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Dutabarane Articles - Food Security

Food security is a condition related to the supply of food, and individuals' access to it. There is evidence of granaries being in use over 10,000 years ago, with central authorities in civilizations including ancient China and ancient Egypt being known to release food from storage in times of famine. At the 1974 World Food Conference the term "food security" was defined with an emphasis on supply. Food security, they said, is the "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".Later definitions added demand and access issues to the definition. The final report of the 1996 World Food Summit states that food security "exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life".

Household food security exists when all members, at all times, have access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Individuals who are food secure do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. Food insecurity, on the other hand, is a situation of "limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways", according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Food security incorporates a measure of resilience to future disruption or unavailability of critical food supply due to various risk factors including droughts, shipping disruptions, fuel shortages, economic instability, and wars. In the years 2011–2013, an estimated 842 million people were suffering from chronic hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or FAO, identified the four pillars of food security as availability, access, utilization, and stability. The United Nations (UN) recognized the Right to Food in the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and has since noted that it is vital for the enjoyment of all other rights.

According to the USDA, food insecurity is separated into two categories: low food security and very low food security. Low food security is defined as reports of reduced food quality and variety, whereas very low food security reflects reduced food intake. Food insecurity is a leading cause behind humanitarian efforts. Approximately 854 million people around the world are reported to live in food insecurity. Of this, 60% of these people live in sub-Saharan Africa or south Asia. Of the 600 million people residing in sub-Saharan Africa, 200 million people are chronically malnourished. Over 40 million children are malnourished while 50 million suffer from vitamin deficiency. Lack of proper nutrition can be attributed to governmental, social, or environmental factors. Individuals experience food insecurity may be dependent of food aid for survival, which may be provided through foreign aid.

On October 23, 2014, the United States Agency for International Development announced a $75 million food security program to aid Madagascar’s chronic food insecurity problem. The USDA defines the programs as “a sign of the United States’ renewed commitment to Madagascar.”

“Life cannot be without food; when we destroy the lands that give food, we destroy the foods that give life!”
― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
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