Food security: sufficient safe and healthy food for everyone

Food security: sufficient safe and healthy food for everyone

Food security according to the United Nations, means the physical, social and economic access to a sufficient amount of healthy and safe food that meets our nutritional needs and the nutritional needs for a strong and healthy life.
Food insecurity will be a growing problem in the coming decades. Food prices are likely to rise due to climate change and population growth worldwide. Therefore, nutrition risks becoming inaccessible to a growing number of people. The triple burden of malnutrition: nearly 3 billion people are affected by malnutrition

We cannot provide food and many people are using the method of planting food until now. We are destroying natural resources, says the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Food production must be efficient and sustainable without compromising food quality.


 Seven ways to improve food security
Food security can be improved in the following ways:

 1. Reduce food waste and food loss
It is estimated that one third of the food is wasted. Food waste and loss represent an estimated $750 billion annually.
The causes of food waste and food loss are diverse. Food waste is caused, for example, by inefficient preparation methods and consumer preferences (such as rotten fruit or vegetables with bad shape).
We can reduce food waste by introducing better food processing methods. An example is using vegetable scraps in soups.
Food loss is caused, among other things, by crop failure and poor food storage. We can reduce food loss by imp

roving safety and packaging. For example, there is already packaging that shows whether or not the food has gone out.

 2. Improve infrastructure
Improving infrastructure also ensures that less food is wasted and improves food security. This includes looking at the entire food chain. Sufficient human or machine capacity must be available for sowing and harvesting, crops must be protected against weeds, diseases and insects, security must be good and healthy.
transport to the market or end users must be available. 

3. Promote fair business practices 

It's not just big business that wants access to the food market; Small farmers will also receive good prices for their products. Farmers who work together have greater power to negotiate buying and selling prices, and thus make a better living from their products. 

4. Pay attention to diversification
Focusing only on one type of crop (monoculture) can damage the soil and
making crops more susceptible to diseases and pests. Farmers have a lot of problems
if their harvest has failed, they have nothing else. Also, it can be reduced
nutritional value of products. Diversification is important to ensure food security.

5. Reducing the yield gap
Inefficient production methods mean that the yield from agricultural land is much lower than it could be in some areas. Crop rotation and the use of sustainable and innovative production methods increase production in these fields. This also results in nutritious crops.
Wise use of fertilizers, water and better seeds can also lead to higher production.

6. Fight against climate change
Droughts and floods are the main causes of crop failure and, in many cases, are the result of global climate change. Coping with climate change will reduce crop failure. At the same time, it also makes sense to develop production methods that use less water.

 Agriculture can make a positive contribution to a better climate. Plants absorb CO², thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The integration of subsequent crops into the soil contributes twice as much to better climate.

On the other hand, poor agriculture is the main cause of climate problems. Examples include cutting down forests to create farmland. Sustainable agriculture offers the best of both worlds, helping to combat climate change and achieving positive outcomes.

7. Addressing the indirect causes of food insecurity

Food shortages are also caused by the imbalance between imports and exports. Since not every country can produce all the food it needs, it must have enough money to import food products. Good food must be financially accessible to all members. 

War and social insecurity can also cause food shortages. When people think more about survival and it is too dangerous to work the land, they have less time to engage in food production. By working on these indirect issues, food security can be improved. Food security can also be compromised because agricultural land is used for other purposes, such as growing crops. 

Pillars of food security
The four pillars of food security were defined at the World Food Security Forum in 2009: availability ,access, utilization and stability.
Strengthening all these pillars can improve food security. 

1. Availability
Access to food depends on its production and distribution. To ensure food security, there must be enough space for growing food. Agriculture and livestock also compete for other land such as housing. Also, the soil may not be suitable for cultivation due to its structure or erosion.
Food availability also depends on production efficiency. For example, too much or too little water can affect food safety.

After that, the food will be stored and processed. The food should be transported and distributed. In all these processes, the challenge is to ensure that food waste is kept to a minimum.
Ultimately, the health and nutritional benefits of foods depend on their freshness. This is especially true for fruits and vegetables. The longer the availability of this food is delayed, the faster its quality deteriorates.

 2. Access
Access to food has two different aspects. Direct access refers to the ability to grow and take food for yourself. Economic access refers to the ability to purchase food. Access to food does not guarantee that people will get it. Poverty prevents many families from buying enough food. Income and education levels play a role in food access, and therefore food security. These two factors affect a) the amount of food that can be purchased, b) the type of food purchased (nutritional or non-nutritious), and c) how food is shared within the family. Nature can also play a role here.

 3. Utilization

 The fact that food is available does not provide a complete description of the quantity and quality involved. The food will be good too. The way food is stored and smelled plays a role in this, and health and hygiene are important. cleanliness does not affect the quality of food. A poor quality food can affect a person's health.

4. Stability

 Finally, access to stable healthy food also plays an important role in food security. This stability can be threatened by natural factors. However, war, unemployment and inequality can also cause food shortages if they keep young men from working or women are not allowed to work in the fields.

Which country is the most food insecure?

 In every country, people suffer from food shortages. However, the number of these problems is much greater in some countries than in others. According to the Global Hunger Index 2020, these are the nine most hungry countries. 

9. Afghanistan - Afghanistan has been devastated by drought in recent years. However, the country's natural resources, as well as its committed government, offer hope that food security will improve. This goal will be achieved through interventions targeting gender equality and climate change impacts.

 8. Lesotho - 70% of the people of Lesotho depend on agriculture for their food and livelihood. After severe droughts in recent years, poor harvests have worsened food shortages, affecting a large part of the population. 

7. Sierra Leone - Sierra Leone has made great strides in improving food security since the turn of the century. Despite this progress, 26% of Sierra Leoneans still suffer from chronic hunger.

 6. Liberia – Most of Liberia's food shortages stem from hardships related to the 13-year civil war that ended in 2001. Today, 16% of Liberian families suffer from food insecurity.

5. Mozambique - Mozambique has made significant progress in food security over the past decade. Unfortunately, Mozambique has re-entered the list of ten hungry countries in 2020, where almost a third of Mozambicans face chronic hunger.

 4. Haiti - Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with little progress over the past 20 years. Political turmoil and numerous natural disasters made this progress difficult to achieve.

3. Madagascar -
It is the first of the three countries to be classified as suffering from "critical" food shortages. The dramatic increase in food insecurity over the past 10 years, along with the challenges we are currently facing due to COVID-19, has led the UN to warn that in the near future there may be to have a random hunger in Madagascar and the surrounding countries.

2. Timor-Leste - One third of the population in Timor-Leste is food insecure. A combination of issues related to access, availability and quality of food means that more than half of Timor-Leste's children are stunted.
1. Chad - Climate change and the need for emergency food aid in Chad are contributing to widespread food shortages. Ranked among the three hungriest countries in the last three years, Chad's levels of malnutrition, mortality and child mortality give a grim picture of the world's hungriest nation. 

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