Comparative Advantage, Self-sufficiency and Food Security in Iran: Case Study of Wheat Commodity


Food security has a dynamic notion during the time and may be affected by various domestic and global factors. Nevertheless, Iranian policy makers consider food security as same as self-sufficiency in agricultural food products, particularly wheat production. However, self-sufficiency can contribute to food security only if it is in coincidences with comparative advantage and sustainable resource management. The present study aims to investigate the coincidences of self-sufficiency and comparative advantage and the real impact of selfsufficiency on net social benefit as a measure of food security; by developing a Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) to analyze the trend of comparative advantage and self-sufficiency measures for the past decade. The data for wheat input-output quantities and their domestic prices during the period of study were obtained from production and cost system of agricultural products, and other relevant information collected from World Bank statistics and FAO database. The results showed that the self-sufficiency policy through price supports, inputs and credit subsidies and research and extension programs, has increased the physical productivity of wheat farms as well as increased the area under cultivation. However, the net social profit of wheat production was negative during the period of study, indicating a negative effect of self-sufficiency policy on the food security

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