Local Economic Development and Sustainable Global Development: Food Security and Food Sovereignty

Bernardo Reynolds Pacheco de Carvalho


In this paper the author argues that sustainable development starts always solving the basic needs, mainly food needs and food security concerns of any community. Those concerns are key stones for any social-economic development process, and need to be addressed in terms of guarantees in time and through time.
Security concerns at several levels should be on the agenda, but food is a necessary condition to address the other dimensions of the human security concerns. The actual food system today represents one of the big achievements of the human community, at global/world level, in terms of solving the global needs in food, but it is still far away from solving the human needs at local community level and individual level where many problems are present. For example, hunger in the last 20-30 years have been always between 800 million persons and 1 billion, and malnutrition is now even with bigger numbers, with estimations for obesity above 1,2 billion persons.
The main argument of the paper is around the understanding that global sustainable development can only be achieved with local economic development, and it will be used the food system analysis to provide evidences on that matter. However this view cannot be confused with an inward perspective and it will be shown that improvements in trade flows are also important moves in most cases, regarding economic development and quality of life. Food security concerns and food sovereignty are both key dimensions to be analyzed in any food system, but both concepts have a lot in common, and can be seen as convergent in many dimensions. Two case studies will be used to provide support to the discussion, (one European Country and an African Country), showing that human welfare and food nutrition can be improved through time, where the food production system play an important role, but also trade, and where local economic development does not mean necessarily lower dependency from abroad. Policy and economic development experts should be able to address and provide solutions to improve welfare, food security and food sovereignty, preserving and improving equilibrium with nature, autonomy, freedom of choice, less vulnerability of the systems and, at the same time, taking full advantage of the international relations and trade opportunities.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18461/pfsd.2016.1603

ISSN 2194-511X


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