APN says that criteria and indicators adopted by the Economist Intelligence Unit to assess levels of food security in countries around the world may not necessarily represent the reality of food security in the Arab region.
The Jordanian Strategy Forum (JSF) released a summary of the Economist report on Tuesday morning, September 1, 2020. The 2019 Global Food Security Index (GFSI) ranked Singapore, Ireland, the U.S the highest, while Venezuela was ranked last. Qatar was ranked highest among Arab countries, and Jordan was ranked 64 among all countries with a score of 61/100.
APN said that there are four components to food security; abundance, access, stability, and benefit. However, some monitoring organizations may give weight to one factor at the expense of others, or use indicators to produce specific results that are consistent with the policies of some countries.
For example, the Economist report does not mention wheat productivity as an indicator. At the same time, it is an essential indicator in the ESCWA framework for assessing and monitoring food security levels in countries.
Commenting on the report, APN said, "It is inconceivable that the level of food security in Qatar is higher than Morocco, Tunisia, and Jordan."
However, APN also points out the advantages of the report. The report reveals areas of weakness which prevent being able to achieve food security, such as the lack of spending on agricultural research and development, irrigation infrastructure, food guidelines, and a national nutrition plan or strategy.
APN says that there is an opportunity for Jordan to begin addressing the weaknesses mentioned in the report. Hesitation and delay in the political will to enhance food security, marginalization of the agricultural sector over the last 40 years, ignoring the role of civil society in monitoring and setting priorities and strategies, and the influence of international financiers are among the most prominent obstacles to achieving food security according to the report. It is time, APN suggests, for the various sectors of Jordan to come together to overcome these obstacles to achieve food security and sovereignty over food.