Food security and nutrition in Bangladesh: progress and determinants

Food security and nutrition in Bangladesh: progress and determinants

Trends in food production, availability of food and their impact on nutrition outcomes in Bangladesh

This paper outlines food security and nutrition in Bangladesh and assess:

  • the trends in factors that affect food production, availability of food and their impact on nutrition outcomes
  • the trends in poverty and distribution of income, and endowment of land that affects people’s access to food
  • the government’s strategies and policies for food and nutrition security and safety nets for addressing food insecurity and vulnerability from price and production instability

Recommendations include:

  • a more efficient Public Food Distribution System
  • increasing efficiency of food grain procurement and distribution by:
    • increasing flexibility in setting (and revising) procurement prices
    • using domestic tenders for food grain procurement could be even more efficient, particularly if tenders are designed with significant penalties for non-delivery and appropriate specifications of food grain grades and standards
  • a better understanding of poverty dynamics and linkages between adverse shocks (such as massive floods and droughts), rural income, credit markets and nutrition appropriately targeted income transfers, credit programs and insurance mechanisms
  • to achieve the desired diversification given Bangladesh’s comparative, there is a need for critical public support measures
  • Bangladesh also provides very little support for the elements under the green box and blue box that are admissible under WTO regulation
  • development and dissemination of improved production technology must continue to sustain the growth in food production
  • for food grains, emphasising research in grain quality as well as with yield, and developing shorter maturity rice varieties to facilitate expansion of area under pulses, oilseeds and vegetables that might address the issue of un-balanced nutrition in the diet
  • for crops, the research strategy must accord higher priority to high-valued, non-food grain products
  • continued facilitation of the import of new seeds and production technologies will be necessary for Bangladesh to capitalise on technological advancement made in international agricultural research centres
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