Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
well as their food preferences are included in the concept of food security. There are four
conceptual elements to food security, which include:
• theavailabilityofsuficientquantitiesoffoodofappropriatequality,suppliedthrough
domestic production or imports (including food aid);
• accesstofoodbyindividualswithadequateresourcesforacquiringappropriatefoodsfor
a nutritious diet;
• theutilizationoffoodthroughadequatediet,cleanwater,sanitationandhealthcareto
reach a state of nutritional well-being where all physiological needs are met; and
• thestabilityoftheseelements,inthattobefoodsecure,apopulation,householdorindi-
vidual must have access to adequate food at all times. They should not risk losing access
to food as a consequence of sudden shocks or cyclical events.
The concept has a hierarchical dimension, where food availability is a necessary but not suf-
icientrequirementforaccesstofood,andadequateutilizationisrequiredtoobtainfood
securityafteronehasaccess.Availabilityisoftenanalyzedatthecountryorregionalscale,
accessatthecommunityscaleandutilizationattheindividualscale,andisoftendeinedas
beingpartofhealthandhealthcare,andlessthatoffoodsecurity(BarrettandLentz,2010)
( Figure 2.1 ).
Adequate food availability is the cornerstone upon which food security rests, as consuming
sufficient macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat and protein) is required for health and well-being.
Although for most of human history, lives were short and unhealthy because of lack of ade-
quate food, beginning in the eighteenth century a succession of countries was able to provide
the entire population with adequate food, transforming both individual health and the
economy of the region, enabling a great increase in economic productivity (Fogel, 2004). By
the twentieth century, nearly all communities and countries were able to provide adequate
Food security is achieved…
An area: crop
planting date,
vegetation or crop
condition, amount and
timing of rain, drought,
market availability of
food, food prices, imports,
exports, public stocks,
household stocks, wild
food availability, etc.
Individual: prevalent
diseases, malnutrition,
care of infants, feeding
and food preparation
practices, presence
of health and sanitation
facilities, water supply
characteristics, etc.
Utilization
Availability
Access
Household/community: local household food crop and
animal production, household sales of goods and
services, conditions of other income sources, labor
wage rates, food aid, assets, etc.
FIGURE 2.1 Foodsecurityismadeupoftheutilization,availabilityandaccesstofood,whichcan
be assessed at the individual, area and community levels of analysis (source: Gary
Eilerts).
 
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