How Stable are the Pillars of Food Security? Pillar two: Food Access

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Ocean Science in Action - Oceans of the future

9. Small Pelagic Fisheries of Pemba Channel, Tanzania

9.4 How Stable are the Pillars of Food Security? Pillar two: Food Access

Video duration - 07:34

When we talk about Food Access we often are referring to the physical access to food in the food markets or economic access to food at the household level.

It is important to note that the assumption of food availability automatically guaranteeing access does not hold true in all communities. Access includes having physical, social, and economic access to food. Simply put, there may be fish available in the local market, but if an individual does not have the economic means to purchase the fish, their access to this food source is limited.

Measuring Food Access

Measuring food access on a national or regional level involves measuring the economic ability to access food sources as well as the physical ability to get to food sources. The relative FAO indicators are Gross Domestic Product per capita and Rail Line Density.

When assessing Marine Food Security, physical access to fish as a food source for fishers would involve assessing the access to boats and fishing gear and transport to reach fishing markets. Household food access is also measured through food or nutrient intake at the household level. This would be found in household income and expenditure surveys that, for example, may collect information on household consumption, household expenditure patterns, and calorie intake. This information could be used to assess food access over time by estimating amounts of food consumed, composition of the diet, and nutrient availability at the household and individual level.

Dr S. Taylor - NOC, Dr N. Jiddawi - IMS, Zanzibar, Tanzania

See also:

Food Access Indicators set by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
You can use the FAO Statistical database to select indicators to look at for regions / countries all over the world.

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