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Status and factors of food security in Pakistan


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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to determine the level of food self‐sufficiency, un‐accessed portions of food, and food gap between the national food security line of the country and consumption by its people. It also aims to scrutinize the major physical and economic factors inducing food insecurity in the country. Design/methodology/approach The paper applies descriptive statistics using mainly secondary data with the support of some primary information. Findings Pakistan is almost self‐sufficient in food production even if only 30 percent of its production potential has been achieved. In spite of such a situation, the average food consumption of its people is still significantly below the standards set up for the national food security line. The study also established that the food gap in the country is 30 percent, while a 35 percent portion of available food is un‐accessed due to various constraints spawned by physical, economic and sometimes natural factors. Out of the seven administrative units of Pakistan, Punjab and Sindh are the main food producing units while the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are the most highly food deficit unit. Irrespective of the level of local food production, food gap still exists in all administrative units due to inefficient food procurement and distribution system, illegal movement of food commodities, poor monitoring of marketing systems, lower purchasing power and natural disasters. Research limitations/implications The paper elaborates on the average situation of the country, and establishes the baseline for future research to investigate the issues of food security deeply, providing some key recommendations. Originality/value The paper investigates the concept of food security through the important indicators, i.e. food gap and un‐accessed portion of food, and tries to sort out the factors inducing such gaps.
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International Journal of Development Issues
Emerald Article: Status and factors of food security in Pakistan
Abid Hussain, Jayant Kumar Routray
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To cite this document:
Abid Hussain, Jayant Kumar Routray, (2012),"Status and factors of food security in Pakistan", International Journal of
Development Issues, Vol. 11 Iss: 2 pp. 164 - 185
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Status and factors of food
security in Pakistan
Abid Hussain and Jayant Kumar Routray
School of Environment, Resources and Development,
Asian Institute of Technology, Pathum Thani, Thailand
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine the level of food self-sufficiency, un-accessed
portions of food, and food gap between the national food security line of the country and consumption
by its people. It also aims to scrutinize the major physical and economic factors inducing food
insecurity in the country.
Design/methodology/approach The paper applies descriptive statistics using mainly secondary
data with the support of some primary information.
Findings Pakistan is almost self-sufficient in food production even if only 30 percent of its
production potential has been achieved. In spite of such a situation, the average food consumption of
its people is still significantly below the standards set up for the national food security line. The study
also established that the food gap in the country is 30 percent, while a 35 percent portion of available
food is un-accessed due to various constraints spawned by physical, economic and sometimes natural
factors. Out of the seven administrative units of Pakistan, Punjab and Sindh are the main food
producing units while the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are the most highly food
deficit unit. Irrespective of the level of local food production, food gap still exists in all administrative
units due to inefficient food procurement and distribution system, illegal movement of food
commodities, poor monitoring of marketing systems, lower purchasing power and natural disasters.
Research limitations/implications – The paper elaborates on the average situation of the
country, and establishes the baseline for future research to investigate the issues of food security
deeply, providing some key recommendations.
Originality/value The paper investigates the concept of food security through the important
indicators, i.e. food gap and un-accessed portion of food, and tries to sort out the factors inducing such
Keywords Food security, Food availability, Food consumption, Self-sufficiency, Food gap,
Un-accessed portion of food, Food deficit, Physical factors, Economic factors, Pakistan, Food industry
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Challenges to reduce global food insecurity and poverty are becoming more complex
today than about three decades ago. The current challenges that impede many efforts to
achieve food security include price instability of food integrated with rising energy
costs, impacts of climate change and uncertainties in the financial markets (Naylor, 2011)
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
The authors would like to thank the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for providing the
financial support for this study through PhD scholarship for the first author. Supporting persons
who include Muhammad Ashraf (MSc Agricultural Economics), Ghafar Ali (PhD, Environment
Management) and Asif Awan (Financial Expert) are also highly admired by the authors for
providing the timely help in the collection and compilation of secondary and primary data, and
supporting the authors during the whole research period. Last but not least, the first author
would like to offer heartiest thanks to his parents for their continuous support and prayers.
International Journal of Development
Vol. 11 No. 2, 2012
pp. 164-185
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/14468951211241146
resulting in increased incidence of hunger especially in the least developing countries.
Worldwide, 800 million people are facing hunger (IFDP-WFS, 2002) where South Asia is
one of the most vulnerable regions with 299 million of its people remain undernourished
accounting for about 40 percent of the world’s undernourished population. Although
there had been an annual decline in the prevalence of undernourishment in the South
Asian region by 1.7 percent in the past decade, failure of governments to reduce the
absolute number of the undernourished remains a major cause for concern. Estimates by
the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) indicate that Asia
still accounts for one-half of the world’s undernourished population of which two-thirds
is from South Asia (Mittal and Sethi, 2009). Pakistan is the second largest nation in South
Asia where almost one-half of its population continues to encounter hunger and deal
with food insecurity (Sulehri and Ramay, 2009) with large portion of its population
remaining very vulnerable to food security risks. In 2009, Maplecroft ranked 148 nations
according to their food security risk indices and Pakistan emerged as the 11th which
indicated that Pakistan is at “extreme risk” of food security while India was ranked the
25th and considered as being at “high risk” (Maplecroft-FSRI, 2009). Like other
developing countries, the level of food security in Pakistan depends on its national food
production capacity and the people’s capability to access the food items. Although the
country’s food production remained stable in recent years but its people’s access to food
had weakened particularly due to the decline in the purchasing power of its people.
The First Millennium Development Goal was set to “reduce the worlds’ hunger by half,
irrespective of race, religion and gender by year 2015” (United Nations, 2000). It might
have been assumed then that the situation in Pakistan would improve, and production of
food will become stable and prices would remain affordable.
The Government of Pakistan has initiated different agricultural programmes and
marketing strategies under its national food policy (NFP) to achieve food security in the
country but the outcomes of these efforts had not been very satisfactory. Under the
country’s NFP, three objectives were set to be achieved such as adequate production of
food, stability of food prices and access to food by consumers (Khan, 2000). During the
last few years since 2006 however, food production has not significantly increased while
food prices fluctuated frequently. The condition of the country is becoming worse as
the number of food insecure districts increased from 74 in 2004 to 95 in 2008. The
country’s huge population is already food insecure which can become more threatening
if price fluctuation persists and inflation rate continues to rise (Sulehri and Ramay, 2009).
In the global scenario, world food prices started to escalate very steeply in 2006 and
reached a record level during the second quarter of 2008. Overall, food prices have
increased by 75 percent in dollar terms since 2000 while the foreign exchange earnings
and international purchasing power of all countries have decreased. With this scenario,
food prices will likely continue to increase in the near future. This phenomenon is the
consequence of rising standards of living in countries like China and India, increased use
of food crops for bio-fuels and animal feeds, increased prices of oil and fertilizers,
reduced production capacity in key grain producing countries due to drought,
and failures in the general pricing mechanisms (FAO, 2008, pp. 3-4; Headey and Fan,
2008; Simelton, 2011). South Asia has the largest concentration of poor and
undernourished people in the world (Kumar et al., 2010, p. 1) and any increase in food
prices would further fuel the situation. These countries which include Pakistan
have very few available options to deal with the challenges that they are being
Food security
confronted with. Nevertheless, stabilization of food prices may still have a positive role
in improving agricultural growth (Cumming Jr et al., 2006) and the overall social welfare
including food security (Myers, 2006).
Although modern debate on food security is mainly focused on food prices there are
other key factors which affect food security in developing countries particularly in
Pakistan. The main objective of this study therefore is to identify the gap between the
country’s national food security line (NFSL) and consumption by its people.
Furthermore, the study also investigates the level of un-accessed portion of food
(UPF) due to key physical and economic factors, and determines the level of food
self-sufficiency for important food commodities as well as food deficit/surplus with
respect to the NFSL. However, some limitations of this study could exist because it does
not segment the different income groups in terms of their food security level although it
provides an average situation of all seven administrative units (AUs) and the country as
a whole. Moreover, in the assessment of food security status, this study avoids
replicating other preceding studies (FSA, 2003; Sulehri and Ramay, 2009) that tried to
determine the percentage of food insecure population and districts. Nevertheless, this
study attempts to deeply investigate the key factors which affect the country’s food
availability and level of consumption that could result in food deficit, food gap (FG) and
UPF. Keeping sustainability and accuracy in view, this study excludes the Afghan
refugees and food-aid in the assessment of food security. Based on the findings of this
study, policies to address the key constraints of achieving food security should be
reviewed for improvement.
2. Methodology for reviewing the status
Food security is a complex term and it is not as simple as it looks or as being
interpreted in literatures and general debates. Different studies and organizations
interpret food security in different ways taking into account the different indicators or
aspects. For example, FSA (2003) considered indicators such as food availability,
access, absorption and related uncertainties/risks. In some conceptual frameworks
uncertainties/risks are replaced by aspect of food supply stability (FAO, 2001b,
pp. 10-56; RSB, 2009, pp. 10-11). Samsung Economic Research Institute (2011, pp. 7-11)
conceptualizes food security based on two indices such as food supply stability and
food safety covering all aspects under these two indices. The objective of studies is
common to investigate the status of food security though approaches are slightly
different. This study also investigates food security situation with slightly different
approach considering the innovative concepts of UPF and FG along with the existing
concepts of self-sufficiency and food deficit/surplus. Therefore, this study initially
estimated status of food availability and food consumption to calculate the above
indicators. It also intends to investigate different physical and economic factors
affecting values of indicators.
Total food availability comprises the national food production and net factor of
food trade where imports are added and exports are deducted from the national
food production (Figure 1). Since total food availability is considered as the total food
requirements of any country (Kyaw, 2009, p. 26), a comparison of the total food
availability with national food production gives an estimate of the level of
self-sufficiency of a country (Kyaw, 2009, p. 26; FAO, 2001a, pp. 50-52). Pakistan is
an agriculture-based country primarily growing food crops while the major portion
of its available food comes from domestic production with the effect of food trade being
not considerably high. Moreover, estimation of food deficit is informative to investigate
the food shortage by comparing the net food production with the NFSL of Pakistan.
NFSL is defined that every individual of the population has access to 2,350 kcal per day
per capita of food nutritional value at all times (Economic Survey of Pakistan,
Government of Pakistan, 2009, pp. 175-6).
Average food consumption is the ultimate food which the population consumes. It is
possible that the whole quantity of available food in any area cannot be accessed by the
population because after production the food goes through different channels and
accessibility is constrained by various physical and economic factors, and at times could
be affected by natural disasters. It is in view of such factors that a major part of the food
especially in the case of Pakistan remains un-accessed. Higher UPF might result in
bigger FG and lower food consumption by the population. Importantly, estimation of the
UPF and FG helps in assessing the impacts of the above mentioned factors. In recent
years natural disasters have further widened the values of UPF and FG in the country.
The examples include the earthquake in 2005, flood devastations in 2010 and continuous
war against terrorism. Such risks affect both availability of and access to food
commodities (FSA, 2003, pp. 109-120).
Data used
The study makes use of both primary and secondary data. In order to assess the food
security situation of Pakistan as a whole and all its seven AUs, namely: Punjab, Sindh,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Federally
Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), food
production and consumption data would be necessary. Thus, major parts of the
required data were collected from officially reliable secondary sources including
the five-year production data of all food sources such as crops and livestock especially
Figure 1.
framework of food
security assessment
Food Security in
National Food
Security Line (2350
kcal per day per
Total Food
Domestic Food
Net Trade Factor
Un-accessed Portion of Food?
Food Gap?
Food Surplus/Deficit?
Food Self-sufficiency?
Source: Conceptualized by the Authors
Food security
in the case of the AUs. The main sources of the production data were the Agricultural
Statistics (2004-2005) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Livestock of Pakistan, as
well as the reports of the Economic Surveys and Food Security Analysis 2003. However,
the consumption data which were sourced from the Household Integrated Economic
Surveys conducted by the Federal Bureau of Statistics of Pakistan were available only
for the four AUs such as Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan.
Therefore, the households consumption data for three AUs such as GB, FATA and
AJK were collected through a field survey conducted in October 2009. There are
0.416 million estimated households in FATA, 0.231 millions in GB and 0.454 million in
AJK. Using the Yamane’s (1967), formula a sample size of 400 households was
determined in each AU at 95 percent confidence level and ^5 percent margin of error.
But the interviewed households were more than estimated sample size. Data from GB
and AJK were collected directly by the interviewers during the field survey using data
checklists, and 575 households from each AU were selected randomly covering the
55 percent ratio of rural and urban areas. In view of some security concerns, collection of
data from FATA was not carried out through direct interviews of the households.
Therefore, the necessary data were collected by making use of contact persons in the
Khyber and Bajaur Agencies. In this regard, the services of eight contact persons were
availed to compile the required data on households’ average monthly consumption.
Randomly, at least 80 households were selected by each contact person in their
respective areas who filled up the data checklists by themselves. Overall, 670 hous eholds
in FATA were interviewed (Table I).
The data on population were collected from the Population Census Organization.
In addition, complementary data including food movements, methodology related
information (Tables II and III) and supportive statistics were collected from other
reliable secondary sources.
Analysis and techniques
The results of the study are conveyed in descriptive statistics that include percentages,
indices and ratios. The analyses are divided into three steps where in the first step food
availability is estimated and in the second step the status of food consumption is
appraised. Based on estimated food availability and consumption, important ratios and
indices are reckoned in the third step to investigate the food security situation.
Food availability. For the domestic food production from all possible sources whether
plants and animals, only those that are culturally acceptable were considered in the
study. By culturally acceptable it means only halal food[1] items that are acceptable in
Islamic society while some food items are strictly not allowed such as pork. Therefore,
items such as cereals, pulses, vegetables (including potato), fruits, sugar, milk, vegetable
oils, mutton, beef, poultry meat, eggs, and fish were considered in the assessment.
However, some items such as condiments, shrimps, crabs and prawns were not
considered because of data collection constraints. The data on production from all food
sources were converted into nutritional energy units such as “kcal per day per capita”
based on the calculation procedures shown in Table I and supported by supplementary
Tables II and III. While Table II shows the non-food and wastage that comprise the
non-nutritional parts such as those kept as seeds, used as animal feeds and wastage that
occurs during harvesting and handling, Table III shows the nutritional energy (kcal)
chart of different kinds of food commodities.
Assessment Formula Calculation/description
Net food availability
(domestic food production)
365 £Ci(FSA, 2003) 1. Average of five-year domestic
production of all culturally
acceptable food commodities
from plant and animal sources
was used in calculation
2. Non-food/wastage parts
(wastage, seed, used as livestock
feed and non-nutritional part) of
the quantity of food
commodities were deducted
(Table III)
3. Conversion of quantity into
nutritional energy “kcal per day
per capita” using the formula
¼Net available food in kcal
per day per capita from all food
¼production of ith
commodity in million kg
¼population of jth unit
(country or AU) in millions
¼kcal in 1 kg of ith
commodity (Table II)
Total food availability with
trade factor/national food
(Kyaw, 2009)
¼All above steps were
followed with trade factor (T
added. Imports were added to
and exports were deducted from
domestic production of food
Self-sufficiency ratio
SSR ¼Fai=Fti
£100 (FAO,
2001a, b; Kyaw, 2009)
SSR ¼Self-sufficiency ratio for
ith food commodity
¼Net domestic production
of ith commodity at national
level (000 tonnes/annum)
¼Total required quantity of
ith commodity at national level
(000 tonnes/annum)
Food deficit/surplus index (%) FDI ¼Fa
£100 FDI ¼Food deficit/surplus
index (%)
¼Net food availability (kcal
per day per capita)
¼National food security
line (2,350 kcal per day per
Negative value of FDI shows
deficit whereas positive value
shows surplus
Food consumption (%) Fc¼PQi=pj
365=12 £Ci
FCR ¼Fc=Fn
Monthly households’
consumption data was
converted into units of
nutritional energy using formula
Table I.
Assessment of food
security status of
Food security
Assessment Formula Calculation/description
¼Total Consumption of all
food commodities in kcal per day
per capita
¼Quantity of ith
commodity in kg
¼Average household size in
jth unit (country or AU)
¼kcal in 1 kg of ith
commodity (Table II)
FCR ¼Food consumption ratio
¼National food security
line (2,350 kcal per day per
Consumers’ purchasing power
for food
CPI £100 (FBS, 2009) CPP
purchasing power for food (%)
CPI ¼Consumers’ price index
of food commodities in nth year
with reference to base year
(2000-2001) determined by FBS
Un-accessed portion of food Fu¼Fa2Fc
£100 Percentage of gap between net
food availability and food
Food gap (%) Fg¼Fn2Fc
£100 Percentage of gap between
national food security line and
food consumption
Table I.
Commodities Wastage/non-food parts
Wheat 10.02
Rice 17.43
Maize 40.5
Other cereals 22
Pulses 38.5
Potato 16.57
Milk 20.5
Egg 15.56
Fruits 35
Vegetables 35
Oil seed 65
Sugarcane 91.43
Fish 6.9
Meat 14.15
Non-food parts comprises of wastage at field during harvest, seed, used as livestock feed and
non-nutritional part of food commodities
Source: Adapted from FSA (2003, p. 142), PARC (2003)
Table II.
Percentage of non-food
parts and wastage in
gross production
Notably, the average values of all food commodities from the five-year production data
were estimated and used in the analyses (Table I) to prevent the effects of fluctuation in
production of any commodity in one or two specific years. Thus, no reference year of
production was set up because fluctuation of production in one reference year could
result in over- or under-estimation of the overall national food production.
Furthermore, non-food parts of all commodities (Table III) were deducted from the
production average values to minimize the chances of overestimation. In the next step,
the net production of all the commodities were converted into nutritional values (kcal
per day per capita) following the formula given in Table I. The total kcal per day per
capita of all the commodities gave an estimate of the food availability from national
production. Similarly, food availability of all the AUs was also calculated. Finally, the
total food availability of the country was estimated by adding the net trade factor to
the net food availability based on the national food production (Table IV).
Food consumption. The average monthly household food consumption data was
used to estimate the food consumption in kcal per day per capita (Table I). Data on food
consumption is however slightly different from food production data because in
production data, primary food products from plant and animal sources are taken into
account but in the consumption data the primary as well as secondary products are
considered. For example, sugar produced from sugarcane can be consumed either as
Food commodity Kilocalories per kilogram
Wheat 2,900
Wheat flour 3,640
Rice/flour 3,737
Maize/flour 3,227
Pulses 852
Millet 3,780
Barley 3,450
Sorghum 3,390
Potato 868
Fruits 980
Dry fruits 2,670
Vegetables 648
Sugar 3,875
Veg. oil/fats 8,857
Milk 598
Egg 1,480
Poultry meat 1,917
Fish 1,165
Sugar products 3,100
Mutton 2,630
Beef 1,500
Baked products 3,535
Butter/margarine 7,170
Curd/yogurt 610
Beverages 390
Source: Adapted from FSA (2003, p. 142), FAO Food Balance Sheet (2001b), USDA National Nutrient
Database-R-17 (2004), USDA National Database-R-22 (2009, pp. 1-26)
Table III.
Kilocalories (kcal) per
kilogram of food
Food security
primary product like raw sugar or in the form of processed secondary products such as
sweets and confectionery derived from sugar. Milk is consumed as a primary product
or in processed form of butter, yogurt or ghee as secondary products. For all
commodities, the consumption data included those of both primary and secondary
products. Nevertheless, no product is considered in the consumption data that is not in
the production data. For example, honey and spices were excluded due to logical reasons
and to keep the food availability and consumption comparable because production data
of these commodities are not available. Moreover, the contribution of these so-called
left-out commodities to the household consumption is also insignificant (FBS-HIES,
2006). Thus, the main commodities in the consumption data were wheat/flour, rice/flour,
maize/flour, pulses, other cereals, baked cereal products, fruits, dried fruits, vegetables,
fish, poultry meat, mutton, beef, butter/margarine, beverages, curd/yogurt, sugar, and
sugar products. Some commodities were also excluded from the data due to their
non-nutritional value like tobacco, tea, coffee, paan[2], among others. The consumption
data were then converted into kcal per day per capita following the steps in Table I and in
the supplementary Tables II and III.
Situation analysis. Important ratios and indices including self-sufficiency ratio
(SSR), food deficit/surplus index (FDI), food consumption ratio (FCR), UPF and FG
were estimated to unveil the food security situation of the country and its AUs. The
formula used to compute these ratios and indices are given in Table I.
3. Status of food security
Food availability
The results show that the country’s net food availability from national production is
2,562 kcal per day per capita which is above the NFSL (Table V) implying that Pakistan
is producing more than the standard requirements of its populace. Among the AUs,
Food commodities
Total available food including
trade factor
Net available domestic food (F
) 000
) 000 tonnes/
kcal per day per
Wheat 21,728.25 21,640.07 1,088 100.4
Rice 4,771.29 2,449.69 159 194.8
Maize 1,198.05 1,198.05 67 100.0
Other cereals 2,885.16 2,885.16 177 100.0
Pulses 948.17 1,288.10 19 73.6
Vegetables 3,740.02 3,607.88 41 103.7
Fruits 4,828.23 4,587.17 78 105.3
Sugar 4,943.86 5,039.33 338 98.1
Milk 24,026.92 24,040.51 249 99.9
Meat 1,855.54 1,855.54 62 100.0
Fish 558.31 457.21 9 122.1
Eggs 360.90 360.90 9 100.0
Oil seeds
& oleaginous fruits 755.74 2,448.36 376 30.9
Source: Based on Secondary Data (GOP-Economic Survey, 2008-2009, p. 18; FSA, 2003;
MINFAL-ASP, 2005; POSDB, 2005)
Table IV.
Self-sufficiency level of
major food commodities
Punjab comes out as the main producing unit followed by Sindh which also produces
food more than its local needs. However, food production of the other five AUs such as
Balochistan, KPK, FATA, GB and AJK do not reach the local food requirement level.
Taking into account the NFSL limit, AJK and FATA are considered as the least
producing units that are able to supply only around 20 percent of the local requirements.
Thus, these two AUs are heavily dependent on other AUs especially Punjab and Sindh
for the required food commodities. Meanwhile, Balochistan, KPK and GB are perceived
to be relatively less dependent on the main food producing AUs (Table V).
Food consumption
The average food consumption of the people of Pakistan is almost 1,700 kcal per day per
capita which is below the NFSL. While Punjab and Sindh produce more than their local
requirements, it is easy to imagine that food consumption in these two AUs could be
higher than the other AUs. However, this is not the case as the results surprisingly show
that the average food consumption in these two AUs is below the NFSL. In fact, food
consumption in these AUs and at the national level ranges from 1,300 to 2,000 kcal per
day per capita. Food consumption in the least food producing AUs such as FATA and
AJK is significantly more than their local production but FATA remains the least food
consuming AU while food consumption is slightly higher in AJK and GB than in FATA.
Notably, no AU is consuming food up to the level or beyond the NFSL which means that
the average food consumption in all AUs is still below the national food standards
(Table V).
Being an agrarian country, Pakistan is self-sufficient in terms of most of the food
commodities that it produced. As the main food crop, wheat is consumed in all parts of
the country as a primary food item. Pakistan produces wheat which is sufficient for its
population’s requirements. In addition to wheat, the domestic production of maize,
vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, eggs and other cereals such as millet, barley and sorghum
can also meet the local requirements for food (Table IV). Pakistan also produces and
exports fruits like mango, citrus and apples but the country’s main export commodity is
kcal per day per capita UPF
National food
security line
Net food
kcal per day
per capita (%)
Punjab 2,350 3,022 1,740 1,282 42 29 74 26
Sindh 2,563 1,494 1,069 42 9 64 36
Balochistan 1,779 1,514 265 15 224 64 36
KPK 1,677 1,964 2287 217 229 84 16
FATA 496 1,356 2860 2173 279 58 42
GB 1,280 1,446 2166 213 246 62 38
AJK 540 1,452 2912 2169 277 62 38
Pakistan 2,562 1,664 898 35 9 71 29
Source: Based on Field Survey (2009) and Secondary Data GOP-Economic Surveys (2007-2008, pp.
19-25, 2008-2009, p. 18), FBS-HIES (2006), FSA (2003), Govt. of AJK (2007), MINFAL-ASP (2005),
POSDB (2005), PCO (2000)
Table V.
Food security status
of Pakistan
Food security
rice with domestic production that is almost double than the local rice requirement. Fish
is also being produced more than what is locally required. In case of sugar, although the
SSR is almost 100 percent, in some circumstances Pakistan needs to import sugar from
other countries. Pulses and oil seed/oleaginous fruits are the main imports as far as food
trade is concerned. Pakistan is deficient in its production of pulses and oil seeds by
almost 25 and 70 percent, respectively (Table IV). Looking at the overall effect of food
trade on net food availability in the country, it can be seen that food trade contributes
marginally to the available kcal per day per capita of the country’s populace. While the
country’s domestic food production should provide 2,562 kcal per day per capita
(Table V), the total available food with trade factor provides an addition of slightly more
than 100 kcal per day per capita to domestic food production (Table IV).
Food deficit and surplus
Keeping in view the marginal contribution of trade factor to the total food availability
but with unavailable information on the distribution of imported-food items to the AUs,
domestic production has been considered as the benchmark for food availability in all
seven AUs and the country as a whole (Table V). In Pakistan, domestic food production
(DFP) is almost 10 percent more than the standard requirements based on the NFSL.
Production varies from one AU to another considering the variations in their biophysical
conditions and other factors related to production. Based on the values of the FDI,
Punjab is the main food producing AU with more than 40 percent surplus in food supply
whereas Sindh also has surplus in its food production (Table V). The main occupation of
populace of these AUs is agriculture. The other AUs such as Balochistan, KPK, FATA,
GB and AJK are deficit in food production. Specifically, the food deficit of Balochistan
and KPK is less than 30 percent while GB is food deficient by about 50 percent of the
standard food requirements. These five AUs are dependent on Punjab and Sindh for
their food supply but FATA and AJK are the most heavily dependent units (Table V).
Un-accessed portion of food
Considerable portion of food can remain un-accessed mainly because of the impacts of
different factors at different levels. Overall in Pakistan, 35 percent of food remains
un-accessed. As far as the AUs are concerned the inter-provincial/unit movement of food
has affected the level of the people’s food consumption and where significant parts of the
food supply could have been moved to other AUs. For example, in food-surplus AUs
such as Punjab and Singh, UPF is over 40 percent as a consequence of unrecorded
inter-provincial food movement along with the effects of other physical and economic
factors. The fooddeficit AUs suchas KPK, FATA, GB and AJK consume more food than
they produce, which means that significant portion of the consumed food comesfrom the
food-surplus AUs. It is also important to note that the food deficit AUs are smaller units
with less population compared to the food-surplus AUs. Therefore, only small portion of
the food from food-surplus AUs can provide the demand of these smaller units. Hence,
significant portion of the food from food-surplus AUs and also Balochistan remains
un-accessed, as clearly indicated in the overall 35 percent UPF in Pakistan.
Food gap
The data on FCR shows that the country’s population consumes only 71 percent of the
standard requirements for food, thus the FG is almost 29 percent (Table V) which is an
alarming situation in a country that produces more than its domestic requirements.
The situation is also not much different in the AUs especially in Punjab and Sindh which
are noted as food-surplus AUs in terms of production. The deeply food deficit AUs such
as FATA, GB and AJK even have higher FCR with more than 60 percent FCR values
(Table V). Notably, food deficit unit KPK has the maximum FCR value which is even
more than the food-surplus AUs which could be due to the choice of food items by the
local population in addition to other physical and economic factors. People in KPK prefer
to consume nutritionally rich food items such as dried fruits, fats, meat and nuts but in
other AUs especially Punjab and Sindh their people spend considerable amount of
money on fresh fruits or vegetables which have comparatively lower nutritional value.
Even in FATA, AJK and GB, their respective FCR values are higher compared to their
production because of their people’s choice of food items along with other factors
although they are dependent on food supplied from Punjab and Sindh through
different channels.
4. Major factors of food security
Overall, Pakistan is producing more than what it domestically requires though the level
of production is well below the country’s production potential. Food production varies
from one AU to another because of disparities in the use of land and water resources,
supply of inputs and accessibility to credit facilities as well as the different biophysical
conditions of the units. Punjab and Sindh have significantly higher food production with
surplus of nearly 30 percent and ten percent, respectively (Table V) compared to the
other AUs because of better production factors. If the production factors in these other
AUs are improved, the self-sufficiency level of food in the respective AUs would also
increase. Improved self-sufficiency would definitely conclude with higher food supply
and lower prices in domestic markets, and ultimately improved economic access to food
commodities. So, self-sufficiency indirectly can reduce UPF and FG. Some of the factors
which are influencing the level self-sufficiency are discussed below.
As far as land resources of the country are concerned, 25 percent of its land is
experiencing salinity intrusion and water logging problems, out of which 13 percent has
been poorly utilized for agricultural operations and the other 12 percent has not been
cultivated at all (MINFAL-ASP, 2005). With whatever surplus the government has,
about 67 percent is being distributed to landless households locally known as Harees,
mazarae and Khaet Mazdoors under different schemes particularly in Punjab and Sindh
while almost 33 percent of cultivable land is not allocated nor utilized for any food crop
cultivation (MINFAL-ASP, 2005). This undistributed land can surely contribute to the
national food production, if it is only allocated to poor households or even to agriculture
professionals. In Punjab Province, the provincial government has taken initiative to allot
arable land to agricultural graduates with the objective of promoting agricultural
development and enhancing food production. If the saline and water logged land areas
are managed properly while the un-allotted land is distributed to be used for productive
agricultural practices, collectively the produce from this land could add to the net food
availability by 507 kcal per day per capita provided that the main cereal crop cultivated
on such prospective area is wheat (Hussain, 2010). In the other AUs, no steps for the
effective use of all cultivable lands are being undertaken as yet, especially in Balochistan
Province where huge areas can be brought under cultivation of fruits like apples, grapes
and cherry. Similarly, in the case of water resources, there seems to be a disparity in the
distribution and utilization among the AUs. In Punjab and Singh Provinces, well
Food security
established irrigation systems are in place. If only the government would also construct
smaller water reservoirs in other AUs particularly in Balochistan, its food production
situation could be a lot better than its present status. In recent years, utilization of the
water resources leads to both direct and indirect effects on food production in the
country, even in the food-surplus AUs. As for the direct effects, shortage of irrigation
water leads to shortfalls in food production while water shortage could also result in
severe downfall of the functioning of hydropower to generate electricity, as the indirect
effect. Considering that the total available surface water in Pakistan is 142.5 million acre
feet (MAF), it is dismal to note that only 42 percent reaches the farm level (MINFAL-ASP,
2005) due to mismanagement and water losses at different levels. Even in the main food
producing AUs such as Punjab and Sindh, farmers at the tail areas of canals suffer from
severe shortage of irrigation water and have to depend on ground water resources for
their needs. Adding to the problem, farmers have been facing difficulties to operate
electric tube-wells since the start of 2010 due to energy crisis.
Inadequate supply of inputs is also one of the factors that results in low food
production. In view of the inadequacy of inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and fuel,
wheat production achieves only 32 percent of its potential yield while paddy rice and
sugarcane achieve nearly 25 percent of their potential yields, and in vegetables, potato
achieves nearly 40 percent of its potential yield (Muhammad, 2000). Overall Pakistan
achieves 30 percent of its potential yield. During the recent years (2008-2010), farmers
have been confronted with tough situations as far supply of inputs is concerned. Local
production of agricultural inputs is less than the local demand with a gap of 1.5 million
tonnes between local production and demand of fertilizers (FFC, 2009). Like improved
inputs in crops, advance breeds of livestock are also necessary to improve production
along with proper awareness of farmers. Farmers in Pakistan particularly those in
Balochistan, KPK, FATA, AJK and BG lack adequate access to inputs and advance
livestock breeds considering that provision of adequate inputs could result in
substantial increase in food production in all the AUs. If Pakistan could achieve even
50 percent of the achievable yield or food production, its net food availability would
increase by 100 percent.
The situation of the country’s formal credit system is similar in almost all AUs. The
system does not contribute significantly to productivity because of ambiguous
procedures and small amounts of approved credit granted (Amjad and Hasnu, 2007).
The statistics from the Census of Agriculture show that farmers with landholdings of up
to 0.5 ha receive only 8 percent of the credit they applied for from formal institutions
whereas farmers with landholdings of 0.5-2.0 ha receive only 19 percent of formal credit.
Meanwhile, farmers with landholdings of 2.0-10 ha, 10-60 ha and above 60 ha are
granted 48, 59 and 60 percent of the credit they applied for from formal sources,
respectively (ACO, 2000). Inadequacy of formal credits granted to majority of small and
medium farmers has surely created negative impacts on the national food production.
There are some critical physical and economic factors directly inducing the higher
values of UPF and FG. These factors are post-production losses, illegal movement of
food commodities, inefficient procurement and distribution system, marketing and
pricing systems, and higher food inflation rate. Post harvest losses usually occur during
handling, storage and transport that is why the result is a significant reduction of the
net food availability. For example, considerable quantity of cereals are lost after
harvest annually including about nine percent losses to wheat, 12 percent to rice and
13 percent to maize production. Losses to citrus production could come to around
28-40 percent while losses to potato and onion production after harvest could be 27 and
26 percent, respectively (Din, 1998). These losses happen in all seven AUs but in Punjab
and Sindh higher losses to cereals production have been recorded. Balochistan and KPK
have surplus production in fruits such as apples, apricot, grapes, nuts and dried fruits
but Balochistan has also higher fruit production losses due to poor road network that
constrains the farmers from accessing the major output markets. Turbat sub-district of
Balochistan is a good example where farmers produce surplus quantities of dates but
due to limited market access they have to feed the dates to their livestock. Considerable
portion of the production of apples, cherry and grapes is also lost because of major
constraints in reaching the markets (Hussain, 2010). This is true not only for crops but
also in livestock production where higher post-production losses are experienced
particularly in Punjab and Sindh. For example, the government does not provide
collection system for milk produced in rural areas. Although some private companies
like Nestle collect milk from the rural areas but their networks do not have wide range of
coverage in the whole country.
Illegal movement of food commodities across the borders also adds to the widening FG
in AUs even in the food-surplus AUs. In the first stage, food commodities are being
illegally transported from food-surplus AUs like Punjaband Sindh to food deficitAUs like
FATA and Balochistan resulting in increased FG in Punjab and Sindh. At the second
stage which is more serious, food commodities are being smuggled to neighboring
countries resulting in losses to the national food production and wider FG. The long
stretch of land that borders Pakistan with Afghanistan and Iran makes the illegal
movement of commodities easy to undertake but very difficult to control. In the border
areas of the country particularly in FATA, the government does not seem to have strong
law enforcement making it convenient for smugglers to transfer food items across the
border. Pakistan has been losing more than five percent of wheat and around ten percent of
rice production from these illegal border movements while more than 11 percent is lost
from the refined sugar production. Notably, Pakistan imports pulses to adequately supply
its local demand but over threepercent of local production of pulses is also being illegally
transported to Afghanistan and Iran (Table VI). Therefore, Pakistanloses 130 kcal per day
per capita of available food because of the illegal movement of commodities across the
borders. Some items are also smuggled into Pakistan from these two countries but these
are mainly non-food items such as electronics, petrol/fuel and blankets, among others.
There is a need to control this illegal movement of food commodities by legalizing such
activities through regularized terms under fair trade agreements by the governments of
the three countries. It has been observed that illegal transfer of food commodities mostly
emanates from Punjab and Singh Provinces to FATA and Balochistan and passes on to
Afghanistan and Iran. This illegal transfer is one of the reasons for the food shortage,
higher prices of food commodities in local markets and wider FG even in the food-surplus
AUs (Table V) because smuggled food commodities remain un-accessed by the local
population in the AUs and the whole country.
Government procurement and distribution systems also appear to be inefficient in
handling the country’s national food production. The government procurement system
(GPS) was established to stabilize the food reserves and supply in the country, and to
offer subsidized prices to the producers. Under this system, procurement centers of the
Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation, Ltd (PASSCO) have been
Food security
established throughout the country to procure food commodities mainly cereals. The
total storage capacity in Pakistan including those of the PASSCO centers could
accommodate 5,165 thousand tones of cereals while the total annual procurement on the
average could only reach as much as 4,747 thousand tones. It shows that the annual
procurement is only 15 percent of total production of cereals (MINFAL-ASP, 2005). For
perishable commodities like vegetables and fruits, there are 470 cold storage facilities
with storage capacity of 707 thousand tones (AARI, 2005) but on the average storage is
only for around eight percent of the total domestic production. This implies that the
government and relevant agencies are able to procure only smaller portions of the food
production from food-surplus AUs particularly cereals for onward distribution to food
deficit AUs like FATA, GB, Balochistan and AJK, similarly from fruits-surplus AUs like
Balochistan and KPK to Punjab and Sindh. The limited procurement of food production
easily results in higher food losses leading to lower FCR and widening of food gaps in the
AUs (Table V). As far as distribution of procured food is concerned, utility stores being
run by the Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited, have served as the main
food distribution channels and there are 400 such utility stores in the country.
In Balochistan, FATA and GB, their poor road network systems and natural
topographical land features have constrained many people from reaching distant
government food centers, while those who can reach the centers are encountering certain
problems. While most poor people remain in lines in front of utility stores for long period
of time, the people with influential references get the food items from the stores first.
Moreover, the quality of the food items is not monitored regularly by government
officials especially with respect to freshness and wholesomeness. Transparen cy is direly
needed in the distribution of food to poor population because the government is already
partly responsible for the inefficient distribution of local food production in view of the
low storage capacity procured commodities.
Marketing system is also problematic and looks failed in reducing the UPF and FG
in all AUs. On papers, the marketing legislation in Pakistan is supposed to be
consumer-friendly but it has operational problemssuch as lack of monitoring and control.
The main objective of marketing legislations is to protect both producers and consumers
Average annual illegal
movement (000) tonnes
Food items
Iran Total
Loss of kcal per day
per capita
Net domestic
(000) tonnes/
(% of NDP)
Wheat 1,131.2 0 1,131.2 56.84 21,728.25 5.21
Sugar 547.5 5.0 552.5 37.08 4,943.86 11.18
Rice 219.0 270.0 489.0 31.65 4,771.29 10.25
Edible oil 4.38 0 11.38 1.77 755.74 1.51
Vegetables 42.5 35.0 77.5 0.87 3,740.02 2.07
Pulses 29.2 0 29.2 0.43 948.17 3.08
Fruits 0 3.0 48.0 0.81 4,828.23 0.99
(meat) 0 15.2 15.2 0.50 1,855.54 0.82
Source: Based on secondary data (AARI, 2005; PARC, 2003; Sharif et al., 2000)
Table VI.
Illegal movement of food
commodities to
Afghanistan and Iran
through subsidized prices, fair regulations, uniform units of measurements, and efficient
distribution of good quality agricultural products. These objectives are set under
Agricultural Produce Markets Ordinance 1978 and Weight and Measures Enforcement
Act 1975. Market committees are formed in all towns and cities which are tasked to
monitor market functions and activities such as pricing, quality, regulations and units of
measurements of all food commodities like cereals, eggs, meat, pulses, vegetables, fruits,
sugar and other processed products (Din, 1998). However, due to ineffective control and
monitoring, none of the objectives of market legislation had been achieved. Food hoarding
is also rampant inall AUs ofPakistanthat sometimes the people have to face the so-called
cosmetic food shortage[3]. Most of the food industries that produce flour and sugar as well
as rice mills are owned or controlled by influential personalities in society. Therefore,
cosmetic food shortages have now become very common in Pakistan initially in Punjab
and Sindh, and consequently affecting also the other AUs. For example, the wheat-flour
crisis in 2008 was created by mill owners because they hoarded the flour for expected
higher returns in the future. Despite the existence of around 400 flour-millshaving surplus
stocks, the common people continue to face flour shortages. Another example is when the
mills announced in 2009 that the price of sugar should be 54 Rupees per kilogram, so the
judiciary interfered and cut the price to 40 Rupees per kilogram. As a result, the mills
hoarded their sugar stocks and created a cosmetic shortage in the market, and in the end
the people had to buy sugar on black marketprices of around 100-120 Rupeesper kilogram
(Hussain, 2010). Even in regulated markets where offices of the market committees are
established, middlemen are controlling the system and buying products at prices lower
than the floor prices[4] and selling the products at prices higher than the ceiling prices[5]
resulting in lower income of producers and decreased purchasing power of consumers.
Market committee offices are supposed to enforce support or subsidized prices, quality,
measurement units and regulations but their role and presence in the markets had been
ineffective when it comes to market operations. Livestock producers are also having
similar concerns as there are no specific markets to sell their milk products and thus, are
still heavily dependent on local village collectors, who seem to exploit the farmers by
offering them lower prices. The same case is also true in local livestock markets where
middlemen locally known as Beoparis control the marketing system of meat locally
known as Bakkar mandis and in the end earn bigger market shares compared to those of
the farmers in all of the AUs. The governmenttherefore needs to review the whole pricing
and marketing systems to secure the people from future price instability and to achieve
food security in a sustainable way rather than achieving only the short-run objectives
(Byerlee et al., 2006).
Higher inflation rate is also one of the factors that contribute to the widening FG and
UPF, and lowering of the FCR in all of the AUs. As a consequence of escalating inflation
rate, the purchasing power of people for food items has significantly decreased
especially in all AUs of Pakistan. Taking into consideration the period 2000-2001 as base
year and examining the purchasing power (PP), it is very clear that this has been
continuously decreasing (Figure 2). The PP for food items is notably lower than the PP
for non-food items, as the PP for food items has gone down to 46 percent in 2008-2009
compared to that of base year 2000-2001. It can also be observed from Figure 2 that there
has been no year that the PP has remained stable but rather continues to diminish every
next year, making many people becoming food-poor or food-deprived who in the base
year 2000-2001 appeared to be marginally food secure. These information came from
Food security
official figures compiled for this study through various secondary sources but the
ground facts are even more adverse because of the interventions of black market prices
that lead to cosmetic shortages and hoarding. In short, the people’s real time PP is
actually much lower than those in the compiled official statistics.
In addition to the abovementioned seemingly controllable factors, there are
uncontrollable concerns that affect food security in the country. These include natural
disasters and calamities that lead to reductions in food production, creating physical
constraints such as damages to roads and bridges, and lowering of purchasing powers.
During the last decade from 2001 to 2010, disasters that occurred in the country
had resulted in lower food production and consumption, and created transitory food
insecurity in affected areas particularly in KPK, AJK, Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan.
Nevertheless, these are beyond the control of the government except the few
human-made disasters such as terrorism and violence. Recent disasters such as
earthquakes and floods had badly destroyed many roads and bridges. In 2005, a deadly
earthquake with magnitude of 7.6 hit KPK and AJK which led to the blockage of access
routes to markets as results of land-slides and related damages. Millions of households
became transitory food insecure due to the loss of their income activities, and damages to
crops and livestock. A devastating flood in 2010 resulted in damages to roads, bridges,
crops and livestock in four AUs such as KPK, Punjab (southern part), Balochistan and
Sindh, and around 7.8 million people became vulnerable to lasting food insecurity (WFP,
2010, p. 18). These physical shocks not only affected physical access of the local people to
food but also affected future food availability and economic access in the long run. For
Figure 2.
Consumers’ purchasing
power Source: Based on Secondary Data (FBS, 2009)
example, the flood in 2010 resulted in decreased rice production by 22 percent (USDA,
2010) leading to decreased food exports and reduced farmers’ incomes which ultimately
affected the national economy. It also rocked the income level of many people due to the
reduction in cotton production by three percent (USDA, 2010) which also led to reduced
purchasing power of food items. This happened not only in crops but also affected
livestock because the average 40 percent loss of livestock had significantly affected
many households (WFP, 2010, pp. 11-12). Terrorism has also become a form of disaster
for Pakistan affecting mostly the common people bringing about particular damages to
crops and inadequacies in income opportunities especially for the people in FATA and
KPK. Violence that comes with the government’s war against terrorism had displaced
about 3.275 million people in 2010 as they had to be evacuated to safer parts
of the country. During such displacement period, the affected people suffered from
transitory food insecurity (Hussain, 2010).
5. Conclusions and policy recommendations
Current debates on food security in Pakistan go on with contradictory statements and
figures. Independent international organizations like the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Maplecroft claimed that Pakistan is
one of the countries which are at the greater risk of food insecurity but government
statistics and statements present comparatively better situations. The findings of this
study however, conclude that Pakistan is still lagging behind especially in achieving the
objectives of its national food policy. Although the country is believed to be producing
less than 40 percent of its actual potential, this is actually true because of the inefficient
utilization of available land and water resources, inadequate supply of inputs and
inefficient formal credit system. Despite producing below its potential, the country is
almost self-sufficient in most of the important food commodities. Even if food production
is adequate but there is a gap between food availability and consumption by the
populace because a considerable part of the food produced is un-accessed due to key
physical, economic and sometimes natural factors. The key physical factors include
post-production losses, illegal movement of food commodities across the borders and
inefficient structure of food procurement and distribution systems. The key economic
factors have brought about prices instability, ineffective marketing system and higher
inflation rates resulting in lower food purchasing power of the people. In addition,
natural disasters have also seriously impacted on food production and level of
consumption in the country pushing a huge portion of the population under transitory
but could become lasting food insecurity if such concerns are not addressed.
Pakistan needs to review its current policies at all levels in order to achieve the
objectives of its national food policy. Notwithstanding the adequate supply of inputs and
existence of formal credit system, the efficient use of natural resources especially land
and water is also urgently needed to optimize the production potentials of important
food commodities. The Government of Punjab has initiated some steps towards
utilization of arable lands by providing these lands to agricultural graduates. Once this
policy of enhancing agricultural production is proved to be successful, it could provide a
good example for other AUs to also undertake. As far as water resources are concerned,
the issue has already been politicized as the proposed construction of big water
reservoirs in Pakistan had been under debate for quite some time without getting any
results. One alternative would be to construct smaller reservoirs in all the AUs.
Food security
Evaluating the performance of institutions is more important than just formulating
policies. Marketing and pricing policies are public-friendly on papers but the actual
unsatisfactory performance of concerned institutions makes such policies ineffective in
controlling price fluctuations and cosmetic shortages, and in promoting uniform levels
of quality and measurements. There is need to properly monitor the whole marketing
system in order to encourage the relevant institutions to be transparent in their
operations and in the end become performance-oriented. In this regard, direct
communication with the public is very important by developing a physical and virtual
(internet) complaints and feedback mechanisms rather than fostering the conventional
top down monitoring system. Likewise, in food procurement and distribution systems,
policy changes are very urgent and necessary. National storage capacity should
be increased to reduce post-production losses while illegal movements of food
commodities through middlemen should be minimized if not completely eliminated.
Evaluation of the performance of food procurement and distribution systems is also
suggested based on a public-developed monitoring system. Particularly, in the case of
illegal movements of food commodities to neighboring countries, an appropriate trade
agreement with corresponding terms and regulations should be established to curb the
unreported food losses from such illegal food movement because it would be quite
difficult to stop or monitor this activity because of the very long stretch of areas that
boarder Pakistan with Afghanistan and Iran.
Macro-economic factors like inflation also cause price instability and lower the
purchasing powers of people for food items especially if the people’s income levels
remain very low. Therefore, the government should establish effective policies for
stabilizing food supply and prices in local markets. High dependence on foreign debts
and imported energy sources also result in more incidences of price shocks in local
markets. Rise in fuel prices in international markets leads to higher production costs
in developing countries subsequently resulting in higher food prices. Some quick steps
can be taken by the government to reduce the effects of global market changes. As in
2007-2008, the re-emerging and persistent inflation on food prices resulted in sharp
inflation from 50 to 100 percent especially in basic staples in South Asian countries
particularly in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. India quickly reacted to such
situation by banning the exportation of main food items like common rice, wheat, and
corn and further suspending future trading of these food commodities to ensure
consistent supply of important food commodities in the local markets at stable and
affordable prices. In Pakistan, such quick steps were not undertaken in cereals
trade, e.g. rice therefore food supply and prices in domestic markets were since then
not stabilized.
As observed in recent past, natural disasters have left severe consequences on food
security in the affected areas of the country. Huge part of the population became
food-poor due to loss of assets, damages to agricultural land and infrastructures, and
limited and reduced income opportunities. The recent flood in 2010 is a good example to
reckon the consequences with. Unfortunately after one year had passed, the government
failed to reconstruct and/or rehabilitate the basic infrastructures like roads and bridges
let alone the other requirements in terms of agricultural support services. Consistent
planning exercise and policy development is therefore necessary to set the currently
affected population in motion and to mitigate the impacts from future disasters.
This study has provided baseline of the key factors that influence food security in
Pakistan but based on the findings and possible policy recommendations, it also opens
the door for possible in-depth research on efficient use of water and land resources,
addressing energy crisis, properly managing post-harvest losses, effective marketing
system and food movements, disaster preparedness, mitigation, and management of
macro-economic issues in order to achieve sustainable food security in the country.
1. Food considered as permissible according to Islamic Sharia/law.
2. An ethnic Indian chew traditionally served during special ceremonies and social functions
which comprises betel leaf, areca nut and slaked lime paste.
3. Artificial shortage of items created and controlled by persons or system despite the food
items being considered as reserves.
4. Government-imposed minimum limit of price to protect producers, which is always greater
than the equilibrium price in markets.
5. Government-imposed maximum limit of price to protect consumers, which is always less
than the equilibrium price in markets.
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About the authors
Abid Hussain is a PhD Candidate in Regional and Rural Development Planning at the School of
Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. He has
three and half years experience of work on a supervised agricultural credit scheme launched with
the objective of achieving food security in Pakistan. Currently he is doing research on
smallholders’ food security. Abid Hussain is the corresponding author and can be contacted at:
Professor Jayant Kumar Routray is Coordinator of Regional and Rural Development Planning
at the School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology,
Thailand. He has vast experience in regional and rural development planning methodology and
techniques, decentralized planning, evaluation and impact of the study of rural development
programs, rural urban relations, food security, climate change, environmental planning and social
impact assessment, market centers and rural development, rural transport development, and
community forestry. He has published several journal articles in well reputed international
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... In mountain areas, natural disasters often disturb the fragile communication system and hinder food transportation and access to food. Food prices are also influenced by oil prices and transport bottlenecks caused by natural disasters or political turmoil (Hussain and Routray 2012). The challenges faced by mountain communities are often not adequately understood, and the perspectives of mountain communities are not fully recognized in national agricultural development policies in the HKH countries (Jodha 2000(Jodha , 2009. ...
... Food availability refers to the physical availability of adequate levels of food in a particular area. Cultural acceptability of food is also an important aspect as different cultures have different food preferences (Jones et al. 2013;Hussain and Routray 2012). Food accessibility refers to the physical and economic access to food. ...
... In Pakistan, the prevalence of food insecurity is significantly higher in the mountain areas when compared to national statistics, with the exception of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Almost two-thirds of the population in Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is food insecure (Table 9.7), mainly due to lack of financial resources to purchase adequate food (FSA 2009;Hussain and Routray 2012). In line with the higher food insecurity, the majority of mountain people face a higher deficiency in most micronutrients. ...
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Key Findings 1. Food and nutrition insecurity remains a serious challenge in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region; more than 30% of the population suffers from food insecurity and around 50% face some form of malnutrition, with women and children suffering the most. The insecurity is more severe in remote mountain areas. Challenges to food security in the mountain areas differ from those in the plains due to inaccessibility, fragility, seasonality, limited economic opportunities, poor market access, and harsh biophysical conditions. 2. The causes of food and nutrition insecurity in the HKH are multifaceted and complex, and influenced by a range of factors including high poverty, natural resource degradation, climate change, low level of market development, uncertain food support, and inadequate policy and institutional support. 3. Traditional mountain food systems are currently under threat from rapid socioeconomic and environmental changes including changing dietary habits, changes towards mono-cropping and commodity crops, loss of water sources, soil degradation, and decline in market value. Mountain agriculture is becoming relatively less competitive and the youth are increasingly abandoning agricultural livelihoods, leading to decreased food production and adversely affecting local food systems strengthening social safety nets, enhancing knowledge and awareness about nutrition, and reducing physical and socioeconomic vulnerability. Efforts are also needed to diversify livelihood options and develop non-farm sectors such as tourism and handicrafts to enhance household food purchasing power. Attention also needs to be given to increasing the productivity of traditional crops and local breeds of livestock, and to the development of non-timber forest products (NTFPs), medicinal and aromatic plants, mountain niche cash crops, and organic agriculture. 3. Increased investment in the management of natural resources, including soil, water, and energy, is critical to increase agricultural production, diversify local food systems, and improve nutrition. Major investments are needed in soil and water management to revitalize springs, ponds, and other water bodies and to develop irrigation facilities and improve the domestic water supply in an environmentally responsible manner in hill and mountain areas.
... Eighth, not selling haram goods In Islam, not all goods or food are allowed to be consumed and sold (Adams, 2011). According to the majority of Muslim jurists selling anything that comes from pork is haram, be it meat, fat, etc. that comes from pork and then mix it into food (Fadzlillah et al., 2011) (Hussain & Routray, 2012). For this reason, the food sold is halal food (Alserhan, 2016). ...
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This study aims to explore more deeply the strategies for obtaining raw materials, diversification, and marketing of local food products of Rejang Lebong and the ethics according to Islamic economics. This qualitative descriptive study used data collection techniques in the form of observation, interviews, and documentation. Meanwhile, the data processing and analysis techniques used were descriptive and analytic. The results showed that the strategy for obtaining raw materials for local food production was by selecting quality raw materials. Diversification of local food products of several forms, namely Jantan Cookies, Vegetable Chips, and Krispi Petai. Marketing of local food products of Rejang Lebong is carried out by consignment, Direct Selling, Open Reseller, Online Shopping Applications such as, Shopee, Bukalapak, Tokopedia, social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Website, Whatsapp, and Television. Meanwhile, ethics in the development of local food products of Rejang Lebong according to the Islamic economic perspective, namely being honest, accepting criticism and suggestions from consumers, beneficial for others, affordable prices, not vilifying other people's businesses, not hoarding goods, not monopolizing, not selling haram goods, free from the element of Riba, and without coercion.
... Currently, most hilly and mountainous areas in the region depend heavily on the plains areas to meet their local food demand. In Pakistan, an estimated 30-60% of food demand in mountain areas is met by food items supplied from the plains (Hussain and Routray, 2012). ...
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This report presents analysis, findings and recommendations on the use of decentralised solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions for selected food value chains in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. It is a joint publication resulting from the strategic partnership between the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). SELCO Foundation, building on its extensive experience in solar energy-powered agricultural solutions and under the guidance of IRENA and ICIMOD, carried out the required analysis of suitable solar PV solutions for the selected value chains in the local contexts. The communities inhabiting the mountainous areas of the HKH region rely mainly on agriculture and farming for their food security and livelihoods. Tackling poverty in mountain areas – where poverty rates are usually higher than in the plains – will require greater attention to raising the incomes of these communities. There is also an urgent need to strengthen the resilience of smallholder livelihoods, which face increasingly severe impacts from climate change. Access to reliable and affordable energy is a key infrastructure input to improve agricultural productivity, reduce losses and capture value creation opportunities through processing and enhanced market access. Proven methods have been used to improve processes within the food value chain, where the provision of electricity to operate efficient equipment increases productivity, leading to income generation. The present study was carried out to assess the viability of solar PV solutions to meet energy needs at different nodal points in four selected food value chains of economic importance across the high-altitude areas of the HKH region – namely, buckwheat, yak milk, potato and other vegetables. Despite the prevalence of mini and micro hydropower in the region, many of these units are unable to fully meet the electricity requirements of the selected value chains. This is because, in many cases, trends such as the recent increase in power demand due to population growth and productive uses were not fully considered at the time of development of hydropower projects. Also, in some cases, the food value chains are located far from the hydropower sites, and the expansion of distribution lines is not a viable option. As a consequence, a considerable amount of electric power demand is not met by existing hydropower projects. Additionally, the seasonal variability in the water flow and subsequent drop in hydropower production strengthens the case for diversifying energy sources to meet growing demand. The aim of the study was to assess and identify viable decentralised solar PV solutions to power key food value chains that are common across all eight countries of the HKH region. Survey-driven data from Bhutan and Nepal,1 and analysis based on these data, reflect the ongoing practices and the nodal energy entry points that could drive key processes within these value chains. The solar PV-based solutions suggested here have been designed based on proof-of-concept, deployed systems for similar farming processes.
... The effects of longstanding underinvestment in food security, agriculture, and rural development have recently been further exacerbated by food, financial and economic crises, among other factors" . Meanwhile, food security assessments in Pakistan point towards the deterioration of the situation as compared to 2003, and 61% of the districts are not food secure (Hussain & Routray, 2012). ...
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The situation of food security in Pakistan has always been an issue. One set of opinion-makers keeps thanking God for bestowing this country on them, highlights all the resources and potentials of this nation, problems notwithstanding, and is hopeful that this country will emerge as a strong and prosperous nation of the world-Insha Allah (if Allah likes). These people are generally the spokespersons of governments, military, civilian bureaucracy, traders, landlords, clergy, and overall literate and well-off people. Quite contrary to this, a tiny group of intellectuals and knowledgeable individuals considers it a failed state; it faces serious threats to its existence and has already become a soar point on the globe. Unfortunately, the latter view is agreed to and shared by the international community of opinion makers. Under these two streams, on the one side, Pakistan is a nuclear power, has a strong army, a very dynamic stock of human beings, rivers (water), fertile lands, enviable biodiversity, along the coast, and so on; on the other, its economy is in shambles; the country is heavily indebted and spends about half of its budget on debt servicing; is trapped into nagging crises of inflation, terrorism, emergencies, and corruption; and presently is acutely short of electricity, fuel, infrastructure, and developmental activity. Food availability, which it had been managing to some extent, is emerging as a new crisis. Roughly, a decade ago, shortages of single food items following the respective price hikes started; at different times different items were hit.
... Pakistan is almost food self-sufficient country if only 30% of its potential is utilized, 35% of all available food is un-accessed. Despite of the potential the food gap still exist because there is inefficient food procurement as well as distribution system, low purchasing power of the people, poor marketing, illegal food movements and natural disasters (Hussain and Routray, 2012). Ensuring the food security in Pakistan requires an understanding of the food security dimensions to explore the future challenges and achievement for a brilliant food security profile. ...
... In 2010, massive floods caused by the monsoon rains caused 2000 casualties, affected 20 million people, caused food shortage for 7.8 million people, and resulted in damages worth USD 16 billion [21]. The healthcare facilities of the country also suffered as 436 settings providing health-related facilities were lost in the disaster [61]. The underlying cause of floods in Pakistan is heavy rainfall every year during the monsoon season (July-August). ...
Floods are one of the most fatal and devastating disasters, instigating an immense loss of human lives and damage to property, infrastructure, and agricultural lands. To cater to this, there is a need to develop and implement real-time flood management systems that could instantly detect flooded regions to initiate relief activities as early as possible. Current imaging systems, relying on satellites, have demonstrated low accuracy and delayed response, making them unreliable and impractical to be used in emergency responses to natural disasters such as flooding. This research employs Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to develop an automated imaging system that can identify inundated areas from aerial images. The Haar cascade classifier was explored in the case study to detect landmarks such as roads and buildings from the aerial images captured by UAVs and identify flooded areas. The extracted landmarks are added to the training dataset that is used to train a deep learning algorithm. Experimental results show that buildings and roads can be detected from the images with 91% and 94% accuracy, respectively. The overall accuracy of 91% is recorded in classifying flooded and non-flooded regions from the input case study images. The system has shown promising results on test images belonging to both pre-and post-flood classes. The flood relief and rescue workers can quickly locate flooded regions and rescue stranded people using this system. Such real-time flood inundation systems will help transform the disaster management systems in line with modern smart cities initiatives.
... Climate change and deteriorating agro-ecological environment turn up to be the most significant contributing factors toward food and nutrition insecurity in the region (Rasul et al., 2018). For example, almost two-thirds of Baluchistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan are extremely food insecure by dint of limited income to purchase sufficient food by the local population (Hussain and Routray, 2012). Myriad challenges worsening food security and nutrition in the HKH region encompass debilitated health care systems, unavailability of clean drinking water, insufficient sanitation, unsafe food, limited knowledge of nutrition at household level, and inability to empower women (Rasul et al., 2019). ...
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Climate change and variability affect virtually everyone and every region of the world but the effects are nowhere more prominent than in mountain regions and people living therein. The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is a vast expanse encompassing 18% of the world’s mountainous area. Sprawling over 4.3 million km2, the HKH region occupies areas of eight countries namely Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, and Pakistan. The HKH region is warming at a rate higher than the global average and precipitation has also increased significantly over the last 6 decades along with increased frequency and intensity of some extreme events. Changes in temperature and precipitation have affected and will like to affect the climate-dependent sectors such as hydrology, agriculture, biodiversity, and human health. This paper aims to document how climate change has impacted and will impact, health and well-being of the people in the HKH region and offers adaptation and mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of climate change on health and well-being of the people. In the HKH region, climate change boosts infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), malnutrition, and injuries. Hence, climate change adaptation and mitigation measures are needed urgently to safeguard vulnerable populations residing in the HKH region.
... Agriculture is an important sector of Pakistan economy [13]. Proper food is not available to about 800 million people [14]. During 1970-1971 in USA, there is southern corn leaf epidemic occurred, and 1943, there is great Bengal famine occurred in USA [15]. ...
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To accommodate the estimated demand of the worldwide people by 2050, global food production must raise by 50%. Meeting this daunting challenge would be made much more challenging if climate change causes the damages in Agricultural Crop Production (ACP) which result in threats to Global Food Security (GFS). Over last 40 years, disease and pest management has helped to double agricultural production, but diseases still demand 10-16 percent of the world output. We look at how climate change affects the many dynamic interaction mechanisms that cause pest and pathogen effects, as well as how these associations can be controlled to minimize these impacts. Integrated Disease Management (IDM), as well as international coordination in their execution, are deemed necessary. In this Review, we have reviewed the plant pathogens, climate change and their impacts on GFS, along with the key disease management strategies.
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This study investigates the situation of households’ food security in Pakistan. Food security is a comprehensive concept surrounding the nature, security of the food supply, quality, food access problems, and proper food utilization. The world has been facing the contradiction of widespread food insecurity and undernutrition. Present studies indicated that Pakistan country is a low-income developing country with an income per capita. Pakistan is one of the lowest in the world, but it, in general, has the economic capability to import the required food. However, in Pakistan, most areas are still food insecure, mostly belonging to Sindh and Baluchistan provinces. This study observes the main features of determining Pakistan food security, particularly household income, household economic evaluation, employment status, household expenditure, section, region, head age, head gender, agriculture status, livestock status, etc. Are studied indicators to measure the household food security status, whether it has food secure or insecure? And want to look at what conclusions can practically be drawn out of analysis when conducted within a conceptual framework. In this study average daily kilocalories per capita consumed index is used to measure the household’s food security level. Ordinal logistic regression and multiple linear regression models are used for analysis. For ordinal logistic regression model divided the Pakistan households into four categories based on the food security index that is daily kilocalories per capita. The research of this study shows that the primarily peoples living in Baluchistan, Sindh lies in food insecurity. Some households of KPK province lie in the food insecurity category. For conducting this study (PSLM), 2018-2019 survey data is used for analysis. Classical ordinal logistic and multiple linear regression models and machine learning, which includes ordinal logistic regression and multiple linear regression models, are used to analyze household food security in Pakistan. The model is finalized for best prediction based on the minimum Standard Error of the coefficient. KEYWORDS: Food Security, Ordinal Logistic, Machine Learning, Supervised Machine Learning
Pakistan is an agricultural country and livestock plays a pivotal role, with the demand for protein being met primarily by livestock production. Livestock contributes more than 60% to agriculture and 11.22% to the country’s GDP. It is estimated that over 35 million people engage in livestock-related activities. Meat production has increased during the past decades, especially poultry. Climate change is severely affecting animal productivity in resource-poor countries like Pakistan directly by heat stress and indirectly by changes in the ecosystem. Pakistan has the world’s largest integrated irrigation system; however, water scarcity has pushed farmers to shift cultivation from water-intensive crops like rice, wheat, cotton, and sugarcane to other crops and vegetables, which require less water, thus making increased pressure on the food market. The country still suffers a deficiency in Crude Protein and Total Digestible Nutrients (TDN) for large and small ruminants in their diet. A detailed understanding is warranted to anticipate the future impacts of climate change on the productivity of ruminants. There is a drastic effect on the performance of water buffaloes/cattle and their calves in terms of growth and production, while a higher Temperature Humidity Index (THI) has the most adverse effects on exotic cattle. The performance of small ruminants (a primary source of animal protein) is also adversely affected by a rise in temperature, becoming more severe with increasing atmospheric humidity along with high temperatures. Moreover, because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the importance of climate change and the value of food security are expected to increase even more. Mitigation measures are suggested to address productivity losses in the livestock food supply, as the population grows.
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This paper presents an analysis of smallholders' access to rural credit and the cost of borrowing using survey data from Pakistan. Rural credit in Pakistan comes from formal and various informal sources. The tenure status, family labor, literacy status, off-farm income, value of non-fixed assets and infrastructure quality are found to be the most important variables in determining access to formal credit. On the other hand, the total operated area, family labor, literacy status and off-farm income are found to be the most important factors in determining the credit status of the smallholders from informal sources. The results show that the cost of borrowing from formal sources falls as the size of holding increases. The analysis confirms the importance of informal credit, especially to the smallest of the smallholders and tenant cultivators.
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A variety of agricultural and non-agricultural commodities is traded illegally at Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders. During 1997-98, the trade balance was found in favour of Pakistan at Pak-Afghan borders, whereas, it was in favour of Iran at Pak-Iran borders. Substantial monetary loss is suffered by the Government of Pakistan in terms of public revenues which could be collected in the form of duties and taxes, provided these commodities were legally exchanged at these borders. A huge amount was also involved in bribery which may be re-directed towards cheap availability of the commodities involved at consumer level. Some appropriate measures were also suggested to curb such illegal trade in future.
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China’s role in the global grain market is expected to expand with increasing demand for food and feed, both within and outside the country. Unforeseen crop failures caused by natural hazards might also be instrumental. This paper uses agricultural production (rice, wheat, maize, tubers, soybeans, and other grains) and natural disaster data (floods and droughts) for 31 provinces in China for the period 1995–2008 to examine the self-sufficiency of China’s domestic harvests. It aims to answer three questions: (1) Is the size of China’s current grain stock adequate as a buffer against seasonal crop failures of the same magnitude as in the past? (2) On a single province basis, does a diversity of grain crops reduce the risk of production shocks due to natural hazards? (3) Which regions are less likely to be affected by natural hazards and should therefore be set aside as agricultural land in order to meet future food self-sufficiency targets? The results show that if the worst crop failures of all provinces between 1995 and 2008 were to happen in the same year, a “theoretical worst-case scenario”, China’s cereal harvest might drop by 140 million tonnes. Therefore, their current grain stock of 120–200 million tonnes is sufficient to buffer China’s cereal supplies against 1year of production problems. Provinces with a high degree of grain crop diversity over the 13-year period were less affected by floods and more affected by droughts. Food self-sufficiency was the highest in moderately diverse provinces. Key agricultural regions relatively less affected by natural hazards included parts of the North China Plain. In addition, China began to increasingly depend on three provinces in the drought-prone north-east region for attaining grain self-sufficiency. Policies need to enable farms of all sizes to adapt to change and to contribute to food self-sufficiency. KeywordsDrought–Flood–Grain crops–Land use–Grain reserve–Natural disaster
This study discusses the issue of food security in Pakistan. There are three objectives of the study, first to assess the food availability and accessibility situation in Pakistan and second objective is to analyze the policy issue related to food security at national and regional levels. Third objective is to suggest possible recommendations to achieve food security in the country. Two pillars of food security (availability and accessibility) are assessed and analyzed in this study. For assessing food availability, all those food items (crops and livestock products) are considered which, are part of common peoples‘ food basket in Pakistan rather than considering only principal food items. To neutralize the effect of production fluctuations, the average production of at least five years was estimated to use for analyses in case of all food commodities. Then net domestic food production was estimated by deducting non-food part/wastage from gross production for all food commodities from plants and livestock sources. On the basis of the net domestic production, food availability at national and provincial levels has been assessed. Effects of trade and illegal food movements have also been assessed. Generally food accessibility is studied in the context of macro economic indicators of the countries. In this study food accessibility is assessed in two ways (1) actual food access and (2) potential food access based on household economic indicators food consumption, food expenditures and take-home income accompanied by facilitating factors such as roads. Administrative units of Pakistan have also been ranked on the basis of food availability, potential food accessibility and overall food security situation. Policy issues at national and regional levels are also analyzed. The effect of current situation of these issues on food security has been assessed and future prospects & challenges are discussed. Analysis has revealed that Pakistan has sufficient food production to meet the requirements of the population but due to wastage and illegal movement of food commodities, the net availability of food is decreased. Food accessibility is also low in Pakistan because of decreased purchasing power. Poor management of natural resources, constraints in credit facilities, unstable supply of inputs and ineffective social safety nets are the main cause of food insecurity in Pakistan. At regional level trade liberalization, AOA and TRIPS are threatening issues for local markets and growers in the country. Strong regional trade blocks and ant-dumping measures are effective measures to combat global challenges of competitive markets and price differentials. Key recommendations related to food availability, accessibility and policy issues have been suggested on the basis of conclusions of this research. These recommendations suggest the possible solutions to sustain food availability and accessibility through facilitating mechanisms by government and favorable regional situation.
South Asia is home to the largest concentration of poor and undernourished people in the world, so food security—especially in basic staples such as wheat, rice, and corn—continues to be a major concern. With both persistent and re-emerging food price inflation reaching new heights in 2007–08 in global markets, South Asia saw sharp inflation—between 50 and 100 percent—in basic staples in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. These drastic price spikes drew comprehensive policy responses from the governments of these countries, addressing both supply and demand for foodgrains. India, the largest economy in the region, reacted by banning exports of common rice, wheat, and corn, as well as suspending these commodities from futures trading, to ensure comfortable supplies in the domestic market at affordable prices. India also launched a National Food Security Mission in 2007 and announced a special agricultural package (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana) of roughly US$6 billion to rejuvenate its agriculture. Today, South Asian countries want a greater degree of self-sufficiency; reliance on trade to achieve food security is being questioned by critics. Against this backdrop, this book studies the nature of reforms in foodgrains markets, both within-border and at-border reforms, their evolution, and their effects on food economy in general and food security in particular. Through country case studies the book provides analyses and research-based evidence on decades of food policies in South Asia.
The challenges of reducing global hunger and poverty are different today than they were 30years ago. Current challenges include price volatility associated with increased integration of food, energy, and finance markets; the steady progression of climate change; poorly defined land institutions; and a failure to break vicious cycles of malnutrition and infectious disease. Farmland speculation is occurring globally—often at odds with rural poverty alleviation—and food insecurity remains a pressing issue with the estimated number of chronically malnourished people hovering around one billion. Given these patterns, food and agriculture are becoming increasingly ingrained in international security and policy discussions. This paper explores several ways in which the traditional field of agricultural development needs to expand to address the broader issues of international security and human welfare. It focuses on five key interrelated issues: the macroeconomic and energy contexts of agricultural development; climate change; deforestation, land access, and land markets; farming systems and technology for the ultra-poor; and food-health linkages with a specific focus on infectious disease. Recommendations for investments in capacity building, revised curricula, and development projects are made on the basis of evidence presented for each issue. It is clear that academic programs, government agencies, development and aid organizations, and foundations need to dismantle the walls between disciplinary and programmatic fields, and to find new, innovative ways to reach real-world solutions. KeywordsPrice volatility–Climate change–Land grabs–Farming systems–Infectious diseases–Capacity building
Governments in most Asian countries used grain price stabilization as a major policy instrument when they embarked on promoting the Green Revolution. The art of public policy-making is to know when to introduce government interventions and when to withdraw. The common mistake is to forget the withdrawal part, leading to unsustainably high costs – a dilemma that most Asian countries are confronted with today. Analyzing case studies of six Asian countries, which have tried to tackle the task in different ways with varying degrees of success, eight key lessons can be learned from the more than three decades of food price stabilization in Asia.Times have changed: policies and public agencies that may have been appropriate 30 years ago are not optimal today. Private institutions have strengthened significantly – or could be strengthened significantly – and should be entrusted for many of the functions that parastatals, or other government agencies, have traditionally performed. Holding on to old practices delays reaping the benefits that changing current policies have to offer.