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Status and factors of food security in Pakistan

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  • Abid Hussain
  • Jayant Kumar Routray
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    Abstract

    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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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Development Issues.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 164-185

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijdipp:v:11:y:2012:i:2:p:164-185

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    Related research

    Keywords: Economic factors; Food availability; Food consumption; Food deficit; Food gap; Food industry; Food security; Pakistan; Physical factors; Self-sufficiency; Un-accessed portion of food;

    References

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    1. Derek Headey & Shenggen Fan, 2008. "Anatomy of a crisis: the causes and consequences of surging food prices," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 375-391, November.
    2. Byerlee, Derek & Jayne, T.S. & Myers, Robert J., 2006. "Managing food price risks and instability in a liberalizing market environment: Overview and policy options," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 275-287, August.
    3. Surabhi Mittal & Deepti Sethi, 2009. "Food Security in South Asia : Issues and Opportunities," Development Economics Working Papers 22917, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. Cummings, Ralph Jr. & Rashid, Shahidur & Gulati, Ashok, 2006. "Grain price stabilization experiences in Asia: What have we learned?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 302-312, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mohsin, Asma & Zaman, Khalid, 2012. "Distributional effects of rising food prices in Pakistan: Evidence from HIES 2001–02 and 2005–06 survey," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1986-1995.

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