Cereals in Pakistan: Supply and Demand 2010-2030

Wheat field in Pakistan. Source: Flickr (The Reboot)
A growing population, food price inflation, and frequent natural disasters in Pakistan have raised concerns about the country’s food security. Pakistan’s population depends on wheat and rice to meet their daily food energy requirement but past studies have not provided supply or demand projections for these important cereals. IFPRI researchers bridge this information gap using the Almost Ideal Demand System (LA-AIDS) to project household demand for eight food items.

Supply and Demand for Cereals in Pakistan- 2010-2030 presents results and recommendations which include:

  • Demand for wheat and rice will more than double by 2030.
  • The demand for wheat is expected to be greater than supply, resulting in a deficit.
  • Rice production will be more than adequate to meet demand, resulting in a surplus.
  • Further research and appropriate policy measures are needed to address the wheat deficit.

Cereal Production in Bangladesh: A Review of Past Progress and Future Challenges

Beginning in the early 1980s, Bangladesh underwent a transition, the government loosened controls and farmers achieved a greater degree of self-sufficiency. Still, this densely populated country remains a net importer of rice and must confront many challenges before becoming a food secure nation.

Source: Flickr (Jonas Merian)
Review of Input and Output Policies for Cereal Production in Bangladesh examines the policies that led to yield and efficiency gains in order to understand how they might impact future growth, taking into consideration obstacles like:

  • Farmers’ access to inputs
  • Small and fragmented landholding
  • Poor infrastructure
  • Water scarcity
  • Lack of funding support for the research and public extension systems
  • Limited availability of credit
  • Increase of extreme weather events
  • Shifts in world trade & markets
  • Unsustainable input usage
  • Urbanization and land degradation

Download the full report: Review of Input and Output Policies for Cereal Production in Bangladesh

Branded Products in Developing Countries: Insights from Bihar

Asian food markets are rapidly changing. Packed and branded products have begun filling the shelves of local stores leading IFPRI researchers to ask: How does branding affect farmers and consumers?

Makhana plant
Source: Flickr (koizumi)
Branding and Agricultural Value Chains in Developing Countries: Insights from Bihar, a case study of the makhana market in the low-income state of Bihar, India, reveals that consumers prefer purchasing branded products, but false claims on packaging abound and farmers receive little direct benefit from branded products. This highlights a lack of consumer protection and quality control.

Policymakers can step in, according to the authors, to create independent certification mechanisms and spur backward linkages to farmers by assuring appropriate market conditions for investment.

Download the full report: Branding and Agricultural Value Chains in Developing Countries: Insights from Bihar (India).

Innovations in Agriculture: Agribusiness Investment in India

Global demand for food and the levelling off of crop productivity intensifies the need for agricultural innovations. Increasingly, India’s private agribusinesses are meeting that need, funding research and development (R&D) that’s resulted in farm machinery, pesticide, and biotechnology advancements.

Researchers in greenhouse
Source: Flickr (IRRI Images)
Keeping in mind the private sector’s success, the authors of Innovation and Research by Private Agribusiness in India, aim to strengthen future research by supplying India’s policymakers with quantifiable data and analyses on the:

  • Factors influencing the expansion of agribusiness spending
  • Impacts on production, poverty, health, and the environment
  • Amounts private companies are investing in R&D

Covered in the report are some of private sector’s gains in productivity and efficiency, like:

  • Cotton hybrids that now dominate the cotton seed market
  • Efficient micro-irrigation systems
  • Inexpensive small- and medium-sized tractors
  • Low-cost ways of producing generic pesticides

Download the full report: Innovation and Research by Private Agribusiness in India

Extending Information to Farmers: Case Studies in India

Understanding how farmers adopt new information is vital to successful extension programs. Yet delivery of local information to farmers in a reliable, timely manner remains a challenge. Any attempt to reform agricultural extension systems needs to start with a full understanding of farmers' information needs, as well as how that need is currently being met by extension and advisory services.

Farmers meeting
Focus group discussions with farmers. Source: Dr. Suresh Babu, IFPRI
To help guide extension and other farmer education programs, Farmers’ Information Needs and Search Behaviorsa case study of rice farmers in the southern Indian state of Tamil Naduaddresses these key questions:

  • What information do farmers in this district need?
  • How and where do they search for information?
  • What factors determine their search behavior?
  • How much are they willing to pay for information?

A second discussion paper, The Relevance of Content in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Initiatives in Indian Agriculture, looks at how these six ICT projects deliver information to farmers:

  • Reuters Market Light (RML)
  • IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-operative Limited) Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL)
  • Lifelines
  • Digital Green
  • e-Sagu
  • aAqua (Almost All Questions Answered)

These projects have all made an effort to reduce the expert-farmer gap by making content relevant, accessible, and reliable using local experts and farmers’ preferred communication channels. However, further improvements could be made through increasing user feedback, direct involvement of farmers, and ensuring open access to information stored within databases.

Download the full reports:

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