Notes to broadcasters
According to the Rome Declaration on World Food Security announced at the World Food Summit in 1996, “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 following script is based on a contribution by the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development and introduces different aspects of food security based on an interview with an advisor from the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute.
In your radio programs you can help farmers become more aware of their important role in safeguarding food security for themselves and their communities. When growing for local markets, farmers may benefit if they consider local dietary needs and food preferences. In some cases they might choose to grow traditional or indigenous crops which are often nutritious, acceptable to the community, and important for cultural reasons.
To ensure food security in their own households, farmers can choose strategies that ensure continuous access to a variety of nutritious foods. For example they can grow a variety of home garden foods year round. A well-developed home garden has the potential (when access to land and water is not a major limitation) to supply most of the non-staple foods and some of the staple foods that a family needs every day of the year. In addition, farmers and gardeners can process, preserve and use techniques to store foods for year-round access.
It’s also important to remember that although food security is necessary for adequate dietary intake, having food security does not always mean that people are well nourished. Parents and other caregivers need to know the nutritional needs of different family members. This knowledge helps the parent or caretaker decide what foods and how much of these foods to prepare and serve their families. For example, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life is the best form of food security for infants. Also, undernutrition – especially in children – is the result of poor food intake coupled with infection. So it is essential to protect children from illness such as diarrhea through the provision of safe water and good hygiene.
The following script is a feature story written in a format to be shared by two co-hosts, but which could also be read by one host.
Number one: food must be available in the country or region.
Second: the amount of food that is available must be affordable to people.
Number three: food that is available must be nutritionally adequate.
Number four: the food should be available on a continuing basis.
And finally, of course, the food should be acceptable to the tastes of the local population.
Adapted from an interview with Dr. Curtis MacIntosh, Advisor in Food Economics at the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, broadcast by the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development, 40 Eastern Main Road, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Reviewed by Barbara Macdonald, Senior Nutrition Advisor, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The full text of the Rome Declaration on World Food Security
Portions of ‘Notes to broadcaster’ are adapted from Improving nutrition through home gardening: a training package for preparing field workers in Africa, 2001. Nutrition Programmes Service, Food and Nutrition Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.