Agricultural trade liberalization for food security in South Asia

Latest available figures indicate that close to 40 per cent of the world’s population suffering from hunger and malnutrition belongs to South Asia. Remarkable strides towards enhancing food production in the recent decades in the region seem to have limited impact on undernourishment that remains pervasive. While recognizing the multidimensionality and complexity of reasons behind persistent poverty and hunger in the region, this study identifies freer intraregional trade in food products as a partial but effective solution which can contribute to substantially enhance food security. Undertaking a detailed product-by-product analysis at a disaggregated level, with the objective of identifying agricultural and primary products -- that have both high regional trade potential and high sensitivity from a food security point of view, this study subjects the composition of food exports and imports of South Asian countries to a thorough examination.

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