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Food Insecurity in Asia & the
Pacific : Status, Challenges and
Key Actions
Hiroyuki Konuma
Assistant Director-General & Regional Representative
FAO-Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
International Conference on "Eliminating Hunger and Poverty:
Priorities in Global Agricultural Research and Development
Agenda in an Era of Climate Change and Rising Food Prices“
7-9 August 2010, Chennai, India
Content
 Global and the Asia-Pacific
regional portrait of food security
 Soaring food prices and food
insecurity
 Conclusions
Global and regional portrait of
food security
Over 1 billion undernourished in
2009
150 million because of two crises
Proportion of undernourished in total population
40
35
Percentage
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Asia and the
Pacific
Latin America and
the Caribbean
1990-92
Near East and
North Africa
2004-06
Sub-Saharan
Africa
Poverty and Hunger in the Asia-Pacific
Region – State of Progress
 From 1970s to early 1990s the number of
hungry was declining gradually as a result of
the adoption of Green Revolution
technologies and facilitative investments
 In 1990-92, the number of undernourished in
the region was 585.7 million which declined
by10 percent to 528.5 million in 1995-97.
 However, the declining trend reversed the
following years: between1995-97 – 2004-06
the number increased by nearly 38 million or
7 percent.
 Overall, in 14 years between 1990-2 to 200406, the overall decline in the number of
hungry was 3 percent.
 The goals of halving the number of hungry by
2015 is unlikely to met.
Number of Undernourished
in Asia and the Pacific
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
1990-92 1990-92 1995-97 2000-02 2004-06
Number (million)
Proportion of Undernourished
in Asia and the Pacific
25
20
15
10
5
0
1990-92 1990-92 1995-97 2000-02 2004-06
Proportion
86 percent of undernourished in AsiaPacific live in just five countries 2004-06
Number of people undernourished in Asia-Pacific 2004-06
DPR Korea, 1%
Others, 4%
Myanm ar, 1%
Thailand, 2%
Vietnam , 2%
Philippines, 2%
Pakistan, 6%
India, 44%
Indonesia, 6%
Bangladesh, 7%
China, 23%
The twin crises and food security
 Recent economic turmoil – fuel, food and
financial crises - has left millions more
undernourished.
 In the wake of the food crisis, the number
of hungry increased from 873 million in
2004-06 to 915 million worldwide.
According to FAO projections, this further
increased to 1.02 billion after the
economic crisis beginning in mid-2008.
 In the region, compared to 2004-06, the
number of hungry is projected to have
increased by 76 million.
Soaring food prices
and food insecurity
Food price changes 2005-2010
Food price volatility 2005-2010 (monthly data)
2008
200
2010
2007
2009
150
2006
2005
100
December
November
October
August
September
Source: http://w w w .fao.org/w orldfoodsituation
July
June
May
April
March
February
50
January
FAO Food Price Index (2002-2004=100)
250
Domestic market prices in
selected Asian countries
Source: FAO Food prospects and crop situation, Feb 2010
Domestic market prices in
selected Asian countries
Source: FAO Food prospects and crop situation, Feb 2010
Domestic market prices in
selected Asian countries
Domestic market prices in
selected Asian countries
Real Commodity Prices 2007-08 Relative to
1997-2006 and Projection for 2010-2019
Source: OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019
Food Security in Asia & the
Pacific
“ Food security exists when all people, at
all times, have physical and economic
access to sufficient safe and nutritious
food to meet their dietary needs and
food preferences for a healthy and
active life”
-The World Food
Summit, 1996
 Four dimensions: availability, access,
utilization and stability
 Household food security is the
application of this concept to the family
level, with individuals within
households as the focus of concern
 Food security is thus measured at
national, household and individual
levels
FOOD SECURITY
Simplified Schematic Representation
of Food Security
CONSUMPTION
AVAILABILITY
PRODUCTION
Resources:
Natural
Physical
Human
Financial
TRADE,
FOOD AID
& STOCKS
Import Policy
Market integration
ENVIRONMENTAL
RISKS
Climate shocks
Natural resource
degradation
Pests
UTILIZATION
ACCESS
INCOME
Farm Income
Non-Farm Income
Safety Nets
OTHER FACTORS
Intra-household
resource allocation
Dietary practices
Other food policies
(e.g. Supplementary
feeding, Subsidies)
MARKET AND
ENTITLEMENT
RISKS
Economic shocks
Deterioration of terms of
trade
Collapse of safety nets
STABILITY
ABSORPTION
Health
Sanitation
Safe water
Food quality
NUTRITION AND
HEALTH RISKS
Epidemics
Erosion of social
services
Food Security Paradox
in Asia & the Pacific
 Food production per capita has
increased in the last 40 years
 Food consumption per capita is
declining as affluence is
increasing with economic growth
 Still the
Causes of Hunger in the Region
Availability Issues
 In recent year, growth in foodgrain production
has declined due to deceleration in
productivity growth due to
 Reduced investment in agricultural R&D
 Soil degradation and water scarcity
 Diversion of agricultural land to other uses
 While population growth rate has declined,
the absolute number continues to increase,
resulting in increased food requirement
Causes of Hunger in the Region
Availability Issues
 Decline in per capita food
consumption is offset by
increased population
 Growing demand for animal feed
as demand for meat is increasing
 Growing use of food (maize and
oilseeds) for biofuel production
Underlying Causes for
Increasing Hunger in the Region






Access Issues
Economic growth was rapid, but
inequitable
Increased volatility of food prices &
external economic shocks, e.g. the
economic crisis
Inadequate safety nets
Environmental degradation & natural
disasters
Gender discrimination, AIDS
Wars and armed conflict
Conclusions
Long-term Challenges of Hunger
Reduction in the Region
 Increasing food production to meet needs
of a growing, affluent and ageing
population, which will increase from 4.2
billion in 2010 to 5.3 billion in 2050
 Achieving broadly-based, inclusive
economic growth
 Establishing sustainable targeted safety
nets for the poor and vulnerable groups
 Addressing competition between food and
biofuel needs
 Success in adaptation to and mitigation of
climate change in agriculture
 Coping with water scarcity
 Dealing with commercialization and
globalization of markets
 Ensuring food safety
Key Actions to Address Persistent &
Growing Hunger in the Region
• Increase investment to sustain
productivity growth
• Empower small producers and women
farmers
• Increase access to food, not just
supply by increasing incomes on
agriculture and in other sector
• Strengthen farm & non-farm sector
linkages
• Improve ability to respond to new
pressures and uncertainties
Put pressure on decision makers to end hunger.
Sign the petition, and push for action wherever
you are. Please sign the petition at address
below.
http://www.1billionhungry.org/