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Estimating the Socio-Economic Factors of Food Insecurity in Pakistan:A Regional Level Analysis

Hameed, Abdul and Padda, Ihtsham ul Haq and Salam, Abdul (2020): Estimating the Socio-Economic Factors of Food Insecurity in Pakistan:A Regional Level Analysis. Published in: FWU Journal of Social Sciences , Vol. 14, No. 2 (30 June 2020): pp. 81-94.

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Abstract

Food insecurity is the primary concern of developing countries as food deficiencies contribute to stunting and mortality in children below the age of five. This study evaluates the impact of households’ socioeconomic factors on food insecurity at national and regional level, using the HIES 2015-16 data for Pakistan. The logistic regression results depict that 38% of the households at national level experienced calorie deficiency with 40.5% in rural and 36.7% in urban areas. Households with a caloric intake deficiency in the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh are relatively higher. The socioeconomic analysis shows that age and gender (male) of the household head are positively related to food insecurity, whereas the education has a negative effect. The food insecurity in female-headed households is less likely than in male-headed households. The household size and overcrowding ratio (persons per room) in our estimated model have positive signs. Agriculture related indicators have inverse relationship with food insecurity. Poverty is also positively linked to food insecurity. In our study, safe drinking water and fuel for cooking have negative effects on food insecurity. Sanitation facilities, including toilets, are also negatively related. Present study suggests that the relationship between food insecurity and socioeconomic development should be re-examined by policy makers and government agencies. The elementary requirements of life, such as safe drinking water, fuel for cooking and sanitation, are crucial to achieving zero hunger policies. In addition, improvements in agricultural segments are vital to the rural economy and social development. The reduction in food insecurity is therefore closely related to improving farming segments, including livestock and poultry.

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