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The State of Food Security in Pakistan: Future Challenges and Coping Strategies

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Author Info

  • Munir Ahmad

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)

  • Umar Farooq

    (Chief Scientific Officer, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad)

Abstract

Pakistan is a low-income developing country and agriculture is its most important sector due to its primary commitment of providing healthy food to her fast-growing population. The total cultivated area has increased by just 40 percent during the past 60 years, while there has been more than a four-times increase in population and a seven-fold urban expansion resulting in mega cities as well as a rising population pressure on cultivated land. Although the production of wheat, which is a major food crop, has increased five-fold during the same period, yet the country is a marginal importer of wheat. Reducing poverty, hunger, and food insecurity are essential parts of the Millennium Development Goals. The paper refers these and highlights the implications of the government’s current food security policies—on the one hand, the government’s wheat-centred food policy is heavily costing the national exchequer, and on the other, urban consumers are subsidised at the expense of farmers, which wheat millers are absorbing almost all the subsidy provided by the government to implement the wheat policy. Much effort is needed to narrow the gap between population growth and domestic food production. Managing food security in Pakistan requires an understanding of how agricultural policies affect food supply and income, and the poor and the vulnerable in the rural and urban areas, and how this burden is transferred to the other sectors. The main focus of this paper is to find the pathways to achieve food and nutritional security for a growing population in Pakistan.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 903–923

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:49:y:2010:i:4:p:903-923

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Related research

Keywords: Food Security; Nutritional Security; Food Availability; Food Policies; Social Safety Nets; Sources of Growth in Agriculture; Pakistan;

References

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  1. Smith, L. & Elobeid, Amani & Jensen, Helen H., 2000. "Geography and Causes of Food Insecurity in Developing Countries (The)," Staff General Research Papers 5013, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Munir Ahmad, 2003. "Agricultural Productivity, Efficiency, and Rural Poverty in Irrigated Pakistan: A Stochastic Production FrontiermAnalysis," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 219-248.
  3. Herrmann, Michael, 2006. "Agricultural Support Measures of Advanced Countries and Food Insecurity in Developing Countries," Working Paper Series RP2006/141, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Timmer, C. Peter, 2000. "The macro dimensions of food security: economic growth, equitable distribution, and food price stability," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 283-295, June.
  5. Alberto Zezza & Gero Carletto & Benjamin Davis & Kostas Stamoulis & Paul Winters, 2007. "Rural Income Generating Activities: Whatever Happened to the Institutional Vacuum? Evidence from Ghana, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Vietnam," Working Papers 07-24, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  6. Smith, Lisa C. & El Obeid, Amani E. & Jensen, Helen H., 2000. "The geography and causes of food insecurity in developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 199-215, March.
  7. M. Falkenmark & J. Rockström & L. Karlberg, 2009. "Present and future water requirements for feeding humanity," The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 59-69, February.
  8. Surabhi Mittal & Deepti Sethi, 2009. "Food Security in South Asia : Issues and Opportunities," Development Economics Working Papers 22917, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  9. Staatz, John M. & Boughton, Duncan & Donovan, Cynthia, 2009. "Food Security in Developing Countries," Staff Papers 49227, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  10. Smith, Lisa C. & Obeid, Amani E. El & Jensen, Helen H., 2000. "The geography and causes of food insecurity in developing countries," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 22(2), March.
  11. Benson, Todd, 2004. "Africa's food and nutrition security situation: where are we and how did we get here?," 2020 vision discussion papers 37, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Cited by:
  1. Muhammad, Kabeer & Asghar, Zahid, 2012. "Multi-facet approach for food security in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 42891, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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