Availability, access and utilization. Identifying the main fragilities for promoting food security in developing countries

Publication Date02 October 2017
Date02 October 2017
AuthorEduardo Botti Abbade
SubjectPublic policy & environmental management,Environmental technology & innovation
Availability, access
and utilization
Identifying the main fragilities for promoting
food security in developing countries
Eduardo Botti Abbade
Franciscan University Center, Santa Maria, Brazil
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify the association between the levels of food utilization (FU),
food availability, economic access (EA) and physical access (PA) to food in developing countries the main
dimensions underlying the concept of food security.
Design/methodology/approach This study analyzed available data from 57 developing countries.
The variables investigated were: food availability (FA), EA to food measured through economic development,
PA to food using the Logistics Performance Index as a proxy, and FU. The paper uses factorial, correlation
and cluster analyses.
Findings The results show that the dimensions of food security are strongly and positively correlated.
PA has a moderate association with FU (ρS¼0.5338 [ po0.001]; ρP¼0.4252; [ po0.01]). EA has a strong
association with FU ( ρS¼0.6998 [ po0.001]; ρP¼0.6404; [ po0.01]). Moreover, cluster analysis suggests
that some countries present significant urgencies regarding some of the food security dimensions considered.
Research limitations/implications Cluster analysis has so me limitations regarding the interpretations
of the key findings. Moreover, many factors affect food security promotion; this paper addresses just a few
of them.
Practical implications Through a better alignment of food security dimensions worldwide, policy
makers, as well as private sector actors, might achieve better conditions to reduce food waste or loss, supply a
wider diversity of foods, reduce adverse environmental impacts, reduce logistics costs and, finally, reduce
food prices.
Originality/value This study outlines specific fragilities regarding the main dimensions of food security
in developing economies. Thus, this study highlights that some countries need to focus urgently on certain,
specific dimensions in order to promote the food security for their populaces.
Keywords Cluster analysis, Food insecurity, Food supply, Food access, Undernourishment,
Logistics Performance Index
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Food security is an urgent policy goal that still requires attention. Some countries face
hunger problems among their populace that should be reduced, just like other countries
face challenges among their citizenry with severe obesity and overweight problems.
Indeed, a signifi cant portion of the w orld population is undernourished, especially
among children.
Nevertheless, evidence points that per capita world nutrients supply is improving avery
positive sign (Simon, 1996). In 1961, the per capita world macronutrients supply was 2,194 kcal/
person/day, 61.5 grams of protein/person/day and 47.5 grams of fat/person/day. Yet, in 2011,
these values were 2,868 kcal/person/day, 80.3 grams of protein/person/day, and 82.7 grams of
fat/person/day. The Food and Nutrition Board of the USA provides the recommended, healthy
intake amount for such nutrients. The minimum intake of protein proposed in The Dietary
Reference Intake for an adult male is 56 grams (Food and Nutrition Board, 2005), and the
average calculated Minimum Dietary Energy Requirement (kcal/person/day) between years
2006 and 2008 (Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2014) for populations worldwide
is 1,852kcal/person/day. Therefore, the current world per capita supply of food exceeds
individual requirements.
World Journal of Science,
Technology and Sustainable
Vol. 14 No. 4, 2017
pp. 322-335
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/WJSTSD-05-2016-0033
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