Lemaplan International

Balanced diet and food insecurity in rural communities

Nala had recently noticed weight loss among her twin boys and she was worried about its implications. She had visited  the Health care center in town to find out what was the cause of such rapid weight loss, after routine  check ups had been run on the kids, Nala was advised to be more intentional with what she fed the boys as their diet lacked the basic balanced diet. The health worker gave her a chart that explained the ratio of food types and the proportion to which it is to be present in a meal.  She was advised to include more whole grains like rice, beans, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats such as avocados, foods with high calories were to be included in their diets.

 How was Nala supposed to achieve all these if she was dealing with lack and want especially with the level of food insecurity in her community. 

Food insecurity is a situation whereby due to lack of money and poverty prevalence, certain communities lack adequate food or access to it. 

Components of food insecurity includes: 

lnsufficient quantities of appropriate food available leading to scarcity of such foods that can lead to deficiency caused by the unavailability of certain nutrients provided by the food types that are scarce. 

Access to adequate food: in this case there might be food sources but no access to it, like owing resources to exchange with for food.

Consumption: when the available food cannot be put to effective use for the maximum utilization of its nutritional value.

Food insecurity can be as a result of the following:

Over use of natural resources: farming in the rural areas where the produce are the only means of feeding creates a situation where consistent farming  soon becomes a routine that will cause the farmlands to lose their abilities to produce better crops as they are not given time to replenish the resources being used up.

Environmental hazard: such as drought can cause food insecurity in areas where irrigation system hasn’t yet been adopted. The farmers won’t be able to cultivate the farmlands as the lack of rain would make the tilling process strenuous and highly exerting.  Lands can be washed away during erosion leaving sparse areas for the cultivation of food. 

Access to infrastructure is another reason why the rural dwellers suffer from food insecurity as there is yet to be a bridge of the gap between their modest economy and that of the national and regional economy. 

Solutions to food insecurity will require national attention at basic level, whereby communities suffering from such will be put on critical level of importance, and provisions made to combat the situation. They are to be educated on better ways to grow and sustain their farm produce and also how to cope  with environmental hazards. 

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