THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Wheat Self-sufficiency in Different Policy Scenarios and Their Likely Impacts on Producers, Consumers, and the Public Exchequer
Every government faces a challenge to select an optimum policy to provide food supplies to the consumers at a reasonable price and maintain a reasonable nutritional standard. The alternative policy options available are an uninterrupted market, imports, input subsidies, price support, combined policy developed by the combination of input subsidy and price support, and investment on research and infrastructure development. This paper analyses the impact of these options on consumers’ and producers’ welfare, tax revenue, and foreign exchange requirement. The import and input subsidy give net return to the society while price support generates net loss. The triple combined policy option generates the highest net return to the society when each import and input subsidy component is combined with price support in the ratio of 40 and 20 percent, respectively. The best policies to provide higher wheat supplies at lower prices and to improve the welfare of consumers and producers were investment on agricultural research and development of irrigation infrastructure in the long run, but for the short run, the first and the second best option were respectively the combined and the input subsidy policy.