Food security

From ArticleWorld

The term Food security refers to situation in which nobody is deprived of food and there in no fear of starvation. It is usually used in connection with humanitarian aid and development. Statistics reveal that all over the world more than 852 million people live in chronic hunger due to extreme poverty and over 2 billion men, women and children starve because they cannot afford food.


According to the definition given at the World Food Summit, 1974, food security is : “availability at all times of adequate world food supplies of basic foodstuffs to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices”.

The Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) states “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition : “Food security for a household means access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food security includes at a minimum (1) the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and (2) an assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways (that is, without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies)”. emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies).

FAO states “Food insecurity exists when people do not have adequate physical, social or economic access to food as defined above”.

Achieving food security

The USAID suggests various measures to reduce food insecurity. They propose methods of increasing agricultural productivity. This will raise rural income and hence achieve the desired goal. Some of them are :

  • Making finance easily available and protecting property rights of farmers.
  • Increasing productivity by introduction of newer and better methods of farming. Advancing agricultural science.
  • Improving quality of human capital through education and better health measures
  • Prevention of conflicts and introduction of democracy and transparency in governing bodies.

World Food Summit

The World Food Summit, held in 1996 in Rome, strengthened the global commitment to fight hunger and starvation. It expressed concern over the growing rate of food insecurity and proposed measures to combat it. The two essential documents prepared were the World Food Summit Plan of Action and the Rome Declaration on World Food Security.

The Rome Declaration proposes measures to be undertaken by the United Nations for cutting the number of chronically undernourished down to half the prevalent number by 2015.