by Mysbah Balagamwala and Haris Gazdar
|The mother of one of our respondents in Karachi cooks roti (flat bread). Roti made from wheat flour is the staple food in our research sites|
Photo Credit: Naila Mahmood/Collective for Social Science Research
Countries like Pakistan always appear at the global stage to be battling big challenges such as political crises, conflicts and disasters. But the picture remains incomplete without seeing challenges of a different kind that ordinary people, particularly the poorest, face on a daily basis. Research conducted in Pakistan, alongside nine other developing countries, for the Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility project provides just such a perspective. Qualitative research was carried out by the Collective for Social Science Research in 2012 and
a cluster of villages in Dadu district and in an urban working-class
neighbourhood in Karachi to explore how rising food prices were affecting the
poor. Three important themes emerged from our research in Pakistan which helps understand ways in which food inflation
impacts the poor and the vulnerable.