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Publication(World Bank, 2010-06-01) World BankFood price inflation not only threatens macroeconomic stability but also decreases the welfare levels of most households, especially the poorer ones, for whom food consumption constitutes a relatively large share of total expenditures. This report analyzes the causes and effects of food price inflation in South Asia during the period 2007?08 and beyond; simulates the impact of food price increases on household welfare and the potential of adjustments in consumer and producer behavior for mitigating the negative impact on welfare; and assesses the potential impact of regional trade liberalization on food prices. The appendixes describe the policy reactions of individual governments to the increases in food prices against the background of their respective domestic food policies. The focus is on wheat and rice, which are the main food staples in South Asia and together account for an important part of food expenditures of the poor. By analyzing the household?level impacts of the food crisis and taking stock of the policy responses of national governments, including their regional dimensions, the report allows lessons to be drawn regarding the policies that South Asian governments may want to follow to enable them to react appropriately in case another food crisis unfolds, while at the same time helping to prevent such a crisis from occurring.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2009-01) World BankAwami 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.
Multisectoral Approaches to Addressing Malnutrition in Bangladesh : The Role of Agriculture and Microcredit(Washington, DC, 2008-04) World BankThe objective of this study is to demonstrate how the interaction between sectors can be improved to increase the effectiveness of sectoral interventions, and how the interventions in the agricultural sector and microfinance can be used to improve nutritional outcomes. The study will examine what has been done to improve nutrition through interventions in the agriculture sector and microcredit programmes in Bangladesh and around the world, how they were implemented and to the extent possible, what the impact of those interventions was. The populations of primary concern for this study are infants, children and women of childbearing age, the group that is the target of many of the millennium development goals. The study will also pay special attention to the extent to which programmes and policies are successful at reaching poor and vulnerable groups in society and thus, reduce inequalities in nutrition. The introduction provides the background and rationale for this work. Chapter two assesses the status of malnutrition in Bangladesh, provides a brief history of policies and programmes to address malnutrition in the country and lays out the case for a multi-sectoral response to malnutrition. Chapter three reviews the potential role of interventions in the agriculture sector, including existing evidence on the impact of such interventions and institutional and other challenges to enhancing the impact. Chapter four provides a similar review of the role of microcredit programmes in improving nutrition outcomes. Recommendations on using multi-sectoral approaches to improve nutrition in Bangladesh are the subject of chapter five.