The Determinants of Rural Household Food Security in the Punjab, Pakistan: An Econometric Analysis
Pakistan is one of the leading producers of important agricultural commodities in the world with a relatively high proportion of undernourished population (26 %). This study aims to examine the food security trends in Pakistan in general, and to find out the household level food security and its key determinants in the rural areas of the Punjab Province in particular. Both secondary and primary data were used. Secondary data were obtained from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank and Government of Pakistan’s data sources. Primary data were collected from 1152 households in 12 districts of the Punjab province using questionnaire survey. The analysis was done in two phases i.e. (Phase-A) identification of food security trends, at national level and (Phase-B) household food security and its determinants. For Phase-A, graphical representations are produced and for Phase-B primary data were analyzed in two further stages. In stage one the food security status of households was calculated using the calorie intake method. The second stage focused on identifying the socio-economic factors affecting food security using the logistic regression. The secondary data revealed that Pakistan is a food sufficient as well as food secure country at the national level. But at the household level 23 percent of the sample households were measured to be food insecure. Econometric analysis revealed that monthly income, livestock assets, joint family system and education levels (middle, intermediate and graduation) were positively impacting the rural household food security. On the other hand, greater household heads’ age and family size had negative impacts on household food security. It is suggested that income generating opportunities needs to be created along with improvements in secondary and technical education systems, and family planning programs to alleviate food insecurity in the study region.
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