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Cereal production and food security in South Asia

  • Mughal, Mazhar
  • Sers, Charlotte
Publication Date
Apr 03, 2019
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South Asia is one of the remaining major strongholds of hunger in the world. This is in spite of the fact that countries of the region went through the Green revolution during the second half of the 20th century which led to tripling of cereal production. This study examines the role this increase in cereal production has played in improving the region’s food security situation. Controlling for various economic, demographic, social and climatic factors that drive food security, we study the association between different aspects of food security and cereal production prevalent in South Asia over the past 25 years.We find a beneficial role of production and yield of cereals and the extent of undernourishment. This impact is visible for the availability, stability and utilization aspects of food security but not for the access aspect. The positive effect is in particular present in the case of rice and maize production.The beneficial effect on food security persists up to three years. These findings are robust to alternative empirical specifications and techniques. The results explain, in part, the means by which South Asian nations have succeeded in reducing the extent of undernourishment.

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