analyse agricultural commodity markets to look at sustainability of farming systems, unpacking food value chains and understanding consumer behaviour (impact of food prices on consumption). The Bureau has been tracking and developing future scenarios around South African agricultural commodity and food prices. The framework is based on the global data feeding into the South African situation – looking at supply and demand balances and farm sustainability. The typical analyses look at price trends, shocks and future outlooks. The Bureau generates future scenarios of the production and consumption of food under various macro and policy assumptions and projects commodity and food price inflation, taking price transmission and market integration into consideration. For the past 11 years, BFAP has published the South African Agricultural Baseline where a 10-year outlook is provided for 44 agricultural commodities and the consequent impact of the outlook on farm profitability and household food affordability.
Apart from the Baseline, BFAP has a further range of standardised products that are published on a regular basis, for example the contributions to the quarterly Food Price Monitor published by the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) where BFAP researchers keep track of the impact of food price inflation on household food expenditure patterns and provide a quarterly outlook of food price inflation.
BFAP also undertakes independent Research Projects. Over the past 11 years, more than thirty research reports have been compiled and published. These projects include research, conducted for the National Planning Commission and focused on employment in agriculture and a sectoral analysis of minimum wages. BFAP developed an employment matrix for the agricultural industry that was included in the National Development Plan 2030. Other recent research was conducted on the impact of the proposed National Water Resource Strategy on job creation and household food security in a pilot irrigation region in Mpumalanga.
Since its inception, 14 Masters and 5 PhD degrees have been completed under BFAP, which has led to the publication of a range of articles in journals and other literature. BFAP researchers have delivered 92 Presentations at a range of national and international conferences and workshops, either by means of an invitation or through a peer reviewed process.
What makes us Unique
Through a partnership with the Bureau, the Institutional Research Theme that focuses on food security and nutritional impacts of policies and programmes has access to a comprehensive system of models and economic intelligence that is unique in the South African context and has a 11-year track record. It is the only system that has the ability to undertake simultaneous quantitative impact analysis of external shocks on farm, sector and consumer level and also has the ability to generate a set of plausible future scenarios of the South African food system, taking risk and uncertainty into consideration.