Status and determinants of small farming households' food security and role of market access in enhancing food security in rural Pakistan

PLoS One. 2017 Oct 27;12(10):e0185466. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185466. eCollection 2017.


In most of the developing countries, lack of resources and little market accessibility are among the major factors that affect small farming household food security. This study aims to investigate the status of small farming households' food security, and its determinants including the role of market accessibility factors in enhancing food security at household level. In addition, this study also determines the households' perception about different kinds of livelihoods risks. This study is based on a household survey of 576 households conducted through face-to-face interviews using structured interviews in Punjab, Pakistan. Food security status is calculated using dietary intake method. The study findings show that one-fourth of the households are food insecure. The study findings reveal that farm households perceive increase in food prices, crop diseases, lack of irrigation water and increase in health expenses as major livelihood risks. Further, the results of logistic regression show that family size, monthly income, food prices, health expenses and debt are main factors influencing the food security status of rural households. Furthermore, the market accessibility factors (road distance and transportation cost) do significantly affect the small farming household food security. The results suggest that local food security can be enhanced by creating off-farm employment opportunities, improved transportation facilities and road infrastructure.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Pakistan
  • Rural Population*

Grant support

This study was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (2662017PY062) - Dr. Liu Ying. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.