Food Security

Food security

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Introduction

Food security is one of the variables which of the growing years its meaning has evolved. In the 1950 and 1960s food security was seen as the self-sufficiency in food staples. The current meaning according to FAO is that food security bis attained when all people, at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritional food to meet their dietary needs. Many households across the continent are food insecure, and a few determinants are used to equate on the problem (Johnston, Fanzo, & Cogill, 2014).

Economic determinants

The economic factors associated with food insecurity include income, poverty, education and unemployment. Income is an important factor of food security. Studies done from the 1995 Current population Survey indicate that families with low income levels were affected by hunger s compared to those with high income levels. Families with low income levels were food insufficient and mostly were found to have the reliable food, despite it being nutritious or not. Poverty is also associated with food security. People living under relative poverty were more likely to be stricken by hunger as those with income level above the poverty level. Poverty is associated with the lack of access and inability to purchase the food products required for survival. Unemployment is also another factor. Households where the majority of the people especially the household head are unemployed, they are more prone to food insufficiency. The house head is responsible for providing their families with the basic necessities and insufficient on their part means lack for the whole family (Johnston, Fanzo, &Cogill, 2014).

Political determinants

Politics partially determine food security. The political determinants affecting food security include democracy, decentralization, federalism and political stability. Democracy is seen in the lines of civil liberty and political rights. Both of these dimensions are positive indicators of food security although one outweighs the other. Increase in civil liberty rights will have a positive shift on food security as compared to increase in political rights. Decentralization is another factor considered in food security, the dimensions assessed here are fiscal, administrative and fiscal. Fiscal and administrative factors when measured as a factor score are the stringent predictor of food security(Schmitt-Sands, 2017). Political stability contributes the highest percentage in food security. Food security is obtained through: food production, exchange for food, and food transfers. The effectiveness of the above requires successful coordination.

Food production in unstable countries can affect the expected tradeoffs if the investment done by the farmers is not properly done. Exchange of food requires protection of property rights and transport and, transportation infrastructure. This increases trade not only at the regional basis but the country level which can set off a drought. Food transfers are limited by political instability. In areas with conflict issues, food aid efforts are cancelled when the violence may jeopardize the health and wellbeing of aid workers. Political instability therefore greatly diminishes efforts created in providing political stability (Deaton, & Lipka,2015).

World hunger has had a lot of effects to the society and people especially in the third world countries. Hunger and malnutrition results into body weakness hence the individual is vulnerable to infections and diseases as the body does not have built muscle to fight off infections. This causes roughly 146 million children to be underweight and others have stunted growth. Children also die in hunger prone areas. World hunger has an effect on education. Without the proper brain developing foods, the brain is unable to develop properly. Their concentration levels are also lessened. Due to this school going children are unable to stay in school. Due to hunger, and children need to walk miles to reach to school, they chose farm work rather than attending school. Approximately 66 million school going children go to school hungry every day. World hunger has also resulted in migration of May young adults to nearby towns and cities who in turn bend up ion slums as they cannot afford the high living standards in the city. Countries affected by hunger are most likely to have poor economy. This is because the working people don’t have the right mind set as they constantly ill and the work input and interest is in turn very low. People tend to live from hand to mouth hence left with little to invest in the wider economy. The government is forced to spend more on food aid and care rather than investing in schools an, infrastructure and health care (Bassett, & Winter-Nelson, 2010). 

In conclusion, food security is an important for country to prosper. Food insecurity leads to hunger. For a country to grow, the citizen needs to be healthy and that can be achieved by ensuring that the citizens acquire the right kinds of food. Any barriers towards achieving food security should be removed, if at all a country needs to be stable.

References

Bassett, T. J., & Winter-Nelson, A. (2010). The atlas of world hunger. University of Chicago Press.

Deaton, B. J., & Lipka, B. (2015). Political instability and food security. Journal of Food Security3(1), 29-33.

Johnston, J. L., Fanzo, J. C., & Cogill, B. (2014). Understanding Sustainable Diets: A Descriptive Analysis of the Determinants and Processes That Influence Diets and Their Impact on Health, Food Security, and Environmental Sustainability–. Advances in nutrition5(4), 418-429.

Schmitt-Sands, C. E. (2017). The Political Determinants of Food Security: Democracy, Decentralization, and Federalism (Doctoral dissertation, Wayne State University).