Regional trade and food security challenges: The case of SAARC countries M.W., Kayani A.S., Alotaibi J.M., Muddassir M., Alotaibi B.A., Kassem H. (2020): Regional trade and food security challenges: The case of SAARC countries. Agric. Econ. – Czech, 66: 335-344.
download PDF

Higher consumption and increased import requirements for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region can be catered through neighboring trade partners if resources are optimally utilized. The purpose of this research is to analyze the connection between regional trade of SAARC countries and the food security challenges faced by the region. The study uses data from 1990–2018 for Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh to econometrically analyze the determinants of the volume of food trade. The results show that the gross domestic product of importing or exporting countries and foreign direct investment (FDI) have positive impact on regional trade. The bilateral exchange rate between trading partners has a negative impact on the trade volume. The results also showed the absence of a long-run relationship between volume of trade and food security using Johansen’s cointegration test. Our analysis suggests that policy makers should focus on the means for creating favorable environment in Pakistan and India to not only meet the increasing global demands for food but also increasing their competitiveness for high-quality and low-quality priced products in major exports markets.

Ahmed Z.S. (2016): Regionalism and regional security in South Asia: The role of SAARC. London, Routledge. Available at (accessed June 14, 2019).
Ahn J., Dabla-Norris E., Duval R., Hu B., Njie L. (2019): Reassessing the productivity gains from trade liberalization. Review of International Economics, 27: 130–154.
Asian Development Bank (2019): Key Indicators for Asia and Pacific. Metro Manila, Philippines, Asian Development Bank. Available at (accessed Dec 2, 2019)
Badalova A., Larionov V. (2019): Modern paradigm of ensuring food security risk resistance in Russia. Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, 79: 110–113.
Committee on World Food Security (CFS) (2012): Coming to Terms with Terminology: Food Security, Nutrition Security; Food Security and Nutrition; and Food and Nutrition Security. Thirty-Ninth Session, Rome, Oct 15–20, 2012: 1–9. Available at (accessed March 21, 2019).
Etim E.E., Ogbinyi Jr. O.J., Duke O.O. (2017): International politics of oil monomania and food security: The Nigerian case. Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Science, 3: 1–11.
FAO (2006): Food Security Policy Brief. Available at (accessed March 12, 2019).
French S.A., Wall M., Mitchell N.R. (2010): Household income differences in food sources and food items purchased. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7: 77.
Haque M.E., Hossain M. (2011): Impact of stock market development on economic growth: Evidence from SAARC countries. Eastern University Journal, 3: 1–13.
Kalkuhl M., von Braun J., Torero M. (2016): Volatile and extreme food prices, food security, and policy: An overview. In: Kalkuhl M., von Braun J., Torero M. (eds): Food Price Volatility and its Implications for Food Security and Policy. Cham, Springer: 3–31.
Krishna P. (2012): Regional approach to food security in South Asia: SAARC Food Bank. In: Proceedings Regional Consultation on Trade, Climate Change and Food Security SAWTEE, Kathmandu, Dec 20–21, 2012: 1–13. Available at (accessed Sept 16, 2019).
Mathew S. (2015): Agricultural input trade and food security in South Asia. Rajasthan, India, Consumer Unity & Trust society: 2–12.
Mkandawire P., Nyantakyi-Frimpong H., Armah F., Arku G. (2014): Regionalism, food security and economic development. Occasional Paper No. 23. Harare, Zimbabwe, The African Capacity Building Foundation: 1–45.
Mughal M., Sers C. (2019): Cereal production and food security in South Asia. Working Papers hal-02089616, HAL archives. Available at (accessed Feb 12, 2019).
Rahman K. (2012): Regional cooperation, global changes, SAARC and China. Policy Perspectives, 9: 5–14.
SAARC (2014): South Asia Regional Action Framework for Nutrition. SAARC in collaboration with UNICEF. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Available at (accessed Oct 5, 2019)
UN Comtrade (2019): World Development Indicators. UN Comtrade. UN Comtrade Database. Available at (accessed April 3, 2019).
United Nations and Asian Development Bank (2015): Food Security in South Asia: Developing Regional Supply Chains for Food Processing Industry. United Nations and Asian Development Bank. Available at (accessed Nov 11, 2019).
Weerahewa J. (2009): Impact of trade facilitation measures and regional trade agreements on food and agricultural trade in South Asia (No. 69). ARTNeT Working Paper Series. Bangkok, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT): 5–32.
World Bank (2010): Food Price Increases in South Asia: National Responses and Regional Dimensions. Washington, DC, World Bank.
World Trade Organization (WTO) (2017): World Trade Statistical Review. WTO. Available at (accessed March 26, 2019).
Worldometer (2016): Demographic Statistics. Worldometer. Available at (accessed March 5, 2019).
Zhou D., Shah T., Ali S., Ahmad W., Din I.U., Ilyas A. (2019): Factors affecting household food security in rural northern hinterland of Pakistan. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences, 18: 201–210.
download PDF

© 2020 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences