​How mining can affect food security in Africa

MINING .COM | In 1996 the World Food Summit came up with a definition for ‘food security’, namely that it is achieved “at the individual, household, national, regional and global levels, when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life“.

Although the definition doesn’t take into account some important criteria like ‘food sovereignty’ (the right of people to choose their own agricultural and food systems) and ‘food self-sufficiency’, it is nevertheless the most commonly accepted standard for determining whether or not a country / community / population is ‘food secure’. 

Mining and other extractive industries can have a significant impact upon a local population’s food security, especially in areas where much of the food production cycle is subsistence in nature, and where regulatory authorities / local governments are weak, corrupt, inadequate, and unresponsive. High levels of unemployment, discrimination, lack of security, and poor living conditions further exacerbate food insecurity. 

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