World Food Day is widely celebrated around the world on 16th October. This is the day when the Food and Agriculture Organization of USA was found in 1945. It is an initiative by FAO’s member countries at its 20th General Conference in 1945. Nowadays it is also referred to as Food Engineers’ Day.
It is now celebrated in over a 100 countries to create awareness about poverty and hunger. Besides FAO it is also acknowledged by other organizations such as World Food Programme and International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Each year WFD adopts a theme to highlight relevant issues and most of them are centered around Agriculture, Education and Health.
The World Food Day theme for the year 2014 is Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”.
Some important themes with their corresponding years are-
• 1981-Food comes first
• 1983-Food security
• 1987-Small farmers
• 1991-Trees for life
• 1996-Fighting hunger and malnutrition
• 1998-Women feed the world
• 2007-The right to food
• 2010-United against hunger
• 2013-Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition
The concept of Food Security got established at the 1974 World Food Conference. It was earlier understood to be a state being food secure, when there was sufficient food to "sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices". However at the 1996 World Food Summit FAO explained that Food Security "exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life".
The Food and Agriculture Organization identifies-availability, access, utilization and stability as the four pillars of Food Security. The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development assessed that the failed market regulations and lack of anti-dumping mechanisms contribute to world’s food security and malnutrition.
Of late following factors have been found to be contributing to the issue-
• US Dollar Depreciation
• World oil prices at more than $100 a barrel
• Global population growth
• Climate change
• Increased farming for use in biofuels
• Loss of agricultural land to residential and industrial development
• Export restrictions and panic buying
• Growing consumer demand in China and India
The objective of various Food security indicators is to analyze the components of Food Security such as accessibility, availability and adequacy.
The various tools used to measure Food Security are –
1. Household Food Insecurity Access Scale(HFIAS)
2. Household Dietary Diversity Scale(HDDS)
3. Household Hunger Scale(HHS)
4. Coping Strategies Index(CSI)