Food inflation in rural areas

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Najeeb Sawali
Rural areas were hit more by food inflation than the urban areas with the food inflationary gapbetween these areas increasing mostlyin the second half of the calendaryear 2020, the State Bank said in a recent report. But the SBP report on inflation shows that food prices gradually increased during the last 12 months, both in urban and rural areas. Moreover, the pace of price hike in rural areas was higher than in urban areas. from Dec 2019 food inflation move from 10.4pc (12-month average) in urban areas to hit 13.3pc in Dec 2020.further, in terms of percentage, food prices increased by 28pc during the 12 months(13.3-10.4=2.9% or 28% increase). In case of rural areas, food inflation in Dec 2019 was 11.3pc which rose to 16.2pc in Dec2020, with food prices going up by 43pc in rural areas. But rural areas remain poorer than urban areas, The rural-urban gap is still wide while the government claims that poverty has declined. World Bank report issued in 2018e poverty head count rate in rural Pakistan was twice as much in urban areas 36 per cent versus 18pc. Beside, high food prices are making it difficult for the population already but by poverty and low development. Thus the WB report believes that 80pc poor living below poverty line are in the rural areas of Pakistan. As a fact, high food inflation is clearly hitting hard to the rural population. Hence, it is requested to the government to make policy to reduce the food prices which hardest moment for the rural areas people.