Food security strategies of the people living in haor areas: status and prospects

Research Grant Reports

The study was an attempt to investigate the facts and factors of food insecurity for the people dwelling in haor areas, some seriously disadvantaged pockets of Bangladesh, with a view to facilitating the policy-makers to take timely and viable steps and workable strategies for addressing the food insecurity problem in consonance with the objectives of National Food Policy (NFP). It is widely believed that the people living in different haor areas of Bangladesh have been suffering from lack of food security. The study explored that over two-fifths of the survey houeholds suffered from normal food insecurity, about one-third from moderate food insecurity and near one-fifth from severe food insecurity. The incidence of food insecurity was highest for labourer-headed households followed by the fisherman-headed households in all the scales (normal, moderate and severe) and lower for the agriculture-owner-headed and businessman and serviceholder-headed households. The differentials of food insecurity in terms of the percentage of the suffering households between the extremly poor and non-poor economic conditions were observed overwhelmingly higher at all levels of food insecurity. This study discovers that the major coping strategies the haor people adopt are borrowing money and food, reducing familial expenses and internal out-migration both in short run and long run. The impact of borrowing sometimes renders people destitute being entrapped by a vicious cycle of debt because of their low capacity for repaying loan and infavourable terms and conditions of the loan. The study explored a poor coverage of safety nets programs in the study households as only 20% households received some sort of help from the program. But the covered households reported that the safety net program was very effective to reduce their food insecurity. Most of recipients got help from VGF followed by VGD and they were mostly ultra-poor and landless. The study has also identified landholdings, occupation and education of the household head, household gross annual income, family size and dependency ratio as the major predictors of food insecurity at household level in haor region. It is also observed that creation of employment opportunities throughout the year, especially in the lean season, government support, non-execution of present leasing system of waterbodies are suggested to tackle the food insecurity problems for the haor people.

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Date and language
Oct 2010
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Agris Subject Categories: 
Food Security
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FPMU Documentation Center
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