By C. Peter Timmer, FAO, 1997. The main premise of this essay is that an early escape from hunger is not primarily the result of private decisions in response to free-market forces. Improved food security stems directly from a set of government policies that integrate the food economy into a development strategy that seeks rapid economic growth with improved income distribution. With such policies, countries in East and Southeast Asia offer evidence that poor countries can escape from hunger in two decades or less, that is, in the space of a single generation.
Project managers in charge of implementing activities that address food security problems need tools to (1) identify the populations that are food insecure, (2) design interventions that address the causes of food insecurity, and (3) evaluate the impact of their interventions on the food security status of project beneficiaries. This guide illustrates how Rapid Appraisal (RA) methods can provide useful insights to the research and design of food security interventions, as well as their limitations. The degree of precision required, the characteristics of the population being investigated, the ability of fieldworkers, all of these and other aspects determine whether RA methods are appropriate in any given case. The first section of this paper presents general considerations on the advantages and disadvantages of RA methods over survey-based methods. The second section presents a set of RA tools that were tested in the field to fulfill the objectives stated above. The tools developed include community mapping, household food security ranking, conceptual mapping of food sources, seasonal food security time lines, and evaluation of intervention’s impact on food security. Each instrument is presented in a similar sequence: first, a brief introduction presents the instrument and its relevance to the study of food security; second, the tool is described in terms of its specific objectives, format, methods, and products expected. Third, examples from fieldwork experimentations are provided to illustrate its use. Additional information and key references on the procedure are added in appendixes to the
A book by AGN, FAO , 1994. Available in English and Spanish. At the invitation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), an international group of experts in nutrition, public health, food science and technology gathered in Rome from 19-26 October 1993 to consider the latest scientific evidence about dietary fats and oils. The experts attending the consultation discussed the many crucial and varied roles that dietary fats and oils play in human nutrition. They considered the intakes of different types and levels of dietary fats and oils and their associated health effects. They reviewed many of the technical factors associated with the production, processing, marketing and utilization of fats and oils. Finally, a series of recommendations about dietary fats and oils were made to assist policy makers, health-care specialists, the food industry, and consumers. This "Joint FAO/WHO expert consultation on fats and oils in human nutrition" was part of a continuing series of meetings on nutritionrelated topics which are sponsored by FAO and WHO. This consultation was the second such meeting to have been held on fats and oils; the first was held in 1977. This report of the meeting includes a discussion of the issues and evidence considered, the conclusions and recommendations of the group and a bibliography. A wide range of topics was reviewed by the experts and this is reflected in the report. This report includes chapters on the following topics: the composition of dietary fat; aspects of fat digestion and metabolism; global trends in the availability of edible fats and oils; processing and refining edible oils; selected uses of fats and oils in food; lipids in early development; health, obesity and energy values; coronary heart disease and lipoproteins; isomeric fatty acids; cancer and dietary fat; dietary fat and immune response; dietary fat, hypertension and stroke; nonglyceride components of fats; and nutrition labelling. Since efforts to address one aspect of diet-health relationships can affect other aspects as well, care needs to be taken not to over-emphasize any single issue to the detriment of others. The recommendations, therefore, reflect a synthesis and weighing of various concerns. It should be noted that the evidence related to the different topics varies considerably. Until more scientific information accumulates and the understanding of the complex metabolic interactions that determine nutritional and health status increases, it will not be possible to reach full agreement on each topic. This is a dilemma which is reflected in the nature of the conclusions and recommendations that emerged from the consultation. The final conclusions and recommendations are provided in this chapter, preceded by a brief note identifying key issues. We encourage readers to examine the chapters of the report for more detailed information about the topics considered and for insights into the deliberations leading to the general conclusions and recommendations of the consultation.
The 2012 Human Development Report for Africa explores why dehumanizing hunger remains pervasive in the region, despite abundant agricultural resources, a favorable growing climate, and rapid economic growth rates. It also emphasizes that food security – the ability to consistently acquire enough calories and nutrients for a healthy and productive life - is essential for human development.
To boost food security, it argues for action in four interrelated areas: agricultural productivity, nutrition, access to food, and empowerment of the rural poor. It asserts that increasing agricultural productivity in sustainable ways can bolster food production and economic opportunities, thereby improving food availability and increasing purchasing power. Effective nutrition policies can create conditions for the proper use and absorption of calories and nutrients. Finally, empowering the rural poor - especially women - and harnessing the power of information, innovation, and markets can promote equitable allocation of food and resources within families and across communities.