Food insecurity, or the inability to access food of sufficient quantity and quality to satisfy minimum dietary needs, is the most basic form of human deprivation. Food security is defined as the situation when “all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO 2002). This paper discusses food shortage and instability, as a function of the economy, and proposes a number of solutions.
The paper begins by highlighting rising global demand for food, fuelled by a population increase in developing countries, and more specifically Asia, the world’s most populous region. Other challenges are also discussed, such as poverty, hunger, and lack of access to food. Price volatility, and market instability, is also discussed, in addition to the causes behind food price instability.
Policy issues, used to tackle food security and poverty reduction, are discussed; such as those designed to provide food-based safety nets, social protection programs, agricultural productivity, rural development, agricultural research, and investing in human capital and basic infrastructure. The paper ends by highlighting a number of policy areas that warrant attention, some of which are:
rural development is a prerequisite for poverty reduction and food security
supporting agricultural research will lead to a more efficient sector
investing in health, education, water, and sanitation are key for both food security and poverty reduction