Pathways Towards Food Security
From SDG Academy on 20 August, 2019
This chapter discusses pathways towards food security and focuses on three sectors: the agriculture sector; the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector (WASH); and the health sector, and how these work together to improve nutrition. Governments need cooperation of international organizations, UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to address food and nutrition. There’s a socio-cultural context around agriculture, and as possibly the best-placed sector to influence the production of healthy foods, there has been a bog push to try to improve agriculture from the context of nutrition in what is called ‘nutrition sensitive agriculture approaches.’ Agriculture is a source of income and also a mechanism for women’s empowerment, but also has an impact on women’s time and work burden. There are solutions that exist with agriculture nutrition, but nothing that’s been scaled at a national or regional level, including biofortification, home gardens, and fortifying food post-harvest. In terms of the WASH sector, households exposed to bacteria and pathogens have increased risk of health effects and disease; access to clean drinking water and sanitation is important to prevents the spread of disease. Lack of access to toilets is linked to stunting, which is linked to enteropathy, or low-level exposure of bacterial contamination. Using toilets, separation of raw and cooked food, washing hands, and clean utensils, among other measures, keeps people much healthier. A functioning health system is one that provides primary care for basic things, like antenatal care for pregnant women, immunization for children, malaria treatment, etc. and which contribute to good health. These all fall under the intermediate causes of undernutrition in the UNICEF 1990 framework of the multiple causes of undernutrition, and the interventions under the nutrition-sensitive approaches. There must be scaling up of many approaches in order to achieve nutrition improvement.