Let’s take time to take a look at the tracking of Global security this 2017 and to have a glimpse to where is the Philippines now.

By Rolando Dy

It examines the core issues of food affordability, availability, quality, and safety, as well as natural resources and resilience in 113 countries. It is based on 26 unique indicators that measure these drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries.

“This index is the first to examine food security comprehensively across the three internationally established dimensions. Moreover, the study looks beyond hunger to the underlying factors affecting food insecurity. This year the GFSI includes an adjustment factor on natural resources and resilience. This new category assesses a country’s exposure to the impacts of a changing climate; its susceptibility to natural resource risks; and how the country is adapting to these risks,” says foodsecurityindex.eiu.com, where the Global Food Security Index is available at no charge.

GFSI: Comparators and components. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit/ DuPont

HOW DOES THE PHILIPPINES COMPARE WITH ITS ASEAN NEIGHBORS?

Overall. Singapore is the runaway winner (Global Rank: 15), followed by Malaysia (43). Rice exporters are at lower tiers: Thailand (53), Vietnam (64), Cambodia (84), and Myanmar (80). Rice importers’ ranks, excluding Singapore and Malaysia, are: Indonesia (73) and the Philippines (79). ASEAN countries with high GFSI are ahead in affordability, availability, and quality and safety.

Affordability. Singapore posted the highest per capita income at US$ 73,168, distantly followed by Malaysia with US$ 9,503 in 2016. Indonesia has US$ 3,570; the Philippines, US$ 2,951; and Vietnam, US$ 2,186. The two leaders had little (if no) poverty. Malaysia’s poverty incidence was only 1.6 percent in 2014 versus 21.6 percent for the Philippines in 2015.

Availability. Rice importers Singapore and Malaysia beat rice exporters Vietnam and Thailand by a mile. The index has several factors of which supply sufficiency is only one of six. The Philippines is even ahead of Cambodia, a rice exporter.

Quality and safety. The level of development of a country affects the quality and safety criteria. Singapore and Malaysia are far ahead. Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines are in the middle cluster.

GFSI, Global Ranks 2017. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit/DuPont.

Natural Resources and Resilience. The 2017 GFSI includes “…a new environmental criteria that recognizes the growing emphasis on resource conservation, climate change adaption, and sustainable agriculture practices. With factors, such as temperature change, land deforestation, and depletion of water resources, the Natural Resources and Resilience category measures future impacts on the countries in the GFSI.” (http://foodsecurity.dupont.com/2017/09/26/2017-updated-global-food-security-index-released/, retrieved October 2, 2017.)

The worse off countries in terms of natural resources and resilience are: Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. In better positions are Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia.

Overall, how did the Philippines fare? It ranked sixth among the nine rated ASEAN countries. By criteria, it was below median at seventh among nine countries in affordability and availability as well as natural resources and resilience, and fifth in quality and safety.

Where will the Philippines go from here? Under the Philippine Development Plan, 2017-2022, several factors need watching: (a) growth in gross domestic product; (b) reduction of national poverty to 14 percent in 2022 from 21.6 percent in 2015; (c) reduction of rural poverty to 20 percent in 2022 from 30 percent in 2015; (d) growth of agriculture of 2.5 to 3 percent a year; and (e) climate change adaptation programs. (Originally published as http://bworldonline.com/tracking-global-food-security-2017-philippines/)

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s December 2017 issue.