In an interview with Al Jazeera, food economist Dr. Erika Loeske explained the problems that have plagued the food system in developing countries and what could be done to better ensure the survival of these communities.
Loeske said, “The first thing that needs to be addressed is how do you ensure that everyone in the community has access to basic goods?
What is it that we can do to reduce food insecurity?
I think it is really important that we have a good understanding of where the problem lies.”
In order to achieve this, she said that we need to understand the challenges faced by the population, and how they relate to the food supply.
“The food system, especially in developing nations, is really a problem of supply and demand.
What is the supply?
Is there enough food in the system?
And what is the demand?
And how do we ensure that food is delivered to those people who need it the most?”
Loeskel explained that food insecurity in countries like Nigeria, Bangladesh and India was mainly due to poor governance and lack of access to quality food.
“We are trying to find solutions, but they are not simple solutions, because there is a lack of understanding about how food is distributed in these countries, and what the needs are,” she said.
Loeke said that in Nigeria, people often had to travel far to obtain food because they couldn’t get it in the local market.
In India, food insecurity was due to lack of infrastructure and the lack of people trained to manage and distribute it.
According to Loeskel, one of the solutions to food insecurity is to provide better access to the country’s population.
She said that this needs to happen through the introduction of community-based solutions and social marketing, which can address the social issues facing the population.
Lieske also pointed out that in developing areas, people are often more dependent on local producers and food processing companies for their survival.
“What is the social and cultural integration of these people?
And so the question then becomes, how do these communities integrate with the broader population?”
Loekel also highlighted the importance of supporting the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and developing markets, which are places where people can sell their produce, as well as other goods.
The professor said that she believes that the most successful solution to food security would be to create a global system that could address all of these issues.
She added that the United Nations needs to step up to the plate to promote these solutions, and said that the organisation must also develop a more effective way of managing and distributing food.
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