2.1.5 Analysis of Food Security
As established in the previous section, district Peshawar is a food secure district of Pakistan. Floods of 2010 worsened the existing situation of the population and the indicators of food security i.e. availability, access, utilization and stability were all disrupted.
District Peshawar’s economy is mainly agro-based with majority of the households engaged in agriculture farming and livestock rearing along with some of the residents involved in non-agriculture activities/casual labour. Among these three types of the households, empirical studies have shown that poverty has been relatively higher in the non-agriculture households, followed by livestock households and small farmers44. It has been shown in the previous section that many individuals of this flood affected district have lost their homes (48,358 houses were damaged), their crops (50% crop area damaged) and heads of livestock (5,406 livestock died). Due to the lack of industrial base, the sources of income of households, situated in this severely affected district are less diversified, and as shown in section 1.2.1, share of agriculture and casual labour is more than 80% in total employment. All the social indicators show a higher level of poverty and deprivation in this district with large household size, poor literacy level, high mortality rate, poor quality of infrastructure and poor access to education and health facilities.
Through the destruction of roads, transport and market infrastructure, the flood had a significant negative impact on commodity market. As a result, the functioning capacity of markets (transporters, processors, wholesalers and retailers) has been decreased with upward movement of transaction costs and shortage of food commodities. This phenomenon hinders the socio-economic access to food in the district.
In a nutshell, due to the floods 2010, the losses to crops and livestock along with the poor functioning capacity of the market have significantly reduced the expected income of the population of this district. Though the floods and rains affected people of the district Peshawar had to face a number of key challenges to recover their livelihood, agriculture and livestock; directly affecting the food security situation, the economic activities gradually revived in the last two years to a great extent and the threat of food insecurity has been mitigated. So currently, this district can still be categorized as food secure district of Pakistan.