Food insecurity is one of the underlying causes of malnutrition according to the UNICEF Conceptual Framework of Malnutrition and affects all ages across the population. This happens as a result of several factors ranging from deficits in food availability, food accessibility, sustainability and availability of potential resources to facilitate production alongside the technical know-how for utilization of new agricultural skills to boost food production.
The mentioned factors can divergently create catastrophic situations when it comes to nutrition status but can be managed to greater levels through initiating action plans and implementing them to end hunger; starting from grassroots levels upwards.
How do we link farmers and consumers?
Connecting the production, distribution, and exchange helps to bridge the rift between the producer and the consumer whereby the food supply to consumers will be attained while the producer earns income after the exchanges are done.
Sharing existing and new knowledge together with Agricultural skills to smallholder farmers is one way of boosting their productivity efforts, especially in regions of low potential. Adopting technology in production will aid smallholder farmers to utilize available limited resources such as water and land to intensively produce food for both household consumption and commercial purposes to harness income.
Agriculture diversity and food distribution
Practices such as mixed farming at the smallholder farming level help to aggregate diversity of foods that potentiates meeting of variety in diets and consequently improving nutrition status. Planting drought resistance crops alongside practicing controlled irrigation also helps in keeping food production consistent.
Food accessibility depends heavily on distribution and purchasing power. Instances of low unbalanced distribution rates retards the movement of food from producers to consumers, causing a backlog in food surplus on the producer side and low food supply on the consumer side, which is likely to interfere with appropriate pricing.
Favorable prices will motivate the producer to release their products to consumers and at the same time attract the consumer to purchase enough for their households. Proper postharvest food handling practices will determine the quality of the food which always gives the consumer willingness to add food to their baskets.
In a nutshell, achieving a balance in food systems will ensure the producers especially the smallholder farmers are able to advance and meet their productivity threshold harmoniously after each harvesting period. This means the food sustainability equation can be solved when the consumers or households have enough food to keep them when supply is low while at the same time other household expenses are not negatively interfered with. The benefits of food security are improved physical and cognitive productivity, nutrition status, and harmony in households.