Date of Award

8-2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Daniel De La Torre Ugarte

Abstract

Food insecurity and undemutrition are serious problems in many countries. The identification of the efficient way to improve the food security condition has become a primary political issue for each country. Domestic food production growth, economic growth and trade liberalization have been listed as major solutions, with the increasing weight on the latter two. All of these three factors may improve each country's food security condition to some extent. However, the significance of the impact of each of these factors has not fully been compared. It is assumed one of these three factors has stronger impact on food security than the others have, and also the size and the significance of the impact may change under the different agricultural population ratio and the population size of the country. The identification of the most efficient factor is therefore helpful for policymakers to formulate the most effective policy to improve food security. According to the analysis based on the historical trend, it is assumed that the domestic food production growth is generally more significant than economic growth and trade liberalization, and may be the only significant factor under the high agricultural population ratio. Countries with severer and more widespread undemutrition today generally have high agricultural population ratio. Therefore the result of this analysis suggests that the policies in countries with severe and widespread undemutrition today should be directed more toward the domestic food production growth, than toward economic growth and trade liberalization.

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