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Status and factors of food security in Pakistan


  • Abid Hussain
  • Jayant Kumar Routray


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Abid Hussain & Jayant Kumar Routray, 2012. "Status and factors of food security in Pakistan," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 11(2), pages 164-185, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijdipp:v:11:y:2012:i:2:p:164-185

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Surabhi Mittal & Deepti Sethi, 2009. "Food Security in South Asia: Issues and Opportunities," Working Papers id:2205, eSocialSciences.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1419-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Abdul Saboor & Maria Manzoor & Atta Khan, 2016. "Time use poverty and gender inequality: empirical evidences from Punjab," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 421-438, January.
    3. Atta Khan & Abdul Saboor & Abid Hussain & Shumaila Sadiq & Abdul Mohsin, 2014. "Investigating Multidimensional Poverty across the Regions in the Sindh Province of Pakistan," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 515-532, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Abid Hussain & Golam Rasul & Bidhubhusan Mahapatra & Sabarnee Tuladhar, 2016. "Household food security in the face of climate change in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan region," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(5), pages 921-937, October.
    6. Saboor, Abdul & Khan, Atta Ullah & Hussain, Abid & Ali, Ikram & Mahmood, Khalid, 2015. "Multidimensional deprivations in Pakistan: Regional variations and temporal shifts," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 57-67.
    7. Abdul Saboor & Maria Manzoor & Atta Ullah Khan, 2016. "Time use poverty and gender inequality: empirical evidences from Punjab," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 421-438, January.
    8. Kirby, Mac & Ahmad, Mobin-ud-Din & Mainuddin, Mohammed & Khaliq, Tasneem & Cheema, M.J.M., 2017. "Agricultural production, water use and food availability in Pakistan: Historical trends, and projections to 2050," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 34-46.


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