Facts and Figures

Food Security

  • Food comprises a large share (about 60%) of the total expenditures of Asia’s poor.
  • A 10% rise in domestic food prices in developing Asia—home to 3.3 billion people—could push an additional 64.4 million people into poverty, or lead to a 1.9 percentage point increase in the poverty incidence based on the $1.25-a-day poverty line.

Impact of food price increases on poverty for 25 developing Asian countries,
$1.25-a-day poverty line

  Change in percentage of poor (in percentage points) with an increase in food prices by Change in number of poor (in millions) with an increase in food prices by
  10% 20% 30% 10% 20% 30%
Armenia 0.7 1.4 2.1 0.02 0.04 0.06
Azerbaijan 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Bangladesh 2.5 5.0 7.5 3.83 7.65 11.48
Bhutan 1.8 3.5 5.3 0.01 0.02 0.03
Cambodia 2.3 4.5 6.8 0.31 0.63 0.94
China, People's Republic of -Rural 2.2 4.3 6.5 16.47 32.95 49.42
China, People's Republic of-Urban 0.2 0.5 0.7 1.31 2.62 3.93
Georgia 1.1 2.1 3.2 0.05 0.10 0.14
India- Rural 2.9 5.8 8.8 22.82 45.64 68.45
India-Urban 2.1 4.3 6.4 6.68 13.36 20.04
Indonesia- Rural 2.4 4.8 7.2 2.76 5.52 8.27
Indonesia- Urban 1.6 3.2 4.8 1.70 3.39 5.09
Kazakhstan 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.03 0.06 0.09
Kyrgyz Republic 1.8 3.7 5.5 0.09 0.19 0.28
Lao People's Democratic Republic 2.5 5.1 7.6 0.14 0.29 0.43
Malaysia 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.03 0.05 0.08
Mongolia 1.8 3.6 5.4 0.05 0.09 0.14
Nepal 2.0 4.1 6.1 0.55 1.10 1.65
Pakistan 2.2 4.5 6.7 3.47 6.94 10.41
Papua New Guinea 1.7 3.4 5.1 0.10 0.21 0.31
Philippines 1.6 3.2 4.9 1.37 2.75 4.12
Sri Lanka 1.2 2.4 3.6 0.24 0.47 0.71
Tajikistan 1.8 3.6 5.4 0.12 0.23 0.35
Thailand 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.05 0.10 0.15
Timor-Leste 2.2 4.4 6.7 0.02 0.04 0.07
Turkmenistan 1.1 2.2 3.3 0.05 0.11 0.16
Uzbekistan 2.6 4.5 6.8 0.59 1.19 1.78
Viet Nam 1.9 3.7 5.6 1.55 3.10 4.65
Developing Asia 1.9 3.9 5.8 64.41 128.83 193.24
Note: The estimates of poverty impact have been derived using the price elasticity of poverty, which indicates the percentage increase in poverty when food prices increase by 1%. This elasticity was estimated for both headcount ration and poverty gap ratio for each of the 25 countries in Asia and the Pacific using the latest POVCAL database.
Source: ADB staff calculations using the latest POVCAL database (accessed 18 February 2011).

Cereal Production

While global stocks of rice, wheat and corn have improved in the aftermath of the 2007–2008 food price crisis, they remained at just about 400 million metric tons in 2010.

Hunger

Asia and the Pacific continues to have the most number of undernourished people in the world according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. However, the region also accounted for most of the global improvement in 2010 with the number of undernourished declining by 12% to 578 million from 658 million in 2009.