Food security not only refers to food availability, but it also refers to having safe access to food. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) defines food security as “a situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life”. The Egyptian State leads a unique model in achieving food security, which abides by the Sustainable Development Agenda of Egypt Vision 2030.
A suite of indicators was created to cover the different dimensions of this food security model, as follows:
1- Availability: It refers to the importance of food availability to a sufficient number of individuals, as part of a stockpile.
2- Food Safety: It works on guaranteeing food hygiene, safety, and suitability for human consumption.
3- Food Accessibility: It tracks the affordability of commodities and products to individuals, or the possibility of offering them to highly disadvantaged people in the form of aid.
4- Stability: This dimension focuses on the importance of the necessity of sustaining consistent food conditions, in addition to the necessity of meeting the three preceding indicators with no change.
“Food security means availability, accessibility, and affordability of healthy, nutritious food. Women, children, the elderly, and the poor are the most affected groups by food insecurity. There are many challenges facing food security, for instance, climate change which affects a variety of crops,” said Rawya El Dabi, Communications Expert and FAO Representative in Egypt.
Lawra De Matees, FAO Program Officer in Egypt, added: “Although we are producing food in already limited land and water resources, we are wasting or losing 1.3 billion of food every year.”
Despite the breadth, comprehensiveness, and current importance of food security, it requires effective cooperation on all individual and international levels to achieve food safety. Dr. Basma Soliman, Inspector at the National Food Safety Authority, explained: “Food safety starts with some practices, habits, and behaviors such as how to protect our food, food temperature, and food storage processes”.
With all the worries and questions about food security, we have to admit that it is a challenge that needs innovative solutions.