noun: security; plural noun: securities

  1. the state of being free from danger or threat.
  2. procedures followed or measures taken to ensure the safety of a state or organization.
  3. the state of feeling safe, stable, and free from fear or anxiety.

Food security is the availability of food in a country or region and the ability of individuals within that country to access, afford, and source adequate food. The availability of food irrespective of class, gender or region is another element of food security. At the 1974 World Food Conference, the term “food security” was defined with an emphasis on supply; food security is defined as “the availability at all times of adequate, nourishing, diverse, balanced and moderate food supplies of basic food to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices”. The first World Food Summit (1996), stated 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.”

The four main dimensions of food security are as follows:

  1. Physical availability of food: Food availability addresses the supply of food security and is determined by the level of food production, stock levels and net trade.
  2. Economic and physical access to food: An adequate supply of food at the national and/or international level does not always guarantee household level food security. Concerns about insufficient food access have resulted in a greater policy focus on incomes, expenditures, markets and prices in achieving food security objectives.
  3. Food utilization: Utilization is commonly understood as the way the body makes the most of various nutrients in the food. Sufficient energy and nutrient intake by individuals are the result of good care and feeding practices, food preparation, diversity of the diet and in-household distribution of food. Combined with good biological utilization of food consumed, this determines the nutritional status of individuals.
  4. Stability of the other three dimensions over time: Even if your food intake is adequate today, you are still considered to be food insecure if you have inadequate access to food on a periodic basis, risking a deterioration of your nutritional status. Adverse weather conditions, political instability, or economic factors (unemployment, rising food prices) may have an impact on your food security status.

For food security objectives to be realized, all four dimensions must be fulfilled simultaneously.

As we advance, our vision must encompass food security—an assurance that every citizen has access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to lead healthy and active lives. We are mindful of the challenges ahead, such as a burgeoning population, limited agricultural resources, and susceptibility to natural disasters and climate change. To eradicate hunger, malnutrition, and poverty and foster a stable and thriving society, securing our food sources becomes an unyielding imperative.

As we advance, our vision must encompass food security – an assurance that every citizen has access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to lead healthy and active lives.