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Achieving food security in Asia and the Pacific

Mar 15, 2010

Operational Plan for Sustainable Food Security in Asia and the Pacific, lays out the strategic plan of Asian Development Bank for ensuring sustainable food security in Asia and the Pacific. It aims to improve the availability of, and access to, food for the poor and marginalised.

Operational Plan for Sustainable Food Security in Asia and the Pacific

Publisher: Asian Development Bank, 2010

In 2007–2008, global food stocks went down to low levels not seen since the 1990s. At the same time, world cereal prices also peaked in April 2008, rising by 87% over their May 2007 index, leading food prices to jump by almost 50% over the same 12-month period. The surge in food prices, coupled with the global economic slowdown in 2008–2009, is expected to move an additional 100 million people into hunger in 2009, thus pushing the number of undernourished people in the world beyond the 1 billion mark. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s hungry people reside in Asia and the Pacific. Overall, the sudden food price increase was a serious setback to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those related to poverty and hunger reduction, child mortality, maternal health, and basic education.

The paper lays out the operational plan of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help Asia and the Pacific achieve sustainable food security. ADB recognises sustainable food security as a crucial element of its long- term strategic framework, Strategy 2020 in freeing Asia from poverty. The operational plan thus accords priority to achieving sustainable food security in Asia and the Pacific. The goal is to improve the availability of, and access to, adequate and safe food in a sustainable manner, especially for the large number of poor, women, and other vulnerable groups in the region.

The operational plan identifies ADB’s role and contributions in addressing the tree binding constraints to achieving the goal of sustainable food security, which are (i) stagnating food productivity and production, (ii) lack of access to rural finance, infrastructure, technology, markets, and nonfarm income opportunities; and (iii) threat of climate and volatility of food prices. In addressing these constraints, the operational plan focuses on three areas of influence- productivity, connectivity and resilience.

The paper also lays down recommendations for the Asian Development Bank to introduce the following medium-term measures during 2010–2012:

  • Adopt a multisector approach to access the key constraints to sustainable food security.
  • Expand and deepen ADB partnership on sustainable food security with other donors and specialised agencies.
  • Continue to align ADB operations in agriculture and rural development on a selective basis and with greater focus.
  • Increase support for agriculture and natural resources research.
  • Invest in collaborative learning and knowledge development for sustainable food security.
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