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Are you interested in getting to know about food security?

Food security is about people around the globe having access to nutritious and safe food. FAO defines food security as “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” Availability, access, utilization, and stability are the major aspects related to food security.

Availability of food refers to the quality and quantity of food available for consumption. Introducing sustainable farming with the balanced use of natural resources is a way to address food security.

Access is about people’s economic and physical capability to receive food. Improving local markets and helping people earn a living through that. Utilization is how food is taken for consumption. The preparation of food, and distribution of nutritious food in the household.

Then, stability is about being stable in having access to safe food. The focus is to minimize people having to face difficulties in receiving food due to any reason.

What causes food insecurity?

Food insecurity is having issues in obtaining food due to lack of money or other sources. Globally people face food insecurity due to many different causes. Lack of farmlands is one of the major reasons. Food production requires large agricultural lands and it’s also a source of income for many people. Most people don’t have enough land to cultivate their own food.

It’s also highly expensive for ordinary families to purchase land for cultivation. War and violence is another reason for food insecurity. Wars destroy agricultural lands and make it completely impossible to do any kind of agricultural activity. Countries like Somalia and Syria face adverse food insecurity.

Farmlands are also destroyed by natural disasters. Floods, cyclones, and drought can bring down entire farmlands. This could be devastating for the rural communities that rely on their harvest for food. Food wastage also leads to food insecurity. People who have plenty, mostly in developed countries discard food without a second thought.

Due to the pandemic, there’s a lot of food wasted though many people don’t have enough to eat. Stores and restaurants have no way but to throw away food due to continuous lockdowns. Food security becomes more questionable every year because of many reasons.

Adverse effects of food insecurity

Food insecurity affects the global community in different ways. There are millions of people left to starve. Food security is a question mark for most low-income families. It has led people towards adverse health conditions like anaemia and asthma.

Poor quality of life comes with food insecurity and badly affects children’s health too. In turn, it disrupts their educational activities.

Due to lack of food, food becomes more expensive and people are left to starve. As the whole process of food production collapses people who work in those industries lose their job. This paves way for social and economic conflicts in society.

How does SDG address food security?

The UN has put forward Sustainable Development Goals to address several global issues. The third main goal is related to health and safety, under which food security is categorized.

One of their major aims is to have no hungry people by 2030. The goal calls for certain changes to ensure sustainable development in the agricultural sector. Planting a variety of crops (crop diversification) can be helpful to fight pests and diseases and get a better harvest.

It emphasizes the role of women in the agriculture sector. It also focuses on educating local farmers and helping them get better in the agricultural field.

What can we do as a community to address food insecurity?

Reduce food wastage/ support local markets/ diversification of crops/ climate change

It’s our responsibility as a community to take measures to ensure food security. As an individual and as a family we have to make sure that we minimize food wastage.

At a commercial level, there should be efficient preparation and storage. We should take initiative to support local farmers and markets. So that everyone gets enough organic and nutritious food at an affordable rate.

Most importantly we have to be part of the community that fights against climate. Though it’s a challenging goal we might be able to ensure food security in the long run by addressing climate change.

Food security is a major concern of the time. The growing population, wars, and wastage of food have resulted in the scarcity of food. The need to produce nutritious and chemical-free food is in high demand.

To make food available for everyone irrespective of one's economic status is even challenging. However, we have to act more responsibly in matters concerning food production and consumption to address food insecurity globally.


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