FOOD PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION

KHALIQUZ ZAMAN
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Mar 21 - 27, 20
11

Food availability per capita per annum in Pakistan increased from 298.1 kg in 1979-80 to 414.8 kg in 2007-08 at a rate slower than population growth (from 85.09 million to 163.8 million over the same period). The food production (cereals, gram, pulses, vegetables, potatoes, fruits, animal product poultry product, sugar, and veg.ghee) was increased by 52 percent in 1990-2000 over the 1979-90 and by 34.9 percent in 2000-2010 over the nineties. Food consumption and production patterns are the driving forces behind any economy and play a significant role in shaping the sustainability of future economic growth. This pattern is changing since 1980's because growth rate of the (GDP) was an average 5.6 percent per annum during the decade beginning from 1980-81. Further, during the last 20 years the average growth rates of the economy also remained 4.7 percent.

The change in output of major crops in Pakistan can be broken into three components (1) expansion in cropped area at the old yield level (2) increase in yield on the old cropped area, and (3) a cross-product term of increased area and yield. The breakdown of change in output measured separately for each decade since the early 1980s.

The estimates for the 1979-80 to 2009-10 position with regard to important food items, such as food grain (wheat, rice, maize, jowar and barley), pulses, sugar, edible oils, livestock product (milk, mutton, beef, poultry meat) vegetables, potatoes, fruits, fish and eggs are given in the table. Livestock product contributed by cattle, sheep, goat, and poultry.

Among the crops used as food, partly consumed by the farm household and partly sold in the market, food grain (wheat, rice, maize, jowar and barley), constitute the most important group (44.4 percent) followed by fruits (7.3 percent) vegetable (5.6 percent) pulses (1.7 percent), potato (1.1 percent) and gram (1.1 percent) during eighties and during nineties 38.8 percent, 6.8 percent 5.1 percent,1.3 percent, 1.8 percent and 1.0 percent for same items respectively.

Similar pattern was observed during 2000 to 2010. However, during all three study decades the product range share of each food items stayed within a broad percentage of 44.4 to 0.7. The food production pattern during last thirty years with protein has gone up by a significant margin especially milk, beef, poultry, and sugar. The most striking increase has been in milk. These changes usually portray the outcome of an interaction of major physical and technological and institution factors. Favorable changes in public policy and increased private investment since the early 1980s have shifted the emphasis from small-scale (fragmented) production to the development of large-scale cattle farms. The dairy and meat industries are apparently now responding to the rapid growth of demand for these products. A well-organized and efficient poultry industry has already emerged in the urban areas of the country since the late 1970s. The average annual rates of change in the production of different food items in the last three decades are given in the table. The food production was increased by 52 percent in 1990-2000 over the 1979-90 and by 34.9 percent in 2000-2010 over the nineties. The annual rate of growth in overall food production rose to 3.9, 4.2 and 2.8 per cent in the eighties, nineties and last recent decade against 3.1, 2.4 and 1.9 per cent growth of population in same time period. Food grain production was increased by 32.8 to 29.5 per cent during last thirty years. The population growth rate of Pakistan which was running at 3.1 percent in 1980-90 and declined from 2.4 percent in the 1990-2000 to 1.9 percent in 2000-2010 is projected to reach over 351 million by 2050, which is the challenge that has to be faced by the agriculture sector to feed an ever increasing population. To feed the population, Pakistan may begin the strategies to fulfill the potential yield, gap, of food obtained by cropped and livestock output.

Planning Commission in January 2011 identified unachieved potential of yields regarding different crops which is 67 to 84 percent and of which the difference between best practice and average yield is 31 to 75 percent and the difference between research potential yields and the best practice yields is 25 to 75 per cent: wheat (43.5 percent), maize (58.5 percent), rice (45.6 percent), sugarcane (72.8 percent), and cotton (30.08 percent). The reasons narrated for such a huge productivity gap include traditional farming practices, inefficient irrigation methods, high input costs, lack of bio safety regulations and insufficient institutional credit for poor farmers.

Although livestock is showing improvement over past few years in dairy sector, yet there is a great room for improvement of productivity. In dairy sector, there is 78 per cent yield gap if compared with minimum standard required to compete globally. More over, a striking issue of 30 to 40 per cent livestock is underfed and only 10 percent of livestock is vaccinated.

According to the data given in the table, food production increased at growth rate of 3.9, 4.2 and 2.8 per cent during eighties, nineties and recent decade at a rate slightly faster than population growth (which averaged 3.1, 2.4 and 1.9 per cent per annum during the same time period).

AVERAGE FOOD PRODUCTION (000 TON), % SHARE OF FOOD ITEMS, CHANGE OVER TIME AND ANNUAL GROWTH RATE OF FOOD ITEMS

FOOD ITEMS

AP
1979-90
% 1990-00 % % CHG DURING
1979-90 TO 1990-00
AG RATE DURING 1979-90 AG RATE DURING 1990-00 AP
2000-10
% % CHG DURING
1990-00 TO 2000-10
AG RATE DURING 2000-10

Total Food Grains

17239

44.4

22886

38.8

32.8

2.0

3.5

29628

37.2

29.5

4.0

Gram

438

1.1

567

1.0

29.3

6

4.8

562

0.7

-0.8

3.0

All Pulses

673

1.7

782

1.3

16.1

2.4

4.4

848

1.1

8.4

3.3

Vegetable

2182

5.6

2994

5.1

37.2

6.4

-0.1

3016

3.8

0.7

1.4

Potato

564

1.5

1085

1.8

92.3

4.6

7.3

2083

2.6

92.0

5.2

Total Fruits

2817

7.3

4025

6.8

42.9

4.8

2.6

4903

6.2

21.8

3.8

Mutton

468

1.2

692

1.2

47.9

5.6

-2.1

639

0.8

-7.7

-2.3

Beef

552

1.4

894

1.5

62.0

6.0

2.5

1306

1.6

46.1

6.4

Milk

11364

29.3

20706

35.1

82.2

5.3

6.2

30967

38.9

49.6

3.8

Fish

386

1.0

577

1.0

49.3

5.5

2.0

696

0.9

20.6

5.2

Poultry Meat

153

0.4

285

0.5

86.1

8.5

7.5

485

0.6

70.4

8.9

Sugar

1414

3.6

2780

4.7

96.6

7.2

2.4

3475

4.4

28.6

1.1

Veg.Ghee

572

1.5

722

1.2

26.1

5.4

1.7

961

1.2

33.2

0.7

Grand Total

38822

100.0

58994

100.0

52.0

3.9

4.2

79567

100.0

34.9

2.8

Eggs million nos.

3487

 

5933

 

70.1

7.4

53.0

9339

 

57.4

5.5

Population (million)

-

 

s

 

-

3.1

2.4

-

 

-

1.9

AP: Average Production, AG: Annual Growth,

FOOD CONSUMPTION PATTERN

This pattern is changing as majority of the population shifts to more animal product and poultry. It is generally thought that there is positive correlation between income and consumption of animal and poultry product. The following table shows estimates of per capita monthly consumption of food item in Pakistan in 1979-80-1987-88, 1998-99, 2001-02 and 2004-05. The estimates are based on data obtained from PIHS, Household income and expenditure survey and PSLM survey of these years. Data shows consumption of cereals has declined since the 1979s. Per capita consumption of cereal (including wheat, rice) fell from 12.45 kg in 1979-80 to 9.29 kg in 2004-05. The decline in cereal consumption (32.7 percent) could be explained because it has been replaced in Pakistani diet by increase in animal product (35.9 percent), poultry product (1.3 percent), vegetables (14.7 percent), sugar (4.6 percent) in 2004-05 against consumption of 1979-80 that was 44-6 percent, 25.9 percent, 0.5 percent, 11.4 percent and 2.6 percent in case of cereals, milk product, poultry product, vegetables and sugar respectively.

Several factors may have contributed to the rapid expansion in the consumption of animal product, poultry product, vegetables and sugar. Real per capita GNP increased at an annual rate of 4.9 percent per annum between 1979-80 to 2009-10. Second, Pakistan is the most urbanized nation in south Asia with city dwellers making up 36 percent of its population (2008) while the urbanization rate is 3 percent (2005-10)

PER CAPITA MONTHLY CONSUMPTION OF MAJOR FOOD ITEMS IN PAKISTAN

FOOD ITEMS 2004-05 % 2001-02 % 1998-99 % 1987-88 % 1979 %
Wheat & Wheat Flour 8.2 28.9 8.94 35.0 9.27 35.7 10.045 37.0 11.2 40.1
Rice & Rice Flour 1.03 3.6 1.17 4.6 1.05 4.0 1.175 4.3 1.24 4.4
Bakery Product 0.06 0.2 0.05 0.2 0.04 0.2 0.02 0.1 0.01 0.0
Total Cereals 9.29 32.7 10.16 39.8 10.36 39.9 11.25 41.5 12.45 44.6
Gram 0.2 0.7 0.16 0.6 0.18 0.7 0.235 0.9 0.28 1.0
Mash 0.06 0.2 0.04 0.2 0.05 0.2 0.095 0.4 0.1 0.4
Moong 0.09 0.3 0.07 0.3 0.08 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.15 0.5
Masoor 0.06 0.2 0.05 0.2 0.06 0.2 0.08 0.3 0.09 0.3
Other Pulses 0.03 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.02 0.1 0.02 0.1
Total Pulses 0.44 1.5 0.35 1.4 0.40 1.5 0.53 2.0 0.64 2.3
Milk (Fresh & Boiled) 6.67 23.5 5.8 22.7 5.93 22.9 6.49 23.9 5.18 18.6
Milk Packed 2.18 7.7 0.06 0.2 0.03 0.1 0.01 0.0 0 0.0
Milk Dry/ Condensed 0.09 0.3 0.07 0.3 0.03 0.1 0.02 0.1 0.01 0.0
Butter 0.0446 0.2 0.0459 0.2 0.0526 0.2 0.0590 0.2 0.75 2.7
Desi Ghee 0.03 0.1 0.04 0.2 0.04 0.2 0.075 0.3 0.12 0.4
Yogurt 0.49 1.7 0.55 2.2 0.48 1.9 0.3 1.1 0.61 2.2
Mutton 0.07 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.11 0.4 0.13 0.5 0.16 0.6
Beef 0.63 2.2 0.61 2.4 0.59 2.3 0.44 1.6 0.41 1.5
Total Animal Product 10.20 35.9 7.28 28.5 7.26 28.0 7.53 27.7 7.24 25.9
Vegetable Ghee 0.67 2.4 0.64 2.5 0.65 2.5 0.575 2.1 0.51 1.8
Cooking Oil 0.12 0.4 0.09 0.4 0.08 0.3 0.045 0.2 0.03 0.1
Total 0.79 2.8 0.73 2.9 0.73 2.8 0.62 2.3 0.54 1.9
Fish 0.06 0.2 0.05 0.2 0.07 0.3 0.065 0.2 0.06 0.2
Chicken Meat 0.23 0.8 0.14 0.5 0.13 0.5 0.065 0.2 0.06 0.2
Eggs 0.08 0.3 0.07 0.3 0.06 0.2 0.04 0.1 0.03 0.1
Total Poultry & Fish 0.37 1.3 0.26 1.0 0.26 1.0 0.18 0.6 0.15 0.5
Banana 0.31 1.1 0.12 0.5 0.18 0.7 0.18 0.6 0.14 0.5
Citrus Fruits 0.19 0.7 0.21 0.8 0.16 0.6 1.925 7.1 1.87 6.7
Apples 0.24 0.8 0.11 0.4 0.16 0.6 0.075 0.3 0.02 0.1
Dry Fruits 0.020 0.1 0.008 0.0 0.016 0.1 0.018 0.1 0.016 0.1
Other Fruits 0.41 1.4 0.58 2.3 0.65 2.5 0.135 0.5 0.13 0.5
Total Fruits 1.17 4.1 1.03 4.0 1.17 4.5 2.33 8.6 2.18 7.8
Potatoes 1.18 4.2 1.05 4.1 1.05 4.0 0.68 2.5 0.73 2.6
Tomatoes 0.36 1.3 0.34 1.3 0.33 1.3 0.29 1.1 0.27 1.0
Onion 0.94 3.3 0.98 3.8 0.89 3.4 0.695 2.6 0.62 2.2
Other Vegetables 1.71 6.0 1.51 5.9 1.53 5.9 1.605 5.9 1.57 5.6
Total Vegetables 4.19 14.7 3.88 15.2 3.8 14.6 3.27 12.1 3.19 11.4
Salt 0.33 1.2 0.3 1.2 0.31 1.2 0.235 0.9 0.24 0.9
Chilies 0.08479 0.3 0.08049 0.3 0.08643 0.3 0.00007 0.0 0.00008 0.0
Sugar (Dasi or Milled) 1.31 4.6 1.26 4.9 1.32 5.1 0.94 3.5 0.72 2.6
Gur/ Shaker 0.17 0.6 0.15 0.6 0.19 0.7 0.245 0.9 0.49 1.8
Tea (Black & Green ) 0.0723 0.3 0.0563 0.2 0.0634 0.2 0.0001 0.0 0.08 0.3
Total Condiments 1.97 6.9 1.85 7.2 1.97 7.6 1.42 5.2 1.53 5.5
Grand Total 28.42 100.0 25.53 100.0 25.95 100.0 27.12 100.0 27.92 100.0

As per the data, area under food grain crops has grown at the rate of 0.9, 0.8 and 1.5 percent per annum during eighties, nineties and 2000-10 respectively while food production increased at the rate of 3.9, 4.2 and 2.8 percent slightly faster than population growth (which averaged 3.1, 2.4 and 1.9 percent per annum during the same time period). There has been a switch in preference towards non-cereal items, such as milk, poultry meat, eggs, and beef. Effect of area cultivated was highly significant. It is suggested more area should be brought under cultivation. Government imposes restrictions to prevent encroachment of productive agriculture land and manage canal water supplies for enhancing food outputs further, concentration on food production factors i.e. improved seed, availability of fertilizer, tractor, tube well, etc.

The author is research economist at Punjab Economic Research Institute.