The must-read book on agro-ecological and organic food production
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The concept of food and nutrition security (FNS) has evolved and moved to the top of the international policy agenda over the last decade, according to the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems. FNS is a complex and multi-faceted issue, requiring a broad and inter-disciplinary perspective to be fully understood. Whilst individual actors and stakeholders will proceed along specialist pathways, their separate efforts are best leveraged where there are broadly-accepted parameters that define the core dimensions of the issue.
The "Routledge Handbook of Food and Nutrition Security” represents a comprehensive compilation of the current knowledge of food and nutrition security from a global perspective. The potential role of organic and agro-ecological farming to feed the world in the twenty-first century is one the themes in this new publication.
In the handbook, FNS is conceived in terms of four intersecting themes (with a total of 33 chapters): Availability (the maintenance of sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis), Access (the ability for individuals in a population to have sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet), Utilization, sometimes labelled ‘absorption’ (the capacity for individuals to utilize the food that they can access to ensure good health) and Stability (the robustness of food systems over time).
The overarching purpose of this approach is to emphasize FNS as the outcome of varied processes cutting across productive, economic, social and human health dimensions. The magnitude of these challenges provides the context for investigating the potential role of organic and agro-ecological farming to enable the world to feed itself. Are these systems capable of providing a basis for addressing the current multiple challenges which we are faced with in terms of environmental hazards and scarcity of natural resources such as water, pressure on land, and rapid urbanization?