Find Agriculture expertise in Bangladesh
Agriculture along with forestry and fisheries contributes 19% to Bangladesh’s GDP (2010). The country is heavily dependent on the sector, especially in terms of employment, poverty alleviation, human resources development and food security. Consequently land used for agricultural purposes accounts for a very high 70.3% of total land area and, as a country in which 75% of the population live in rural areas, agriculture is crucial in generating income. Officially around 45% of the total labour force is employed in the sector, but a much higher proportion relies on some level of agriculturally-related production for their livelihood.
The majority of those living in rural areas keep livestock, predominantly poultry and goats but increasingly also sheep. Rice is the primary crop, with the country the fourth largest rice producing country in the world. The crop is grown by intensive successive cropping, growing one crop of rice with flood waters, a second crop with irrigation and a third winter crop in the dry season. There has also been a significant increase in potato production, as well as a relatively recent development of maize. Alongside poultry, goats and sheep, the populations of cattle and buffalo have increased, although productivity levels are low. Other crops include jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit and milk. These are often produced in smallholdings, though more technologically advanced cooperatives are gaining prominence within the sector. The leading agricultural exports are jute, tea and tobacco, with Bangladesh retaining its position as the largest global exporter of jute. It was the most lucrative export in 2010, contributing $191,351,000 to the economy. The Ministry of Agriculture is the key public body in the industry.
The efforts put into the development of the agricultural sector are reflected in Bangladesh’s position in World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13) – it was ranked 16th in the world (out of 144 countries) in terms of its balanced agricultural policy costs. Its value of 4.6 out of 7 placed it above the world mean of 3.9.
The government’s primary objective is to become self-sufficient in the context of food demand. The largely flat country is very vulnerable to climate change, and efforts towards food security must work around the potential threats. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has emphasised that improved production of milk, meat and eggs is a crucial step.
The country faces pressure from a growing population and decreasing land available for agriculture. Consequently agricultural varieties that can grow and continue to prosper under stress are necessary for the continuing development of the sector. Working towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, the government is focused on technology generation and dissemination and demand-driven agricultural extension. Additionally, the state is promoting e-commerce to improve market access for farmers, and encouraging the development of new crop varieties to cope with impact of climate change.
|Agriculture organisations in Bangladesh|
|Ministry of Agriculture||