Adopting a Territorial Approach to Food Security and Nutrition Policy

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Food insecurity and malnutrition are major international concerns, especially in rural areas. At the global scale, they have received considerable attention and investment, but the results achieved so far have been mixed. Some countries have made progress at the national level, but still have many citizens who are food insecure, often concentrated in specific geographic areas. Food insecurity and poverty are highly interlinked and have a strong territorial dimension. To provide effective long-term solutions, policy responses must therefore be tailored to the specific challenges of each territory, taking into account a multidimensional response that includes food availability, access, utilisation and stability. This report highlights five case studies and the OECD New Rural Paradigm, presenting an effective framework for addressing food insecurity and malnutrition.


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Why a territorial perspective is useful for food security and nutrition policy

This chapter argues that all too often, policies to combat food insecurity have neglected to take into account the territorial dimension of this issue. The nature of food insecurity varies significantly across urban and rural regions as well as across different territories. If policies are to be effective, they must also reflect regional differences. This chapter argues that food security and nutrition (FSN) is a multidimensional issue that has instead often been addressed through a sectoral, top-down and “one-size-fits-all” approach. Drawing on the OECD New Rural Paradigm, the chapter proposes a holistic territorial approach as an alternative framework for tackling this issue. A territorial approach to FSN policy is also needed to facilitate co-ordination among different sectoral policies and levels of government. This can help make the FSN policy framework broader and more flexible. Following a territorial approach is complex but crucial for policy making that connects the objectives of equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability – each indispensable in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition.

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