Government policy, markets and food security in Bangladesh


Since independence in 1971, Bangladesh has achieved impressive gains in rice
and wheat production through investments in irrigation, increased fertilizer use and the
adoption of improved seeds. Between 1980 and 1990, total foodgrain production
increased by 38 percent, largely due to a 40 percent increase in rice production. With
population growth averaging 2.4 percenl per year over this period, domestic grain
production per capita rose from 154.7 kgs/capita/year to 168.3 kgs/capita/year. Yet,
recent production trends are not as encouraging. Between 1990 and 1997, rice
production increased by only 6 percent, and total foodgrain production per capita fell
again to 154.8 kilograms/year, essentially the same level as in 1980. More important
than these national production trends, poverty and malnutrition remain widespread, with
more than 50 percent of the population below the food-based poverty line. Increasing
foodgrain production per capita is not necessarily the best approach to reducing
malnutrition and poverty for these households. Rather, to achieve food security on the
household level will require targeted food and employment programs in the short run,
diversification of diets, and broad-based economic growth that includes the poor.

Date and language
Mar 1998
Personal Author
Agris Subject Categories: 
Food policy
Agris Subject Categories: 
Food Security
Physical Location: 
FPMU Documentation Center
Classification Number: 
Other information
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