A.) absorb the impact of the higher food prices

A.) Food Security

 

Food
security is a primary human security concern, especially in the Asia and the
Pacific region. About two-thirds of about a billion of the world’s population
live in the region. More than past two decades of rapid economic growth and
social development has caused uneven growth throughout the region. Recent
studies have shown that the rising work incomes have led to a shift in dietary
patterns on the region where is the study. Currently,
people are moving towards a more protein-rich and resource demanding food. An
important factor which affects food security are price spikes in staple food,
such as rice, wheat and corn. This increase in food
prices has global effects, but the poor, who spend almost 70% of their budget
on foo are affected the most.

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The
international prices for rice, wheat and corn began rising in the early 2000,
rose in 2006 and spiked twice. Once in 2008, and more recently in 2012. These
spikes in prices reflect a significant number of factors, which include
urbanization, prosperity, adverse weather, a declining growth in agricultural
productivities and lastly, ill-advised policies enacted by major food exporting
and importing countries. Although the impact of the food price spike was felt
on urban poor and smaller countries, the net impact on Asia has been much
smaller than previously thought. The rapid growth in the region has made the
governments and consumers absorb the impact of the higher food prices better when
compared with the impact one or two decades ago. The largest Asian countries
are largely unaffected due to ample food supply and their trade and subsidy
policies that protected the consumers. Meanwhile the hardest hit countries in
the region received international financial support to help them address the
impact of the food crisis.

The
study Global Food Price Inflation and
Developing Asia have looked into the causes of food price increases and how
they would impact the region. Given the frequency of price spikes in recent
years, it underlines the necessity of long-term solutions in solving problems
on food security. It includes improvements in productivity, increases in
agricultural investments, a more cohesive market integration, targeting
subsidies to the poor, as well as global and regional cooperation.

The Quiet Revolution in Staple
Food Value Chains: Enter the Dragon, the Elephant and the Tiger,
produced by ADB and International Food Policy Research Institute, was created
in response to the 2008 food crisis. It finds that making Asia’s farm-to-market
supply chains more efficient and cost-effective help regulate food prices in
the region and ensure a long-term regional food security.

A
series of ADB working papers has looked into the global rice situation and how
the ASEAN can play a major role in the stabilization of world market prices by
developing procedures on the use of regional rice reserves, facilitating the
rice trade through a multi-stakeholder rice trade forum platform, and
establishing a more transparent and up-to-date market information system.

 

The
report Food Prices and Population Health
in Developing Countries examines data covering 63 development countries
from 2001 to 2010. The report has found that rising food prices have a
significant and adverse effect on infant mortality rate, child mortality rate,
and the spread of undernourishment.

Gender Equality and Food
Security was a report prepared by the ADB with United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization. It further examines the role of women in food
production, nutrition and access to food in the region, and the steps needed to
remove barriers and challenges facing them.