Steady progress in tackling hunger

Sustain food security with proactive policy

While inaugurating an international seminar on World Food Day-2020, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asserted that not a single person in the country will remain hungry as her government has attached topmost priority to increasing food production.

Feeding a country of 17 million people where more than 1,252 people live per square kilometre is certainly a challenging task for the government. But the government of Bangladesh has been squarely handling the challenge with great success by making the country self sufficient in food production. Gone are the days when hunger was excruciating as food supply was scarce. Over the last few years, Bangladesh has been maintaining steady progress in food production. Recently Bangladesh has pared hunger by a significant margin and ranked above neighbouring India and Pakistan. Reportedly, the country has moved thirteen notches up to 75th spot among 107 countries in the 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI).

Considered a lower-middle-income country – Bangladesh experienced rapid GDP growth in the past years. Country’s poverty rate went down from 34.8 percent to 14.8 percent. Since 2016, the Bangladesh's economy has been facing some challenges, including the influx of forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, of whom more than 1.2 million are now living in Bangladesh. Because of the low-lying coastal landmass, it is also considered one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change and rising sea level. Despite those challenges, the incumbent government has achieved autarky in food production and reduced poverty rate drastically. 

It is time to integrate climate resilient 

technology in order to ensure

 sustainable food security

But because of the impact of climate change, our food security may become vulnerable in future. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken to sustain food security with proactive policy and climate resilient technology. In order to ensure food security, focus should be given on post-harvest losses of crops as Bangladesh incurs the highest post-harvest losses in the world. 

In Bangladesh, agriculture is influenced by climatic variables such as temperature, rainfall, humidity and so on. Here production of crops, particularly rice, is often constrained by different hazards such as floods, droughts, soil and water salinity, cyclones and tidal surges. Hence, the authorities concerned should address the consequences of climate change as a major threat to the country’s optimum crop production and overall agricultural output. In this regard, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute should work  for diversifying the cropping system introducing new varieties.