JOHANNESBURG, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Tuesday expressed hope to share food security experience from other members of BRICS, the bloc of five emerging economies.
"The BRICS member countries have put food security at the top of the agenda ahead of the 5th BRICS Summit," the South African official Bua news agency quoted Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson as saying.
Joemat-Pettersson made the remark as she was addressing the BRICS summit roadshow in the capital Mbombela of the eastern province Mpumalanga.
BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The 5th BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in South African port city of Durban on March 26- 27.
It will be the first time for South Africa to host the BRICS summit since it officially became a membership of the group on Dec. 24, 2010.
The South African minister said that nearly 30 percent of the global territory is occupied by the BRICS countries.
"We have a very excellent and thriving commercial agricultural sector, we have huge farms and people can export products, but we have very little food security to feed each and every family. Currently, 13 million people in South Africa do not have enough food to eat," she said.
The minister urged the South Africans to learn from the other BRICS member of Brazil how it had addressed the problems in the social development, including inequality, unemployment and poverty.
"Brazil once had many hungry people to feed, but now fewer and fewer people are hungry after the president introduced the zero- hunger program," the minister said.
The government official believed that what South Africa could learn from Brazil is that "instead of planting flowers in our backyards, we could start to plant vegetables and fruits, which have brought a better level of nutrition to the people of Brazil."
"The other BRICS countries have a lot to teach South Africa when it comes to business," the minister added.
The government official stressed that South Africa has become a special interest in all these countries because of its ability to produce food.
The development of the agriculture in South Africa is "not only for local consumption, but also for exporting abroad," said the minister.