Other Agriculture Study

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  • Publication
    Agriculture in Bangladesh : A Note on Food Security by Enhancing Productivity
    (Washington, DC, 2009-01) World Bank
    Awami League's Election Manifesto 2008 appropriately recognizes the importance of ensuring food security for all in Bangladesh. Food Security requires increasing agricultural growth which in turn is a key factor in reducing poverty in the country. Food security also requires increasing agricultural production and protecting consumers. Sustained production increases, in turn, require technology-driven increases in the productivity of crops (rice in particular), fisheries and livestock. This is possible through interventions that improve: (i) agricultural research and extension systems to generate and disseminate high yielding varieties and location-specific solutions to production constraints; (ii) timely access to quality production inputs, especially seeds and fertilizer; (iii) coverage, targeting, and administration of production subsidies (especially fertilizer) in order to make them efficient and fiscally sustainable; and (iv) irrigation and drainage. Increasing the incomes of small and marginal farmers requires promotion of commercial agriculture and agri-business opportunities through: (a) value chain development and value-addition to selected agricultural commodities; (b) improvements in market infrastructure; (c) supporting the development of farmer groups and producer organizations and link them with value chains and markets; and (d) facilitating private sector investment in agri-business development, demand-driven research and extension systems, and rural finance through public-private partnerships. Food safety nets are needed to protect poor and vulnerable consumers but their coverage, targeting, and administration need to be improved. All these interventions will require a right blend of public policies, resources, and participation of public and private sector, and increased technical and administrative capacity of the institutions responsible for agriculture extension, research, food procurement, water management, and safety net management.