Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



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

Pakistan is a low income developing country. Agriculture is the most important sector of the country meeting food and fibre requirements of the fast growing population. Although the rate of population increase has considerably slowed down from over 3 percent in 1980s to 2.09 percent in 2009-10, it is still considered high.1 With the current rate of population growth, the population is expected to get doubled by 2050—making Pakistan 4th largest nation by 2050 from current status of 6th most populous state of the world [Pakistan (2010)]. The total cultivated area has increased by just 40 percent during past 60 years, while there has been more than 4 times increase in population with urban expansion of over seven-fold—resulting into mega-cities2 as well as rising population pressure on cultivated land. Wheat production, a major food crop, has increased five-fold during the same period—yet the country is marginal importer of wheat. Tremendous efforts are needed both advances in technology and population control to narrow the food supply-demand gap.

Umar Farooq, Munir Ahmad