Targeting food security: reducing poverty through irrigated agriculture
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Qureshi, Asad Sarwar; Akhtar, Mujeeb. 2004. Targeting food security: reducing poverty through irrigated agriculture. In Jehangir, Waqar A.; Hussain, Intizar (Eds.). Poverty reduction through improved agricultural water management. Proceedings of the Workshop on Pro-poor Intervention Strategies in Irrigated Agriculture in Asia, Islamabad, Pakistan, 23-24 April 2003. Lahore, Pakistan: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). pp.227-239.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/38240
Internet URL: http://publications.iwmi.org/pdf/H043772.pdf
Rapidly increasing trends of poverty, particularly in South Asia, have emerged as a major threat to the economic development of this region. Currently, over 500 million South Asians live in absolute poverty, while over 300 million are chronically malnourished. In Pakistan, vulnerable population of 45 million makes 25 percent of those living in poverty due to economic downturn. Although food production in the region has gained momentum during the past decade (per capita dietary energy supply in South Asia has increased), the incidence of poverty and absolute number of undernourished people in South Asia has gone up. This means that crisis of food insecurity in the region is mostly related to low access rather than low availability. The major reasons for this low access are poor targeting policies of the government and inefficient public distribution system. Therefore, to ensure food security, the government should improve accessibility and distribution of food to poor, particularly those in far-flung areas. Three quarters of the world?s total irrigated area is in developing countries where smallholder agriculture still predominates. No wonder, then, that increased agricultural production is considered a key to poverty reduction in many developing countries. Irrigated agriculture is regarded to be vehicle for the provision of basic needs and reduction in vulnerability to food insecurity. Irrigation development can bring a range of potential benefits at regional and national level. Therefore, by advances in irrigation management, better understanding of the environment in which poor people live, right choices of irrigation technologies, better defining production functions and creating profitable markets can make a significant contribution to crop production and poverty reduction. This paper discusses illusions in different poverty estimates and introduces a framework to increase regional food security. The paper is also aimed at finding the ways to reduce poverty through improving irrigated agriculture.
In Jehangir, Waqar A.; Hussain, Intizar (Eds.). Poverty reduction through improved agricultural water management. Proceedings of the Workshop on Pro-poor Intervention Strategies in Irrigated Agriculture in Asia, Islamabad, Pakistan, 23-24 April 2003. Lahore, Pakistan: International Water Management Institute (IWMI).