The Philippines scored 59.3 in the latest report on the Global Food Security Index (GFSI), which places the country 67th out of 113 countries with remarks below the average score of 63.4 in the Asia-Pacific region and the global average of 62.2. GFSI based its score on the four pillars of food security, which are assessed thoroughly for accurate results and forecasts.
The four pillars of food security, including availability, access, utilization, and stability, encompass the whole concept of securing food for the nation. Next to zero poverty is the sustainable development goal of zero hunger. Specifically, SDG 2 aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture,” as set by the United Nations. It means that safe and nutritious food must be physically available and accessible at all times for all people, and it can be achieved through a sustainable food system, implying the significant role of agriculture in achieving overall food security.
A more vigorous assessment of the country’s food security strategy, supply chain infrastructure, and supply sufficiency is needed. It is an important matter to be addressed as early as now, especially with the increasing pressures of climate change on our land and food resources. Regarding food security strategies, the country’s efforts are only working for part of the system, with our local farmers being left behind and traded off against importation to increase supply. It is ideal to consider both the supply and demand side of the food system for strategies to be considered sustainable and inclusive. Aside from securing safe and nutritious food for the nation through sustainable production, addressing food security is also helpful in economic growth through creating jobs, women empowerment, long-term health, and environmental awareness.
As committed to helping Filipinos, GlowCorp pushes for an inclusive mechanism to link the marginalized poor of both rural and urban areas. With the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), GlowCorp acts as the lead implementing agency for a sustainable development project to support small agricultural producers in the rural areas in establishing markets in Greater Manila, which will, in turn, have a steady supply of safe and nutritious food. The project aims to improve the agricultural value chain for an enhanced food security strategy. The project started in October 2022 with consortium partners, including AgriCOOPh, AsiaDHRRA, FSSI, NATCCO, PhilDHRRA, and PHILSSA. With teamwork and a clear vision, the organizations strive for a win-win situation for our local rural producers and urban consumers.