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Pakistanis are eating more and healthier foods, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2021-22. Per capita average daily calorie intake in Pakistan has jumped to 2,735 calories in FY 2021-22 from 2,457 calories in 2019-20. The biggest contributor to it is the per capita consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables which soared from 53.6 Kg to 68.3 Kg, less than half of the 144 Kg (400 grams/day) recommended by the World Health Organization. Healthy food helps cut disease burdens and reduces demand on the healthcare system. Under former Prime Minister Imran Khan's leadership, Pakistan succeeded in achieving these nutritional improvements in spite of surging global food prices amid the Covid19 pandemic.
|Pakistan Per Capita Daily Calorie Consumption. Source: Economic Surveys of Pakistan|
The trend of higher per capita daily calorie consumption has continued since the 1950s. It has risen from about 2,078 in 1949-50 to 2,400 in 2001-02 and 2735 in 2021-22. The per capita per day protein intake in grams increased from 63 to 67 to about 75 during these years. Health experts recommend that women consume at least 1,200 calories a day, and men consume at least 1,500 calories a day, says Harvard Health Publishing. The global average has increased from 2360 kcal/person/day in the mid-1960s to 2900 kcal/person/day currently, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) estimates that most women need 1,600 to 2,400 calories, while the majority of men need 2,000 to 3,000 calories each day to maintain a healthy weight. Global Hunger Index defines food deprivation, or undernourishment, as consumption of fewer than 1,800 calories per day.
|Share of Overweight or Obese Adults. Source: Our World in Data|
The share of overweight or obese adults in Pakistan's population is estimated by the World Health Organization at 28.4%. It is 20% in Bangladesh, 19.7% in India, 32.3% in China, 61.6% in Iran and 68% in the United States.
|Major Food Items Consumed in Pakistan. Source: Economic Survey of P...|
The latest edition of the Economic Survey of Pakistan estimates that per capita calories come from the annual per capita consumption of 164.7 Kg of cereals, 7.3 Kg of pulses (daal), 28.3 Kg of sugar, 168.8 liters of milk, 22.5 Kg of meat, 2.9 Kg of fish, 8.1 dozen eggs, 14.5 Kg of ghee (cooking oil) and 68.3 Kg of fruits and vegetables. Pakistan's economy grew 5.97% and agriculture outputs increased a record 4.4% in FY 2021-22, according to the Economic Survey. The 4.4% growth in agriculture has boosted consumption and supported Pakistan's rural economy.
|Pakistan Growth Indicators. Source: Economic Survey 2021-22|
The minimum recommended food basket in Pakistan is made up of basic food items (cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, edible oils and sugar) to provide 2150 kcal and 60gram protein/day per capita.
The state of Pakistan's social sector is not as dire as the headlines suggest. There are good reasons for optimism. Key indicators show that nutrition and health in Pakistan are improving but such improvements need to be accelerated.
The diet of an average Indian typically lacks essential nutritional food articles like fruits, vegetables, legumes
The majority of Indians cannot afford a healthy meal and millions die every year due to diseases that are directly linked to poor diet, a recent survey showed. Noting that the diet of an average Indian typically lacks essential nutritional food articles like fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc., the report said, “a healthy meal becomes unaffordable if it exceeds 63% of a person's income."
A recent report released by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down to Earth magazine said, “Seventy-one percent of Indians cannot afford a healthy diet. The global average is 42 percent."
The diet of an average Indian typically lacks fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. The consumption of fish, dairy and red meat is within target, the report also said the Global Nutrition Report, 2021.
Referring to the diseases that are attributable to poor diet, the survey mentioned respiratory ailments, diabetes, cancer, strokes and coronary heart disease.
Why majority of Indians can't afford a healthy meal?
As per the Food and Agriculture Organisation, a healthy meal becomes unaffordable if it exceeds 63% of a person's income.
Adults above the aged 20 and above consume only 35.8g of fruit per day as against the recommended 200g and 168.7g of vegetables every day as against the minimum 300g that is advised.
Similarly, they consume just 24.9g per day (25% of target) of legumes and 3.2g (13% of target) of nuts per day.
"Despite some progress, diets are not getting healthier. Additionally, they are making increasing demands on the environment, even as unacceptable levels of malnutrition persist in the country," the report said
Global Hunger Index 2021 reflects India’s reality where hunger accentuated post Covid-19: Oxfam India
India slipped to 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th, and is behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
India’s Global Hunger Index 2021 ranking at 101st position “unfortunately” reflects the reality of the country where hunger has accentuated since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, Oxfam India said.
India slipped to 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th, and is behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Reacting sharply to the report, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had said it was “shocking” to find that the Global Hunger Report 2021 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO estimate on proportion of undernourished population, which is found to be “devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues”.
Oxfam India said the GHI data which states that India dropped to the hunger-level ranks by seven spots to the 101st spot “unfortunately reflects the reality of the country where hunger accentuated since the Covid-19 pandemic.
This trend of undernutrition in India is unfortunately not new, and is actually based on the government’s own National Family Health Survey (NHFS) data.
The data shows that between 2015 and 2019, a large number of Indian states actually ended up reversing the gains made on child nutrition parameters.
This loss of nutrition should be of concern because it has intergenerational effects, to put it simply – the latest data shows that in several parts of India, children born between 2015 and 2019 are more malnourished than the previous generation, said Amitabh Behar, CEO, Oxfam India.
The Union budget this year discussed India’s POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) scheme with increased allocations to POSHAN 2.0.
However, the POSHAN Abhiyaan launched in 2017 to improve nutrition among children, pregnant women and lactating mothers, has languished due to poor funding resulting from clever clubbing with other schemes within the health-budget and even worse implementation.
Only 0.57 per cent of the current budget has been allocated towards funding the actual POSHAN scheme and the amount for child nutrition dropped by a whopping 18.5 per cent compared to 2020-21, Oxfam India said in a statement.
“There are massive negative consequences to not arresting high levels of malnutrition. In India, both our adult population and children are at risk. For instance, the BMI of a quarter of our (teenage and middle aged) women is below the standard global norm, more than half of our women suffer from anaemia.
A quarter of our (teenage and middle-aged) men also show signs of iron and calcium deficiencies as per the latest round of NHFS data, said Varna Sri Raman, Lead, Research and Knowledge Building at Oxfam India.
The GHI report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, termed the level of hunger in India “alarming”.
Food consumption is the amount of food available for human consumption as estimated by Our World in Data. However, the actual food consumption may be lower than the quantity shown as food availability depends on the magnitude of wastage and losses of food in the household, for example during storage, in preparation and cooking, as plate-waste or quantities fed to domestic animals and pets, thrown or given away.
According to the FAO, the average minimum daily energy requirement is about 1,800 kilocalories (7,500 kJ) per person.
Daily per capita calorie intake 2018
1 Ireland 3,885 2018
2 United States 3,782 2018
3 Belgium 3,769 2018
4 Turkey 3,711 2018
5 Austria 3,695 2018
6 Iceland 3,654 2018
7 Romania 3,581 2018
8 Canada 3,566 2018
9 Germany 3,554 2018
10 Poland 3,537 2018
119 Iraq 2,608 2018
120 Vanuatu 2,607 2018
121 Ecuador 2,606 2018
122 Niger 2,601 2018
123 Nicaragua 2,582 2018
124 Saint Kitts and Nevis 2,582 2018
125 Mongolia 2,579 2018
126 Sudan 2,578 2018
127 Nigeria 2,572 2018
128 Bangladesh 2,563 2018
129 Guatemala 2,551 2018
130 Senegal 2,545 2018
131 Cape Verde 2,541 2018
132 India 2,533 2018
133 Gambia 2,533 2018
134 Cambodia 2,492 2018
135 Pakistan 2,486 2018
136 Namibia 2,469 2018
137 São Tomé and Príncipe 2,446 2018
138 Antigua and Barbuda 2,445 2018
160 Haiti 2,121 2018
161 Venezuela 2,120 2018
162 Chad 2,115 2018
163 Tajikistan 2,109 2018
164 Mozambique 2,103 2018
165 Afghanistan 2,040 2018
166 North Korea 2,019 2018
167 Zambia 2,002 2018
168 Uganda 1,981 2018
169 Madagascar 1,938 2018
170 Zimbabwe 1,908 2018
171 Central African Republic 1,786 2018
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Indonesia to provide 2.5m metric tons of #palm #oil to #Pakistan on urgent basis. First ship carrying 30,000 metric tons of oil from Indonesia left for Pakistan on Tuesday. #edibleoil #cookingoil #palmoil
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Ten ships of edible oil will arrive in Pakistan in the next two weeks from Indonesia and Malaysia.
After successful negotiations of Pakistani delegation that visited Indonesia, it was agreed between the two countries that Indonesia will provide 2.5 million metric tons of edible oil to Pakistan on urgent basis.
According to a statement released today by Prime Minister’s Office, the delegation visited Indonesia on the directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Earlier, the Prime Minister talked to the Indonesian President Joko Widodo in this regard.
The first ship carrying 30,000 metric tons of edible oil from Indonesia will leave for Pakistan on Tuesday.
#Pakistan #poultry industry growing 10-12% a year. 15,000 poultry farms throughout the country with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 broilers. The industry produces 1.3 million tons of #chicken meat annually. #food #protein #calories https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/06/poultry-industry-gro... via @Profitpk
Poultry is one of the fastest-growing industries in Pakistan with investments of about Rs1.1 trillion.
According to the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) report, the industry is the largest agro-based segment, generating employment and income for about 1.5 million people directly and indirectly.
The sector is growing at a fast pace of 10-12% per annum. At present, around Rs190 billion worth of agriculture products are being used by the poultry industry, speeding up the growth in the agriculture sector.
There are estimated 15,000 poultry farms throughout the country with their capacity ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 broilers. Pakistan’s poultry industry produces 1,245 million kilograms of chicken meat annually.
Ali Hasnain, a supervisor of the poultry sector, said that Pakistan’s poultry industry was no less than the international standards. “The poultry industry meets 50% of the total demand for meat in the country, and the rest is met by other meat products like beef, mutton and fish.”
“With the introduction of advanced technologies, more investments are coming around to cater to market needs and earn handsome revenues,” said Ali Hasnain, adding the poultry industry still had a lot of potential to contribute to the economy.
As per the PPA report, meat consumption per capita in Pakistan is less than the developed countries. The consumption of meat and eggs per capita is 6.2 kilograms and 56 eggs annually. In the developed world, the per capita meat consumption is 40 kilograms and 300 eggs annually.
According to the World Health Organisation, a person needs 27 grams of animal protein per day, while most people in Pakistan only consume 17 grams.
To meet the international standards of meat consumption, the supply and production need to be increased and prices need to be brought down so that consumers can get the required meat and egg consumption levels. An increase in production will certainly require more investments in the industry.
To boost production and bring down product rates, imports of poultry-related equipment should be exempted from duties and taxes.
In addition, as growers increasingly need land to establish sheds, the government should provide state land to investors at nominal rates to generate investments and more production.
Haniful Hassan, owner of a poultry farm, said that the current increase in prices of chicken was due to rise in prices of poultry feed. “The price of a feedbag has risen by 900 per bag in the last five months. We want the government to bring down the poultry feed rates to offset the price spiral,” he added.
Haniful Hassan called for establishing poultry research institutes, production directorates and a federal poultry board to provide research and training to farmers.
The government should also ensure easy availability of loans to people related to the industry.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help address the looming food security challenge of Pakistan by introducing modern farming to enhance the country’s yield through agricultural cooperation, a government official has said.
Pakistan has realized that food security is an important component of national security, and agribusiness is being promoted through more investments in the agriculture sector, which will be further enhanced under the CPEC framework, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, a top official of ministry of planning, development and special initiative, told Xinhua in a recent interview. “As a part of improving food security, this year we are investing more in the water sector and the agriculture sector to increase our yield … all these sectors are strengths of China, which has shown great performance and productivity,” he added.
Talking about the potential of his country’s agriculture sector, the official said that it is a big producer of milk, vegetables and fruits, but a huge chunk of it goes wasted due to the unavailability of processing units and the supply chain.
Chinese investors can tap the potential of the sector as they invested in other sectors, he said. The secretary said that his country is committed to CPEC, and no matter which political party is in power, there is a joint consensus that the project is important for the economic development of Pakistan. CPEC is a multifaceted program that catered to the needs of Pakistan, including the most urgent and pressing demand to meet the electricity needs of the country that was facing up to 18 hours of load shedding when CPEC was introduced, he said. Shah noted that CPEC invoked a new life to the economic development of Pakistan by bringing large foreign direct investment (FDI) through different projects.
Talking about CPEC’s role in the overall development of Pakistan, he said that it started off with infrastructure, followed by a new phase of industrialization which is going to be started in the special economic zones (SEZs) under the framework of CPEC. “FDI in SEZs has played a great role in the countries which were short of capital … China being one of the largest investors in the world is our close friend, so we are hopeful that the Chinese investment will contribute a lot to the economic development of Pakistan,” Shah said.
Key data on fruit and vegetables consumption
400 g per person per day
390 g per person per day
267 g per person per day
of healthy diet
3 billion people not able to afford a
3.9 million deaths attributable to
US$1.3 trillion diet-related yearly
health costs by 2030
Source: EPRS compilation from linked sources.