Poverty, marginalization, and vulnerability are key issues in mountainous areas of Pakistan, especially in rural areas, where the bulk of the population lives and is primarily dependent on agriculture for food and livelihoods. These issues are particularly severe in the country’s most remote northern mountain region, where isolated communities, rugged terrain, and ecological fragility make agricultural production difficult and where difficulties of access to markets and services contribute to widespread chronic poverty. Rapid socioeconomic and environmental changes, including climate change, have further contributed to the challenge of food insecurity in the mountain areas of Pakistan.
The nature and causes of food and livelihood security in mountain areas are quite different to those in the plains, and require different approaches. This publication outlines a mountain-specific framework for addressing food security in the mountains of Pakistan. It builds on efforts by ICIMOD together with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) to understand the special issues of food security and find solutions in the mountain areas of Pakistan.