Availability, access and utilization: Identifying the main fragilities for promoting food security in developing countries, Eduardo Abbade
Eduardo Botti Abbade
Franciscan University Center, Santa Maria
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the association between the levels of food utilization (FU), food availability, economic access (EA) and physical access (PA) to food in developing countries – the main dimensions underlying the concept of food security.
Design/methodology/approach: This study analyzed available data from 57 developing countries. The variables investigated were: food availability (FA), EA to food measured through economic development, PA to food using the Logistics Performance Index as a proxy, and FU. The paper uses factorial, correlation and cluster analyses.
Findings: The results show that the dimensions of food security are strongly and positively correlated. PA has a moderate association with FU (ρS=0.5338 [p<0.001]; ρP=0.4252; [p<0.01]). EA has a strong association with FU (ρS=0.6998 [p<0.001]; ρP=0.6404; [p<0.01]). Moreover, cluster analysis suggests that some countries present significant urgencies regarding some of the food security dimensions considered.
Research limitations/implications: Cluster analysis has some limitations regarding the interpretations of the key findings. Moreover, many factors affect food security promotion; this paper addresses just a few of them.
Practical implications: Through a better alignment of food security dimensions worldwide, policy makers, as well as private sector actors, might achieve better conditions to reduce food waste or loss, supply a wider diversity of foods, reduce adverse environmental impacts, reduce logistics costs and, finally, reduce food prices.
Originality/value: This study outlines specific fragilities regarding the main dimensions of food security in developing economies. Thus, this study highlights that some countries need to focus urgently on certain, specific dimensions in order to promote the food security for their populaces.
Keywords: Cluster analysis; Food insecurity; Food supply; Food access; Undernourishment; Logistics Performance Index.
Citation: Abbade, E.B. (2017), "Availability, access and utilization: Identifying the main fragilities for promoting food security in developing countries", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 322-335. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJSTSD-05-2016-0033