Food and nutrition security in Iran: Application of TOPSIS technique

New Medit, vol 16, n.1, (March 2017), pp. 18-28

Language: EN
Jel classification: D78, D81, Q18

Food and nutrition security is a multi-dimensional subject. The definition of the FAO in 1996, i.e. “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”, presents the following four core dimensions. It includes: a) physical availability of food, b) economic and physical access to food, c) food utilization, and d) stability of the other three dimensions. Consequently, achieving food and nutrition security, as the main goal of food systems, requires adequate Food Availability, Food Accessibility, Food Utilization and Food Stability. The pathway to food and nutrition security begins by exploring the challenges, whose knowledge is needed for developing adequate solutions. Thus, decision-making is the process of discovering the best decision from all of the possible alternatives. Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Models have received much consideration from researchers as a tool to assess and rank alternatives. Amongst various multi-criteria decision-making models, the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) remains to work adequately. The major focus of the paper is to provide a synthesizing judgment about the Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) performance, including multiple and conflict criteria. We apply TOPSIS technique as a multi-criteria method, to build a dynamic quantitative national-level food and nutrition security index to be used as a benchmark for all dimensions of food and nutrition security, and prioritize the vulnerabilities of food system in the delivery of food and nutrition security in Iran. Using this technique, we survey how the food system has worked to provide food and nutrition security over time, in order to check if it has improved or worsened. We also analyze the level of overall vulnerability of food system by investigating changes in the four dimensions of food and nutrition security over the time in Iran.

food and nutrition Security, TOPSIS technique, indicators, Iran

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