About Food Security
Food Security is a complex and flexible concept, which has undergone a number of revisions since its first use in the mid-1970s. The most recent definition of food security was introduced by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
“Food security [is] a situation that exists 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”
The original definition provided by the World Food Summit in 1974 focused more on the supply side and the financial accessibility of food: “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”. In 1996, the World Food Summit again redefined the concept of food security and set an aim to halve the number of undernourished by 2015:
“Food security, at the individual, household, national, regional and global levels [is achieved] 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”
Four pillars of Food Security
The widely-accepted World Food Summit (1996) definition reinforces the multidimensional nature of food security; accordingly, FAO Food Security encompasses four main pillars: availability, economic and physical access to food, utilization and stability. In order for food security to exist, all four pillars should be addressed; otherwise, the community, individual or the country can face food insecurity.
1.FAO. 2002. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2001. Rome
2.United Nations. 1975. Report of the World Food Conference, Rome 5-16 November 1974. New York.
3.FAO. 1996. Rome Declaration on World Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action. World Food Summit 13-17 November 1996. Rome.
At the end of the project this year policy massages and priorities have been outlined on which the work will be continued by Oxfam legacy organization Bridge Innovation and Development (BRIDGE) together with the Georgian Alliance on Agriculture and Rural Development (GAARD) .
Mainly they are:
- Adoption of Law on Food Security
- Increasing share of agricultural allocations in the state budget up to 10%
- Increasing annual allocations for financing capital investment grant schemes for SHFs and AG COOPs up to GEL 25m;
- Adopting Land Code
- Inclusion of SHFs and local SMEs in the state procurement schemes for food
- Promoting Gastronomic Tourism
Members of the alliance signed MoU which once again emphasized the willingness of the alliance to continue the advocacy of the project achievements and priorities in the future.
During the project lifetime, several researches were carried out which aimed at developing a food security strategy and promoting local production through the support of small farmers. Researches and other materials are available at the BRIDGE website: www.bridge.org.ge