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The Plenty of Fish (POF) Struggle is Real
Measurement[ edit ] Food security can be measured by calorie intake per person per day, available on a household budget. Household Hunger Scale HHS - measures the experience of household food deprivation based on a set of predictable reactions, captured through a survey and summarized in a scale. Coping Strategies Index CSI — assesses household behaviours and rates them based on a set of varied established behaviours on how households cope with food shortages. The methodology for this research is based on collecting data on a single question: The questions asked are about anxiety that the household budget is inadequate to buy enough food, inadequacy in the quantity or quality of food eaten by adults and children in the household, and instances of reduced food intake or consequences of reduced food intake for adults and for children. The edition described improvements made by the FAO to the prevalence of undernourishment PoU indicator that is used to measure rates of food insecurity. New features include revised minimum dietary energy requirements for individual countries, updates to the world population data, and estimates of food losses in retail distribution for each country. Measurements that factor into the indicator include dietary energy supply, food production, food prices, food expenditures, and volatility of the food system. The report noted that Asia and Latin America have achieved reductions in rates of undernourishment that put these regions on track for achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving the prevalence of undernourishment by Some have killed millions and substantially diminished the population of a large area. The most common causes have been drought and war, but the greatest famines in history were caused by economic policy. Prevalence of under-weight, stunting, and wasting in children under 5 years of age is also very high. Food Security in Mexico Food insecurity has distressed Mexico throughout its history and continues to do so in the present. Food availability is not the issue; rather, severe deficiencies in the accessibility of food contributes to the insecurity. Between and , the total Mexican food supply was well above the sufficient to meet the requirements of the Mexican population, averaging 3, kilocalories per daily capita, higher than the minimum requirements of 1, kilocalories per daily capita. However, at least 10 percent of the population in every Mexican state suffers from inadequate food access. In nine states, 25—35 percent live in food-insecure households. More than 10 percent of the populations of seven Mexica states fall into the category of Serious Food Insecurity. Food security in the United States The United States Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as "limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways. Based on respondents' answers to survey questions, the household can be placed on a continuum of food security defined by the USDA. This continuum has four categories: The prevalence of food insecurity has been relatively in the United States since the economic recession Both children and adults were food insecure in 8. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO called the summit in response to widespread under-nutrition and growing concern about the capacity of agriculture to meet future food needs. The Plan of Action set a number of targets for government and non-governmental organizations for achieving food security, at the individual, household, national, regional and global levels. Heads of state and government attended this summit. Pillars of food security[ edit ] The WHO states that there are negative one pillars that determine food security: Food per person increased since Food and Agriculture Organization. Food availability relates to the supply of food through production, distribution, and exchange. Nations don't have to have the natural resources required to produce crops in order to achieve food security, as seen in the examples of Japan   and Singapore. Food distribution involves the storage, processing, transport, packaging, and marketing of food. This creates the need for a bartering, exchange, or cash economy to acquire food. Food access refers to the affordability and allocation of food, as well as the preferences of individuals and households. In order to achieve food security, the food ingested must be safe and must be enough to meet the physiological requirements of each individual. Food insecurity can be transitory, seasonal, or chronic. Civil conflicts can also decrease access to food. Other factors that can temporarily cause food insecurity are loss of employment or productivity, which can be caused by illness. Seasonal food insecurity can result from the regular pattern of growing seasons in food production. Chronic and transitory food insecurity are linked, since the reoccurrence of transitory food security can make households more vulnerable to chronic food insecurity. Chronic food insecurity translates into a high degree of vulnerability to famine and hunger; ensuring food security presupposes elimination of that vulnerability. Malnutrition Children with symptoms of low calorie and protein intake and a nurse attendant at a Nigerian orphanage in the late s Many countries experience ongoing food shortages and distribution problems. These result in chronic and often widespread hunger amongst significant numbers of people. Human populations can respond to chronic hunger and malnutrition by decreasing body size, known in medical terms as stunting or stunted growth. It leads to higher infant and child mortality, but at rates far lower than during famines. Stunting itself can be viewed as a coping mechanism, bringing body size into alignment with the calories available during adulthood in the location where the child is born. Challenges to achieving food security[ edit ] Global water crisis[ edit ] See also: Water resource policy Irrigation canals have opened dry desert areas of Egypt to agriculture. Water deficits , which are already spurring heavy grain imports in numerous smaller countries,  may soon do the same in larger countries, such as China or India. Other countries affected include Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. This will eventually lead to water scarcity and cutbacks in grain harvest. Even with the overpumping of its aquifers , China is developing a grain deficit. Most of the 3 billion people projected to be born worldwide by mid-century will be born in countries already experiencing water shortages. After China and India, there is a second tier of smaller countries with large water deficits — Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Mexico, and Pakistan. Four of these already import a large share of their grain. Only Pakistan remains self-sufficient. But with a population expanding by 4 million a year, it will likely soon turn to the world market for grain. Multimillion-dollar investments beginning in the s by the World Bank have reclaimed desert and turned the Ica Valley in Peru, one of the driest places on earth, into the largest supplier of asparagus in the world. However, the constant irrigation has caused a rapid drop in the water table, in some places as much as eight meters per year, one of the fastest rates of aquifer depletion in the world. The wells of small farmers and local people are beginning to run dry and the water supply for the main city in the valley is under threat. As a cash crop, asparagus has provided jobs for local people, but most of the money goes to the buyers, mainly the British. A report concluded that the industry is not sustainable and accuses investors, including the World Bank, of failing to take proper responsibility for the effect of their decisions on the water resources of poorer countries. Land degradation and Desertification Intensive farming often leads to a vicious cycle of exhaustion of soil fertility and decline of agricultural yields. Climate change and agriculture Extreme events, such as droughts and floods, are forecast to increase as climate change and global warming takes hold. Lessons from the IPCC SREX Report, the effects will include changing productivity and livelihood patterns, economic losses, and effects on infrastructure, markets and food security. Food security in future will be linked to our ability to adapt agricultural systems to extreme events. An example of a shifting weather pattern would be a rise in temperatures. As temperatures rise due to climate change there is a risk of a diminished food supply due to heat damage. From this the price of grain will rise, along with the developing nations trying to grow the grain. Due to this, every 2—2. The timing and length of the growing seasons, when farmers plant their crops, are going to be changing dramatically, per the USDA, due to unknown changes in soil temperature and moisture conditions. His approach is to explore the vulnerability of food systems to climate change and he defines vulnerability to climate change as situations that occur when relatively minor environmental problems cause major effects on food security. Examples of this include the Irish Potato Famine  [ dubious — discuss ], which was caused by a rainy year that created ideal conditions for the fungal blight to spread in potato fields, or the Ethiopian Famine in the early s. In , the hungry population could range from million to million with climate change Chen et al. By the year , Cereal crops will decrease from 15 to 19 percent, temperatures are estimated to rise from 1 degrees Celsius to 2. In prediction farming countries will be the worst sectors hit, hot countries and drought countries will reach even higher temperatures and richer countries will be hit the least as they have more access to more resources Devereux et al. From a food security perspective, climate change is the dominant rationale to the increase in recent years and predicted years to come. Agricultural diseases[ edit ] Diseases affecting livestock or crops can have devastating effects on food availability especially if there are no contingency plans in place. In their centers of origin wild wheat plants are screened for resistance to rust, then their genetic information is studied and finally wild plants and modern varieties are crossed through means of modern plant breeding in order to transfer the resistance genes from the wild plants to the modern varieties. Food versus fuel Farmland and other agricultural resources have long been used to produce non-food crops including industrial materials such as cotton , flax , and rubber; drug crops such as tobacco and opium , and biofuels such as firewood , etc. In the 21st century the production of fuel crops has increased, adding to this diversion. However technologies are also developed to commercially produce food from energy such as natural gas and electrical energy with tiny water and land foot print. Political corruption Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen observed that "there is no such thing as an apolitical food problem. The 20th century has examples of governments, as in Collectivization in the Soviet Union or the Great Leap Forward in the People's Republic of China undermining the food security of their own nations. Governments sometimes have a narrow base of support, built upon cronyism and patronage. Fred Cuny pointed out in that under these conditions: Governments in most countries give priority to urban areas, since that is where the most influential and powerful families and enterprises are usually located. The government often neglects subsistence farmers and rural areas in general. The more remote and underdeveloped the area the less likely the government will be to effectively meet its needs. Many agrarian policies, especially the pricing of agricultural commodities, discriminate against rural areas. Governments often keep prices of basic grains at such artificially low levels that subsistence producers cannot accumulate enough capital to make investments to improve their production. Thus, they are effectively prevented from getting out of their precarious situation. Under such conditions food becomes a currency with which to buy support and famine becomes an effective weapon against opposition. When government monopolizes trade, farmers may find that they are free to grow cash crops for export, but under penalty of law only able to sell their crops to government buyers at prices far below the world market price. When the rule of law is absent, or private property is non-existent, farmers have little incentive to improve their productivity. Rather than risk being noticed and possibly losing their land, farmers may be content with the perceived safety of mediocrity. If a [farmer's] property can be arbitrarily threatened by the state, that power will inevitably be employed to intimidate those with divergent political and religious opinions. It contends that multinational corporations have the financial resources available to buy up the agricultural resources of impoverished nations, particularly in the tropics. They also have the political clout to convert these resources to the exclusive production of cash crops for sale to industrialized nations outside of the tropics, and in the process to squeeze the poor off of the more productive lands.
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