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Food Security Model and the Role of Community Empowerment: The Case of a Marginalized Village in Mexico, Tatoxcac, Puebla

Authors: Marco Antonio Lara De la Calleja, María Catalina Ovando Chico, Eduardo Lopez Ruiz


Community empowerment has been proved to be a key element in the solution of the food security problem. As a result of a conceptual analysis, it was found that agricultural production, economic development and governance, are the traditional basis of food security models. Although the literature points to social inclusion as an important factor for food security, no model has considered it as the basis of it. The aim of this research is to identify different dimensions that make an integral model for food security, with emphasis on community empowerment. A diagnosis was made in the study community (Tatoxcac, Zacapoaxtla, Puebla), to know the aspects that impact the level of food insecurity. With a statistical sample integrated by 200 families, the Latin American and Caribbean Food Security Scale (ELCSA) was applied, finding that: in households composed by adults and children, have moderated food insecurity, (ELCSA scale has three levels, low, moderated and high); that result is produced mainly by the economic income capacity and the diversity of the diet on its food. With that being said, a model was developed to promote food security through five dimensions: 1. Regional context of the community; 2. Structure and system of local food; 3. Health and nutrition; 4. Information and technology access; and 5. Self-awareness and empowerment. The specific actions on each axis of the model, allowed a systemic approach needed to attend food security in the community, through the empowerment of society. It is concluded that the self-awareness of local communities is an area of extreme importance, which must be taken into account for participatory schemes to improve food security. In the long term, the model requires the integrated participation of different actors, such as government, companies and universities, to solve something such vital as food security.

Keywords: Community empowerment, food security, model, systemic approach.

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