Securing Enough to Eat

By Sophia Murphy on July 15, 2005

This paper offers a brief introduction to the concept of food security. Several different strategies have been tried to realize the objective of food security: writing it into international human rights law as the right to food; attempting to provide all of a country's food entirely from domestic resources for food self-sufficiency; liberalizing and privatizing economic exchanges to give consumers access to an international food supply; and, more recently, either putting the emphasis on national decision-making without closing the possibility of international trade-a strategy known as food sovereignty; or, looking to build an approach to agriculture that focuses on environmental needs and constraints together with meeting food supply needs, referred to as Multi-functional Agriculture. This paper explains the fundamental elements of food security and these various strategies for its realization. The paper is focussed on food security and ways to achieve it.

IISD acknowledges the generous support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in the publication of this paper.

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IISD, 2005