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Food Security in Asia and the Pacific: The Rapidly Changing Role of Rice


  • Peter Timmer


Food security in Asia and the Pacific presents a frustrating paradox. At one level, huge progress has been made in the past half century in bringing most of the population out of poverty and hunger. Measured by the key determinants of food security—improved availability, access, utilisation and stability—food security has never been at higher levels. Large pockets of food-insecure populations remain in the region, especially in South Asia, and continued efforts to reach these households are necessary. At the same time, food security strategies in Asia are mostly in disarray. Most countries are protecting their rice farmers and providing high price supports, but high rice prices hurt the vast majority of the poor. Continued efforts to stabilise rice prices are understandable politically and desirable economically, but much more open trade regimes for rice will help food security throughout the region.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Timmer, 2014. "Food Security in Asia and the Pacific: The Rapidly Changing Role of Rice," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies 201406, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:appswp:201406

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    Cited by:

    1. Nguyen, Huy, 2014. "Crop diversification, economic performance and household’s behaviours Evidence from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 59090, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Pieters, Hannah & Swinnen, Johan, 2016. "Trading-off volatility and distortions? Food policy during price spikes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 27-39.

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    food security; role of rice; Asia and the Pacific; price stablisation; behavioural political economy;

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