News Update on Food Security : July- 2020

Food security: a post-modern perspective

The paper explores post-modern currents in food security. It identifies three main shifts in thinking about food security since the World Food Conference of 1974: from the global and the national to the household and the individual; from a food first perspective to a livelihood perspective; and from objective indicators to subjective perception. It finds these shifts to be consistent with post-modern thinking in other spheres, and it draws on the wider debate to recommend food security policy which eschews meta-narratives in favour of recognizing diversity, providing households and individuals with choices which contribute to self-determination and autonomy. The current conventional wisdom on food security is reviewed and some post-modern amendments are suggested.[1]

 

Precision Agriculture and Food Security

Precision agriculture comprises a set of technologies that combines sensors, information systems, enhanced machinery, and informed management to optimize production by accounting for variability and uncertainties within agricultural systems. Adapting production inputs site-specifically within a field and individually for each animal allows better use of resources to maintain the quality of the environment while improving the sustainability of the food supply. Precision agriculture provides a means to monitor the food production chain and manage both the quantity and quality of agricultural produce.[2]

 

Food security and global environmental change: emerging challenges

Most research linking global environmental change and food security focuses solely on agriculture: either the impact of climate change on agricultural production, or the impact of agriculture on the environment, e.g. on land use, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and/or biodiversity. Important though food production is, many other factors also need to be considered to understand food security. A recent international conference on “Environmental Change and Food Security: Bridging Science, Policy and Development for Adaptation” included a range of papers that embraced the multiple dimensions of the food systems that underpin food security. The major conclusion from the conference was that technical fixes alone will not solve the food security challenge. Adapting to the additional threats to food security arising from major environmental changes requires an integrated food system approach, not just a focus on agricultural practices. Six key issues emerged for future research: (i) adapting food systems to global environmental change requires more than just technological solutions to increase agricultural yields; (ii) tradeoffs across multiple scales among food system outcomes are a pervasive feature of globalized food systems; (iii) within food systems, there are some key underexplored areas that are both sensitive to environmental change but also crucial to understanding its implications for food security and adaptation strategies; (iv) scenarios specifically designed to investigate the wider issues that underpin food security and the environmental consequences of different adaptation options are lacking; (v) price variability and volatility often threaten food security; and (vi) more attention needs to be paid to the governance of food systems.[3]

 

Food Security Determinants among Urban Food Crop Farming Households in Cross River State, Nigeria

The study investigated food security determinants among urban food crop farming households in Cross River State, Nigeria. A two-stage sampling technique was utilized to obtain a sample size of 217 urban food crop farming households. The study was conducted in three urban areas in Cross River State, namely: Calabar, Ikom and Ugep. Cross sectional data were collected through well structured questionnaires and oral interview. Data were analyzed using headcount index, food insecurity gap index, food surplus gap index as well as logistic regression. The result showed that only 52.5% of urban food crop farming households were food secure while 47.5% were food insecure. The food insecurity gap and food surplus index showed that food secure households exceeded the food security line by 44% while 53% of food insecure households fall below the poverty line. The logistic regression result revealed that, years of formal education, farming experience, age of farmers, farming as main occupation, household size, income from farm and output of food crops produce were major determinants of food security status of urban farming households in the study area. The study recommends among others that in other to increase the output of food crop produced by urban farming households, government should encourage the use of improved planting materials, adoption of improved land management techniques and fertilizer should be made affordable and available to farmers.[4]

 

Determinants of Rural Farm Household Food Security in Boloso Sore District of Wolaita Zone in Ethiopia

The study was conducted to identify determinants of rural farm household food security status in Boloso Sore district of Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia. A three-stage sampling technique was utilized to obtain a sample size of 90 rural farm households. Cross sectional data were collected through structured questionnaire, focus group discussion and personal observation. Data were analyzed using head count index, food insecurity gap index, food surplus gap index and binary logit model. The result showed that only 34.5% of rural farm households were found food secure while 65.5% were food insecure. The food insecurity gap and food surplus index showed that food secured households exceeded the food security line by 34.6% while 27.8% of food insecure households fall below the poverty line. The severity of the food insecurity gap among the food insecure households was found to be 11.7%. The binary logit model result revealed that the major factors determining food security of rural farm households were family size in adult equivalent, total cultivated land size, annual income of household, oxen ownership of households, access to extension and credit and age of the household head. Age of household head, family size and access to extension services had a negative effect on household food security status while household income, credit access, oxen ownership and cultivable land size had a positive effect on household food security. Limiting the increasing population pressure, promoting income-generating activities, enhancing micro-financing efficiency, creating employment opportunities, information dissemination, among others can contribute to food security status of households in the study areas.[5]

 

Reffernce

[1] Maxwell, S., 1996. Food security: a post-modern perspective. Food policy, 21(2), pp.155-170.

[2] Gebbers, R. and Adamchuk, V.I., 2010. Precision agriculture and food security. Science, 327(5967), pp.828-831.

[3] Ericksen, P.J., Ingram, J.S. and Liverman, D.M., 2009. Food security and global environmental change: emerging challenges.

[4] Ibok, O. W., Bassey, N. E., Atairet, E. A. and Obot, O.- obong J. (2014) “Food Security Determinants among Urban Food Crop Farming Households in Cross River State, Nigeria”, Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 3(1), pp. 76-90. doi: 10.9734/AJAEES/2014/6560.

[5] Leza, T. and Kuma, B. (2015) “Determinants of Rural Farm Household Food Security in Boloso Sore District of Wolaita Zone in Ethiopia”, Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 5(2), pp. 57-68. doi: 10.9734/AJAEES/2015/14833.

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