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Food Security in Asia

This report, commissioned by DFID, provides a rapid overview of food security issues in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in seven Asian countries (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, China, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam). Three of the countries (Bangladesh, India, Cambodia) are treated in more detail and seminars were held to discuss preliminary findings in those countries with DFID staff and interested parties.

The paper's objectives are to:

  1. Identify the key issues relating to food security in Asia, setting out country progress and prospects for achieving the MDG on hunger with particular reference to effects of globalisation and international trade. A specific focus on access issues is required to ensure that the review paper is useful to inform the debate on how and where DFID investment should be best directed. Other issues, such as the impact of climate change, HIV/AIDS, land tenure and GMOs should also be addressed.
  2. Analyse how these issues are likely to develop in 10-25 years time, and what effect they might have on achieving the MDGs.
  3. Disaggregate key issues at the supra-national, national, subnational and household level in order to assess the impact on livelihoods.
  4. Assess the impact these processes are likely to have on different vulnerable groups and extreme poor, both in the immediate future and over the next 10-25 years. What policies currently exist for targeting the extreme poor and vulnerable people?
  5. Undertake regional analysis and comparison of food security issues - South Asia (e.g. Nepal, Bangladesh, India), South East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia) and East Asia (China).
  6. Undertake more detailed studies of three key countries, to include a study of food security in India drawing out specifically ‘Indian' issues. Country case studies include one country in a conflict (or other major shock)/ post conflict situation (in ‘recovery' mode), another country which is considered highly vulnerable to repetitive shocks and another that is further down the development pathway and less vulnerable to shocks. Do food security issues/policies vary systematically between countries, depending on where they are on the development pathway and their susceptibility to shocks? The key issues raised in these country studies are incorporated into the main text, while the detailed analysis is presented in short country annexes.


Rachel Slater