Keywords: food loss, food waste, asset creation, food access, food availability, nutrition–sensitive postharvest, postharvest technology, sustainable food security, nutrition security, food utilisation, sustainability
Perspective: The evolving dimensions and perspectives on food security - what are the implications for postharvest technology research, policy and practice?
Food security is a difficult concept to define and complex challenge that has continued to haunt humanity despite remarkable progress in increasing global food production during the last century. Starting as a problem of deficit global supply (production) of cereals, especially in tropical countries, work led by United Nation agencies through the World Food Conference in 1974 and World Food Summit in 1996 led to the emergence of three main dimensions of food security: availability, access and utilisation. Improved understanding of the role of poverty, entitlement and deprivation at the household level and globalisation of the food system highlighted the importance of asset creation and volatility/stability of price and supply as importance elements of sustainable food security. Understanding the evolving dimensions and orientations of food security is important in developing integrated and sustainable measures to reduce it, including the role of nutrition–sensitive postharvest technologies in reducing wastage.