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Effects of Livestock Diseases on Dairy Production and Incomes in District Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan

2014 November 24
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by mhameed

PSSP Working Paper number 023 “Effects of Livestock Diseases on Dairy Production and Incomes in District Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan” estimates the prevalence of key livestock diseases in district Faisalabad and evaluates the effects they have on livestock productivity and farm incomes. All five tehsils of district Faisalabad are included in the study. Three categories of farmers were formed on the basis of the adult animal units (buffaloes and cows): small (1-3 animals), medium (4-6 animals), and large farmers (greater than 6 animals). Particular focus of the study is on the negative consequences on milk production and farm incomes due to mastitis, Parturient Hemoglobinuria, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), and tick infestations. The morbidity/incidence rate, mortality rate, and case fatality rate of each disease is determined. The economic losses associated with these diseases are estimated, and the economic returns on controlling these diseases are calculated in the form of benefit-cost ratios. These results are put in overall farm income perspective by reporting the share of livestock income in total farm income and policy recommendations are given.

Results show a large share of the milk production in the livestock sector comes from large farmers despite the presence of large numbers of small farms. The analysis of diseases shows that the morbidity rate of tick infestation and FMD is high both in buffaloes and cows, and significant economic losses are being caused by these diseases due to reduced milk production, weight loss, and abortion. The economic losses caused are proportional to the scale of farming; i.e. the greater the farm size, the higher are the losses. However, on a per animal basis the losses are generally higher for small and medium farms than for large farms. The share of livestock income in total farm income is around 50 percent which makes this sector vital to the survival of the farming community, especially the small farmers. However, the gross margins from dairy for small and medium farmers are only around 5 percent of the total gross farm margins (with the other 95 percent coming from crops), while the gross margins from dairy for large farmers are around 40 percent of their total. The return on controlling these livestock diseases is sufficient to motivate the farmers to move in this direction, and the vast room for improving margins acts as a strong motivating force as well. Yet, when it comes to the treatment of livestock diseases, many farmers rely on traditional methods rather than seeking proper veterinary advice for their animals, which is detrimental to their incomes and the development of the national dairy business.


2014 Global Hunger Index

2014 October 14
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Global_Hunger_Index_2014_240On Monday, October 13th, 2014, IFPRI launched the 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report -  ninth in an annual series that presents a multidimensional measure of national, regional, and global hunger. It shows that the world has made progress in reducing hunger since 1990, but still has far to go, with levels of hunger remaining “alarming” or “extremely alarming” in 16 countries.

In this report, South Asia shows the most improvement and sharpest decline in GHI scores since 1990, but it still ranks the second highest in regional global hunger, just one-tenth of a point behind the highest hunger score of Africa south of the Sahara.

Since 1990, Pakistan has shown a steady decline in hunger according to the GHI scores, but it remains in the 'serious' hunger category, only a few points away from reaching the 'alarming' category. According to the GHI annual ranking, out of 76 countries, Pakistan retains its rank of 57 from last year. In comparison, Bangladesh slightly improved its rank from 58 last year to 57 this year and India improved the most by moving from 63 last year to 55 this year. These three countries, however, still trail behind Nepal (rank 44) and Sri Lanka (39).

This year’s report focuses on a critical aspect of hunger that is often overlooked: hidden hunger. Also known as micronutrient deficiency, hidden hunger affects more than an estimated 2 billion people globally. The repercussions of these vitamin and mineral deficiencies are both serious and long-lasting. Where hidden hunger has taken root, it not only prevents people from surviving and thriving as productive members of society, it also holds countries back in a cycle of poor nutrition, poor health, lost productivity, persistent poverty, and reduced economic growth.

For more details, follow our coverage of 2014 Global Hunger Index launch event on October 16th, 2014, 10:00 am - 11:00 am EDT at


Policy Seminar: Food Consumption Patterns and Nutritional Status in Pakistan

2014 October 7
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On October 2nd, 2014, PSSP held a policy seminar in Islamabad on “Food Consumption Pattern and Nutritional Status in Pakistan.” Dr. Hina Nazli, Amina Mehmood, and Asma Shahzad discussed the prevalence of malnutrition in the country and Dr. Steve Davies, PSSP Chief of Party, moderated the event. The seminar was attended by key government and private sector stakeholders which included:

  • Mr. Naeem-uz-Zafar, Member Social Sector, Planning Commission
  • Mr. M. Aslam Shaheen, Chief, Nutrition Section, Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms, Islamabad
  • Mr. Amir Shahzada, Scientific Officer, National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad
  • Dr. Ahsan Ullah Khan, National Program Manager, Micronutrient Initiative, Islamabad
  • Ms. Nancy Estes, Deputy Mission Director, USAID
  • Mr. Steven Fonderiest, Deputy Drector, EGA/USAID
  • Dr. Michael Trueblood, AOR – PSSP, EGA/USAID
  • Mr. Randolph Augustin, Deputy Director, Health Section, USAID
  • Ms. Sidra Ashraf, Program Management Assistant, Health Section, USAID
  • Mr. Nazim Ali, Development Assistance Specialist, EGA/USAID
  • Mr. William Butterfield, Program Economics Officer, USAID
  • Dr. Sohail J.Malik, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI & Chairman IDS (Via Skype) read more...

Public Investment Efficiency and Sectoral Economic Growth in Pakistan

2014 October 7
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PSSP Working Paper number 022 “Public Investment Efficiency and Sectoral Economic Growth in Pakistan” compares the effects of sectoral and aggregate public investments on sectoral private investment, output, and employment for eight sectors of the economy. The authors estimate the elasticities of private investment with respect to aggregate and sectoral public investments to find crowding-out or crowding-in phenomena in Pakistan as well as the changes in labor absorption or replacement due to additional capital and the effects on output. This is accomplished using vector autoregressive (VAR) models for each sector, which allows measuring the dynamic feedback effects among the variables. Forty-eight elasticity coefficients from sectoral and aggregate public investments are reported for the three variables. The authors conclude that fourteen out of sixteen cases confirm a crowding-in of private investment in the Pakistan economy. This overwhelming majority of cases supports the argument that public investment has a positive effect on private investment. It suggests that if the government of Pakistan wants to have a significant role from the private sector to increase inclusive growth, public investment should increase. A marginal productivity analysis (the effects per rupee of public investment) is conducted as well. The comparison for private investment shows that, for six out of eight sectors, the marginal productivity of sectoral investment is more than that of aggregate public investment. It stands to reason that public investment made directly in a sector will have a more profound impact per rupee than aggregate public investment has on the same sector.

The Emergence and Transformation of Batkhela (Malakand) Bazaar: Ethnic Entrepreneurship, Social Networks, and Change in Disadvantageous Societies

2014 September 25
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by mhameed

PSSP Working Paper 021 “The Emergence and Transformation of Batkhela (Malakand) Bazaar: Ethnic Entrepreneurship, Social Networks, and Change in Disadvantageous Societies” is an inquiry into the emergence and transformation of Batkhela bazaar in the North West of Pakistan. It investigates the emergence of the bazaar in the face of historical conditions characterized by social stratification and political exclusivity. It then probes the transformation of Batkhela bazaar and it’s functioning in the current socio-political conditions. The study also reflects on the social and political embeddedness of the entrepreneurial activities of the bazaar. Through ethnographic methods, the study finds that the entrepreneurs use social networks of family and friends at different stages of entrepreneurship. Where family networks were more useful in the initial stage of business development, friendship networks were more useful in the later stages of business. Friendship networks being more diverse are not limited to co-ethnics as the literature on ethnic entrepreneurship would suggest but are increasingly cross-ethnic. With these findings the study concludes that Batkhela bazaar is a monumental marketplace that is socially and political embedded and contributes enormously to economic growth in the region.

PSSP Seminar in Washington DC: Addressing the Needs of Internally Displaced Persons in Pakistan

2014 September 19
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IMG_0030On September 11th, 2014, researchers and policymakers gathered at IFPRI to discuss the widespread damage and displacement caused by the recent floods in Pakistan at the PSSP event, "Addressing the Needs of Internally Displaced Persons in Pakistan." This seminar was chaired by His Excellency, Jalil Abbas Jilani, Ambassador of Pakistan to the US. Presentations were made by Dr. Anis Dani, former Social Scientist and Advisor to the World Bank, Dr. Paul Dorosh, Director of the Development, Strategy and Governance Division at IFPRI, and Dr. Shakil Malik, Director of Psychiatric Services, National Health Service Partnership in UK. The event was moderated by Dr. Sohail Malik, Visiting Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI and Chairman of Innovative Development Strategies Ltd. (IDS)

As of September 8,2014, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan reports 128 people dead, 436,499 persons affected by the floods in Punjab alone, and  325,647 acres of crops destroyed. There are additional losses in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and in Gilgit and Baltistan. This damage is likely to increase as flood water moves south through Sindh.

This only adds to the 1.02 million people displaced by the military campaign against terrorists in North Waziristan (according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (situation report number 10) as of September 2, 2014). In addition, there are also 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees residing throughout Pakistan.

These huge losses and the issue of internally displaced people (IDPs) are a matter of grave national and international concern. read more...

Issues in the measurement and construction of the consumer price index in Pakistan

2014 August 28
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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one of the most important measures used in economic analysis. The more common uses are: the indexation of wages, rents, contracts and social security payments; the deflation of household consumption in the national accounts; and as a general macroeconomic indicator, especially for inflation targeting and for setting interest rates. Elements of a CPI are also often used in the calculation of purchasing power parities (PPPs) required in the International Comparison Program (ICP) (UN, 2009). As such it also has very significant political implications when the performance of the governments is assessed in terms of real growth, inflation and poverty reduction.
This paper examines the measurement and construction of the Consumer Price Index in Pakistan. With the help of the data from Household Integrated Economic Surveys (HIES) of the Government of Pakistan, and the recently collected data of Rural Household Panel Survey under the Pakistan Strategy Support program, this paper examines identifies some serious issues in the measurement and construction of the CPI in Pakistan. Differences in the consumption patterns and prices faced by rural and urban households not explicitly accounted for in the CPI and the respective weights of different commodity groups used are highlighted as issues for serious concern.

Read more at PSSP Working Paper 020 "Issues in the measurement and construction of the consumer price index in Pakistan" 

How much do you love Pakistan?

2014 April 28
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by mhameed

PSSP Working Paper 018 "How much do you love Pakistan? A property tax revenue simulation for a municipal revolution in Punjab" conducted empirical policy research on property taxation with regard to fiscal revenue options and growth potential of cities. The study incorporates a legal and procedural review of the property tax system in Punjab and data collection primarily from one rural Tehsil of Punjab for the Urban Immovable Property Tax (UIPT) and the agricultural-land Local Rate tax. Key Informant Interviews were conducted to highlight the weaknesses in the local property tax systems arising from issues such as inter-governmental fiscal relations; classification, valuation and assessment mechanisms; political factors; compliance culture; tax administration functions, especially record-keeping; and exemptions and preferential treatments. Finally, simulations were undertaken to show the potential revenue increase from a variety of urban and rural property tax policy options. Results show substantial potential gains in tax revenue from extending the UIPT to built-up village Lal Lakeer Localities and other policy options.

An assessment of industrial employment skill gaps among university graduates in the Gujrat-Sialkot-Gujranwala industrial cluster, Pakistan

2014 April 25
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PSSP Working Paper 17 "An assessment of industrial employment skill gaps among university graduates in the Gujrat-Sialkot-Gujranwala industrial cluster, Pakistan" looks at different assessments of employers and students regarding job skills. These lead to prominent gaps, defined by the authors as skill, employability, and perception gaps. The study is based on surveys of 100 industrial employers and 151 final year students from 6 universities and postgraduate colleges in the Gujrat-Sialkot-Gujranwala industrial cluster. Factor analysis grouped 24 specific skills into the three interpretable categories: communication and business specific skills, core employability skills, and professional skills. The results suggest gaps in all three respects for each of the skill categories. Close coordination among all stakeholders through internship programs for students, development and timely revision of market oriented curricula, and special skill enhancement training programs are recommended steps to enhance productive youth employment in Pakistan.

Competitive Grants Program Launches Third Call for Applications

2014 February 7
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Competitive Grants Program

Third Round of Grant Selections


Call for Round 3 Applications

Proposals due 31 March 2014

(Call for Applications circulated 1 February 2014)


 Research to Support the Enhanced Economic Growth of Pakistan

The Pakistan Strategy Support Program (PSSP) in conjunction with the federal Planning Commission is pleased to announce its third Call for Applications for research to enhance the economic growth of Pakistan. For Pakistan to achieve prosperity requires sustained and inclusive high growth. The Competitive Grants Program (CGP) is designed to support economic and other social science research that will inform the strategy of the Planning Commission for achieving its growth objectives. Fostering innovation within the academic and policy-oriented research communities of Pakistan is vital to the growth strategy.


The Competitive Grants Program is guided by a Research Advisory Committee (RAC) comprised of senior Pakistani and international development scholars. The 2014-15 Chairman of the RAC is Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Planning, Development and Reforms and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. Under its first two round of competition, the CGP has supported nearly forty research projects. Information on these previous rounds is available at