Poverty Alleviation and Food Security in Asia: Lessons and Challenges

Table of Contents

RAP Publication 1999/1

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
December 1998

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory or any area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not imply any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO.


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© FAO 1999

Table of Contents




Addressing long-run food insecurity: Growth and poverty

Addressing long-run food insecurity: Agricultural growth, demand response and Rural development

Production and supply response
Consumption and demand response
Off-farm response and rural development

Addressing short-run food insecurity: Poverty traps and safety nets

Some principles of poverty targeting
Food-linked income transfers
Employment-linked income transfers

Recurring and emerging issues: Implications for poverty alleviation and food security

Financial crisis, structural adjustment, and transition-related food insecurity
Globalization, inequality and poverty
Population pressure and demographic transition
Rapid urbanization and the "urbanizing" face of food insecurity
Resource base degradation and water scarcity
Modern science and R&D priorities for rural development
Governance, policy reform and sustainability of reform

Implications for Regional Collaboration


Annex 1: Food Security in South Asia

Factors influencing food security in South Asia
Progress in ensuring food security

Availability of foodgrains
Access to food
Nutritional dimension

Public policies towards food security

Macro policy interventions
Population growth
Agricultural growth
Poverty alleviation programmes
Public distribution of foodgrains

Lessons from the South Asian experience
Scope for regional collaboration

Early warning systems
Conservation and proper utilization of natural resources
Collaborative activities and mutual learning in agricultural research
Sharing experiences in rural development
Dovetailing price policies and liberalizing border trade
Establishing a common buffer stock
Taking a common stand

Annex 2: Food Security in Southeast Asia - Achievements and the Unfinished Tasks

Economic and social environment

Growth performance

Status of food security

Food availability
Sources of food supplies
Access to food
Quality dimension

Policies and strategies

Macro policy reforms
Agricultural and rural development policies
Strategies for agricultural development
Rural development
Public interventions for poverty alleviation

Strengths and weaknesses

Macro policies
Agricultural development
Public programmes for poverty alleviation

Appendix - Methodology for analyzing trends in output instability and its components

Annex 3: Agricultural Policy and Food Security in China

Food security and the performance of the agricultural sector

Food security: an overview
Summary of China's approaches to improved food security
Other issues
Changing role of agriculture in the economy
Agricultural production growth

Agricultural development strategy, policies and food security

Government targets for agriculture in 2000 and 2010
Public investment policies
Fiscal and financial policies
Food price and marketing policies before 1998
Ongoing grain market and reserve reform
Input price and marketing policies
Technology development policies
Land tenure policy
Foreign exchange and agricultural trade policies
Anti-poverty policy
Rural enterprise development policy

China's food economy prospects

Issues and debates
Food requirements: baseline projection results
Availability of grain supply: results of baseline projections
Alternative scenarios

Issues and challenges

Resource constraints
Technical constraints
Food and agriculture policies

Concluding Remarks