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Agricultural Transformation, Food Security and the Second Green Revolution: Strategic Directions

Over the last 3 decades Bangladesh has largely transformed itself from a chronically food-deficit country to one more or less sufficient in rice, the main staple. While the population of the country has more than doubled, the output of rice has risen from nearly 11-12 mn mt to 34-35 mn mt now i.e., at a higher rate than population which may have played a major part in the falling incidence of head-count poverty in terms of average calories consumption. The rise in the output of rice has been made possible largely by the release by research stations and subsequent adoption of high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of rice by farmers. The release and adoption of the HYVs was the first green revolution (FGR). The challenge during the FGR was to produce enough food for the ever increasing population at affordable prices to ensure availability of food to all and also lower the incidence of calorie poverty. This strategy has largely succeeded in Bangladesh. Several types of problems have, however, emerged over time as new natural and manmade factors gained prominence. A Second Green Revolution (SGR), qualitatively far different from the FGR, is necessary for survival. 

Brief outline and scope of work          

Given the above background, the present study intends to have the following goals,  objectives and scopes of work. 

Goal: The goal of the study is to move towards a better fed and nutrition-wise healthier nation.

Objective: The objective of the study is to examine the various aspects of technology generation, dissemination, financing and other supports necessary for a quantitatively higher and diverse, qualitatively healthier and more nutritive food crops  system in the country. The new technology has to accommodate the problems of stress tolerance due to climate change and its impact as well as to be high-yielding enough to attract farmers.

Scope of the study: The study will have the following scope of work. The activities under each will be detailed later on.

a. Analysis of the present situation of progress of FGR in the country

b. Analysis of views of farmers including women farmers in cultivation of present crops and the desirable traits for future array of crops, the efficacy of extension in terms of their needs

c. Analysis of views of stakeholders (scientists, policy-makers, general public and special interest groups such as farmers' organisations) on the diagnosis of the problem now and their future resolution

Method of investigation

Several methods of investigation may be used. An extensive literature survey will be done on all the issues mentioned in the Background section and under Scope of Study. This will be followed by extensive discussion with scientists, policy makers, extension service agents including those in NGOs, business, farmers including women farmers for understanding the various dimensions of the issues involved now and in the future.

Based on the initial consultations, farmers surveys will be made in representative agro-ecological zones (AEZs) along with Key Informant consultations with local extension and other relevant officials. At the same time the information from research organizations including those in the private sector as well as NGOs active in extension services, if any, will be sought to analyse their potentials and problems. Earlier such analysis such as that by the World Bank and others will be thoroughly scrutinized for the purpose. 

Finally an assessment will be made based on all of these of the needs, direction, human and institutional capacity needs and financial requirements for at least a 10 year programme on initiation of a SGR in Bangladesh. The analytical methods will be both quantitative, where necessary statistical and scientifically rigorous and also qualitative.

Study Team Dr. M Asaduzzaman (Team Leader), Dr. Mohmmad Harunur Rashid Bhuyan (Study Director).

Funding Agency Planning Division, Ministry of Planning.

Duration July 2019 to June 2021.

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