Food security is a situation that exists when all people, at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active, healthy life. The main goal of food security is for individuals to be able to obtain adequate food needed at all times, and to be able to utilize the food to meet the body’s needs. The socioeconomic and political environment at the national and sub-national levels are the principal determinants of food security. It influences food availability, stability of food supply, and access to food, which in turn influence the amount of food consumed.
Food and Nutrition Security remain a huge problem in Nigeria despite the fact that majority of Nigerians are employed in the Agricultural sector. The populace is vulnerable to chronic food shortages, malnutrition, unbalanced nutrition, erratic food supply, poor quality foods, high food costs, and even total lack of food. Overall prevalence of stunting in Nigeria is 42%; that of wasting is 9% and that of underweight is 25%.
Micronutrient malnutrition is a term commonly used to refer to vitamin and mineral nutritional deficiency diseases. They are primarily caused by diets poor in bioavailable vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A deficiency, iron deficiency anaemia and iodine deficiency disorders are among the most prevalent forms of micronutrient malnutrition. Iron, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies are the most widespread nutrition deficiencies in the world today, affecting over 3.5 billion people globally. Widespread poverty in developing countries of the world is linked to inadequate access to food, sanitation, safe water and lack of knowledge about safe food handling and feeding practices. Most of the malnourished are those who cannot afford to buy high-quality, micronutrient-rich foods or who cannot produce and consume these foods.
Authors: International Potato Center, Helen Keller International, International Potato Center, Helen Keller International
Publisher: International Potato Center (CIP) and Hellen Keller International (HKI)
Publication Date: 2012