BloginsightsNewsFOOD SECURITY

By Dr. Belaineh Legesse, Managing Partner of Frontieri Consult – Ethiopia

 

The notion of food security seeks to address the issue of food and hunger through sufficient production of food at individual, family, or country level. Countries can attain food security when they are able to support their agriculture and produce food to guarantee the right to food of their populations within their terrain.

As maintained on World Food Summit, 1996 , “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences in order to lead a healthy and active life.” This definition gives greater emphasis to the multidimensional nature of food security and includes the availability of food, access to food, biological utilization of food, and stability of the other three dimensions over time. In some countries, there has been a rise in the number of individual and community gardens available for people to produce food using vertical agriculture. This trending practice is currently booming both in rural areas as well as in the middle of cities. Individual and community gardens, in addition to providing home-grown and more nutritious food to the families and individuals, promote sustainable agriculture; help improve air and soil quality; increase biodiversity of plants and animals, and allow people to know exactly where and how their food is grown, which, at the same time, increases people’s food sovereignty.

As a result of the 2008 food crisis, governments have turned their attention to food policy and support for the rural sector. Both food security and food sovereignty emphasize the need to increase food production and productivity to meet future demand. Both concepts stress that the central problem today is access to food, and thus involves redistributive public policies in terms of income and employment. They also consider the necessary link between food and nutrition. Both concepts also entail proposals for social protection in facing temporary crises, or the creation of conditioned cash transfer programs as part of larger poverty eradication programs.