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FOOD SECURITY (Assessment on Bangladesh and Remaining Parts of the World)


Origin Of The Report

Objective , Scope Of The Report

Food Security

Basic Information On Bangladesh, India ,Philippines ,Thailand, China ,Japan

Bio Fuel

Elements of Food Security

INTRODUCTION ORIGIN OF THE REPORT The recent rapid rise in food prices has had an immediate impact that affecting all countries, but particularly Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries, where it is raising the cost

of food imports and exacerbating the balance of trade. It is causing greater hardship for poor families in both developed and developing countries. Hundreds of millions of people in developing countries already face hunger and malnutrition on a daily basis, and many more will be added to their number. Even in wealthy countries, consumers are scaling down on quality and scaling up on quantity so as to contain their food costs. The current rise in prices also raises fundamental questions about the adequacy of the current global food management system to ensure world food security, and about the long-term sustainability of production and distribution systems on which the world’s food supply is currently based. The new challenges posed by climate change and the emerging market for Bio-fuels make it all the more urgent to begin addressing these long-term strategic issues that will determine whether the world can assure adequate food for its burgeoning population. The persistence of widespread food insecurity and malnutrition is negatively influencing economic growth where it is most needed and creating conditions that are bound to breed social and economic instability and, potentially, political insecurity worldwide. While some countries have made rapid progress towards reducing hunger, far too many people remain chronically undernourished and many more suffer from various forms of malnutrition. As a result of the current price rises, any gains made so far risk being wiped out, and many more people’s lives are at serious risk. From all these previous discussion ,the significance of food security is clear. As a part of our study curriculum in BBA course, we have been assigned to conduct a study on food security.

Objectives of the report: • •

To Gather deep knowledge on food security. To fulfill the partial requirement of our course of Microeconomics.

To evaluate the reasons and rationales of food insecurity and security.

To analyze the problems that barriers the food security.

Methodology: Information used in this paper we collected from related books, journals, periodicals & annual reports etc. After that we went to the Bureau of statistics situated at Agargaon and BRRI situated at Gagipur. The authority of these organizations co-operate us to get all essential information. We also collect information from websites.

Limitations: There are some limitations that we have faced during preparing the report. The most obvious limitation is the unavailability of genuine information. Another limitation is lack of available information source related to this topic. Other limitation is our report is mostly internet base.


The proposed report will cover the all about food security. Reasons of food insecurity. Total information is divided into two main parts. One is world scenario of food security and insecurity. Another is scenario of Bangladesh on food security. Reasons and result of food insecurity is discussed. To solve the problem solutions also will be given.


FOOD SECURITY What is food security? Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to enough safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle. To be food secure means that:

Food is available – The amount and quality of food available globally, nationally and locally can be affected temporarily or for long periods by many factors including climate, disasters, war, civil unrest, population size and growth, agricultural practices, environment, social status and trade.

Food is affordable – When there is a shortage of food prices increase and while richer people will likely still be able to feed themselves, poorer people may have difficulty obtaining sufficient safe and nutritious food without assistance.

Food is utilized – At the household level, sufficient and varied food needs to be prepared safely so that people can grow and develop normally, meet their energy needs and avoid disease.

BIO-FUEL THE hype and hopes surrounding the promise of bio-fuels and the Realities of disappointments with its downsides have become a controversial issue of global interest. Everyone is asking: Can corn-based ethanol the primary ingredient for bio-fuels deliver the promises? Bio-fuels are made from plants in the process of changing. Burning fossil fuels adds CO2 to the atmosphere while burning bio-fuels releases CO2 that was absorbed from the atmosphere by plants or algae in the past. The process initiates a carbon cycle one that halts further buildup of C02 in the atmosphere.

BANGLADESH Spiraling rice prices have left the people of Bangladesh facing their worst food shortages since the major famine of 1974. Over the last year, prices have nearly doubled to about Tk35 (50 cents), while there has been no corresponding increase in wages. Hundreds of poor families are now surviving on one meal a day and spending 70-80 of their budget on food.The problem is most acute in urban areas, and aid agencies say that they are very concerned about infant malnourishment. Local factors have contributed to the price rise. Bangladesh had been hit twice by severe '-coding last year, and by a devastating cyclone in November. The government is giving Rice to 2.6 million people, and supplying some families at discounted prices. It has had to import four million tons of rice from India over the last six months -- more than double the usual amount. But the government's critics say that it has made matters worse with an anticorruption drive that has led to the closure of many unofficial rice supply outlets.

INDIA India is the second largest rice grower in the world after China. Much of this rice, the staple food of 65% of the country's one billion plus people, is consumed domestically But prices have been soaring. T h e g o v e r n m e n t h a s announced a total ban on exports of nonbasmati rice in a bit to curb rising food prices, which has helped push inflation to a 13month high. The price for basmati rice, meanwhile, has been raised to $1,200 per tones to discourage exports. Officials say that, as yet, there is no crisis -- India has more than

enough reserves to feed its population. They also say that India will honor its commitments to export rice to neighboring Bangladesh. But the International Rice Research Institute says that the sustainability of rice farming in India and elsewhere is threat- ended ,by overuse of fertilizers an Door soil health. Stocks have come down over the last years as agricultural grouch has failed to match the rest of the economy. And because of the low purchasing power of India's poor, even a small increase in prices can cause a sharp fall in real incomes.

PHILIPPINES Once self-sufficient in rice, the Philippines is listed by the US Department of Agriculture as the world's top importer of milled rice for 2007, ahead of Nigeria, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Over the past 20 years or so, the country lost nearly half of its irrigated land to rapid urban development. D o m e s t i c d em an d h a s risen as the population has grown, pushing up prices.

With rice stocks low, the government has been negotiati ng

wi th

ne i gh b o uri ng countries to secure imports, signing a deal with Vietnam and working for another one with Thailand. Fears of public unrest have been growing. Communist guerrillas recently burnt a rice trader's vehicles in the central island of asked authorities to crack down on hoarders. Officials have said they could be chaffed with economic sabotage -- a crime that carries a life sentence. There have also been efforts to reduce consumption. Some of the country's fast-food chains are offering half portions of rice at the government's request. The government has also asked the public to save left over Rice. Troops have been called in to protect deliveries of rice to poor areas, while farmers have reportedly begun guarding their crops. Some government critics say that it has not done enough, and members of the influential May First Labor Movement have been holding small-scale demonstrations in various parts of the country. But others say that Ms. Arroyo has overreacted, creating unnecessary panic.

THAILAND Thailand has long been the world's largest exporter of rice, well ahead of Vietnam and the US. It has not yet placed any restrictions on exports, and has denied reports that it is considering taking this step. However, some rice millers and traders who deal on forward contracts have been suffering, after being caught out by price fluctuations. Exporters have

even complained t o have stable prices than high prices. Some millers have hoarded rice in an attempt to earn higher profits later on, push ing prices higher still as they restrict supply. The government has released some of its 2.1 million tonnes of stockpiled rice in an attempt to contain inflation. It has also said that it will enforce a rule that exporters set aside at least 500 tonnes of rice to prevent shortages. Rice prices increased by more than 50% last year and have doubled since the beginning of 2008. While in some countries rice consumption has risen with prosperity, Thais have been eating a greater variety of foods and less rice as they have become

CHINA Chinese consumers have been have been eating less rice as their income has risen, according to the FAO. Instead, they have been switching to meat and dairy products. But the government, highly conscious of social or political tensions caused by food inflation, has moved to protect consumers by restricting exports. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said this week that China had an "abundant" supply of rice to feed its population of more than 1.3 billion. China had stockpiled about 40-50 million tonnes of rice, he said. Though China is not one of the top rice exporters, export restrictions can have a big impact on importers, including North Korea, which buys rice from China at very low prices as it tries to cope with frequent food shortages. Though shortterm supplies are secured, there are concerns that urbanisation and industrial development are putting pressure on

JAPAN Rice is thought to have been produced for more than 2,500 years in Japan, where it was once seen as so important that it was worshipped as a god. Instead of importing rice. Japan heavily subsidises rice farmers, paying them as much as four times the market price and restricting imports. This policy is defended by a farming

community with considerable political weight, and many Japanese agree that homegrown rice tastes best. Food security is seen as politically important, and the country keeps a large stockpile of rice -even though it is probably wealthy enough to buy on the international market even if prices continue to rise.Its scientists are already looking for varieties that will be resistant to higher temperatures caused by climate change. Japan trades relatively small quantities and has little impact on the international market.


Scenario Of Bangladesh

Food Security Status

Food Availability

Weather Change And Its Effect On Food Security

Access To Food In Bangladesh

Monga And Its Impact


PRESENT CONDITION First we see some scenario of Bangladesh

Dangerous work. Child labor is very common in Bangladesh. Recently, a lot of western companies have forbidden child workers in their sewing factories. Instead the children are forced to do more dangerous work. These girls sort garbage in a slum area in Dhaka to make less than a dollar a day.

Bamboo home. The rural areas in Bangladesh are among the poorest in the world. Dinner is prepared on an open fire and consists of rice.

Slum. The slums of Dhaka are poor, dirty and overpopulated. Often, the slums are burned to the ground - sometimes, according to sources, by the authorities themselves, who want to get rid of the slum areas.

FOOD SECURITY STATUS AND CHALLENGES Food security situation in Bangladesh has improved, especially on the availability food, and further improvements on access and utilization, to be sustainable and large-scale, needs renewed efforts from the government, civil society (including media) and the development partners. Records say in 70s’, 70% people were under the food consumption poverty line. Today this is down to under half of the population. Today, though people are not dying, they are going hungry and becoming stunted with reduced mental and physical capacity. They are suffering. The hungry population of over 60 million people is larger than most other global cases- the third largest poor population in any country after China and India5. Nearly half of Bangladesh’s children are underweight, making it one of the most severe cases of malnutrition in the world. While Bangladesh has definitely got more food than it had thirty years back, yet almost half of Bangladesh is still far from being food secure. The World Bank and GoB-UN in their respective reports on MDGs, put the target of 34% children being underweight as non-attainable at present rates of progress. Much will need to be done to achieve the 2015 MDG target of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Demographic changes in upcoming years are likely to affect poverty and hunger in adverse ways. While poverty is an overall

denominator of this food insecurity in the country, the additional intensifiers are disability (gender, age, and physical challenge) and location (disaster proneness, access to the market, etc) as well as other aspects related to utilization (education, awareness, cultural practices, etc). Issues of governance and accountability further thwart attempts at providing targeted safety nets and price stabilization.

FOOD AVAILABILITY Background Food availability is one of the three conditions of food security as defined in the World Food Summit. The other two conditions are access and utilization. This paper focuses on the availability of food as an essential element of the concept of food security. In addition to rice and wheat that constitute the staple food of Bangladesh, the paper deals with the production and availability issues of other major food commodities, such as potato, pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and fruits, and fisheries and livestock products. Maize has not been considered as it is still a minor cereal in terms of human consumption. Availability is a function of domestic production, imports, food aids and security stock. Of these, domestic production is critical in ensuring food availability at both national and household levels. Therefore, domestic production of food grains is a major concern of every Government and all efforts are made to boost production of rice and wheat to ensure food security. However, in recent years, the Government is putting additional efforts to increase production of other important food crops as well as fisheries and livestock. World food prices and situation in Bangladesh AMID deepening hunger crisis, Bangladeshis gradually beginning to stand on her own feet. One standing crop, Boro, is going to change the see-The impact of the healthy farm condition is being reflected in the wholesale and retail markets of staple foods, and the prices are going down everyday. The lines in the Open Market Sales (OMS) shops are shortening gradually. Although riots caused by spiraling food have been reported from Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Haiti, Burkina Faso and Senegal prices, the government of Bangladesh has – efficiently managed the situation through a concerted effort, and averted any untoward incident. The number of OMS centers and BDR outlets, and per head quota, has been increased. Vulnerable Group Feeding and Vulnerable Group Development cards for

the rural destitute have been increased Besides, the allocations for Food for Work Programme, Test Relief and Gratuitous Relief have been increased to strengthen the social safety net. The government allocated TK. one billion to generate immediate employment for the rural poor, which had an effect on the market, and the low-income families and fixedincome groups got great relief. In contrast, lines in the OMS shops in Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and many other countries are getting longer every day. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that the world has four to five million tons of cereal stocks that could feed the global population for only 8-12 weeks. A UN study group said that prices of staple foods such as rice, maize and wheat are expected to rise. Since March 2007, prices of rice have soared 76% for wheat 130% and soya beans 87%.

UNICEF says that the impact of higher food prices is particularly marked in poor countries where 75% of a family’s revenue goes on food, compared to rich countries. where just 15% of a household's income is spent on meals. IMF warned that the price hike of food items could trigger social and political upheavals and security risks. World Bank experts say that food price hikes have an effect on poverty in poorer countries, posing challenges in terms of nutrition and hunger. This might make it difficult to attain the targets for human development in the MDGs. Thanks God, Bangladesh, being a member of the poor group, has escaped from the forecasted risks for the next 4-5 months at least. The increased potato production and expected bumper Boro (one of the two main rice that grows in Bangladesh, the other is AMAN) and maize production, if no natural calamities occur in the next two weeks, gives strength the country to say "no" to the international forecasts. The government has taken a good number of steps to sustain the comfortable situation in food production and supply.

Expecting a record 17.5 million tons of Boro rice this year (previous highest was 16.2 million tons in 2006), harvesting of the crop has started in the haor areas of Sunamganj, Kishoreganj and Netrokona districts. As ensuring fair price at the growerslevel is the best way to raise the morale of the fanners to grow more in the next season, the government has been acting promptly and properly. It has already started procuring Boro rice and paddy from April 16, beginning from Sunamganj district. The procurement price for rice has been set at TK. 28 per kg, up from TK. 18 a year ago. It has set a target of procuring 1.2 million tons of rice during the drive and, if needed, it will procure more. During the drive, the government will also buy 0.3 million tons paddy from growers at TK.. 18 per kg. Farmers across the country have been expressing their happiness over the procurement price, as they could make a profit at that price.The government considered five aspects in fixing the procurement prices. These are cost of production, farmers' incentives, consumers' interest, enhancement of government food stock and market price. The government estimated the production cost at TK.. 19.23 and TK.. 13.19 for a kg of rice and paddy Âť respectively, which is close to the I production cost, TK.. 20.80 for a kg of ' Boro rice on an average, estimated by the Centre for Policy Dialogue. According to trite government's estimates, the cost of Boro production went up to TK.. 68,928 per hectare ÂŤ - Hg year from TK. 46,115 last year. Mainly due to increase in the prices of fertiliser, seeds, irrigation and insecticides. It is expected that the government could achieve procurement targets this time as the prices have been fixed considering 40% profit on production costs.Apart from procuring rice and paddy from the local markets, the government has a plan to buy another1.7 million tons of rice from the global market to build a safe stock, keeping in mind the growing demand and the import in the year as the government imported 1.7 million tons during the first eight months of the current fiscal year. The government ware;2million tons of rice, which could be raised to 1.4 million. The government is planning to utilize vacant

warehouses owned by other government departments for food storage.

Food necessity in Bangladesh Bangladesh is a small country. But it has a population of over 144million. Every year our population is increasing by 2million. If per capita rice consumption is 489.08gms daily and our population is 144 million, we need total 25703942 metric ton rice in a year. But with our increasing population we need additional 356000 metric ton rice. Foods produced in Bangladesh Bangladesh is mainly an agricultural country. Agriculture is the single largest producing sector of the economy and it contributes about 22% to the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. This sector also accommodates around 48.1% of labor force. GDP growth rate of Bangladesh mainly depends on the performance of the Agriculture sector. Although due to natural calamities like flood, loss of production of food and cash crops are almost regular phenomenon. Yet in recent years, there has been substantial increase in food grain production. Agricultural holding in Bangladesh are generally small but use of modern machinery is gradually increasing. Rice, Jute, Sugarcane, Potato, Pulses, Wheat, Tea and Tobacco are the principal crops. Crop diversification programme, credit, extension and research and input distribution policies pursued by the government are yielding positive result. The country is now on the threshold of attaining self-sufficiency in food grain production. Domestic production: 10 years Production of rice, wheat & maize Year


Food grain Requirement Population (Million)








Net Total Production





96 199697
















































































Food grain production, particularly rice production has doubled in the last two decades with the use of Green Revolution technology (high yielding varieties, fertilizer, irrigation and pesticide) coupled with growth of institutional infrastructure and a positive shift in public policy and market forces. As a major staple, rice occupies 71 percent of the gross cropped area and accounts for over 94 percent of food grain production. Its contribution to total per capita calorie and protein intake is 74 percent. Rice thus occupies the centre stage of food security and continues to draw major attention of the Government for further increasing the production. Rice production continues to increase, but wheat production is showing a declining trend in recent years. Remarkable progress has been made in rice production during the last ten years. In 1994-95, rice production was 16.83 million tons, which has steadily increased to 26.19 million tons in 2003-04 (Table 1). Rice production estimated for the year 2004-05 is 25.16 million tons. Wheat production also increased from 1.25 million tons in 1994-95 to 1.91 million tons in 1998- 99. It then

started declining and the production has come down to 0.97 million tons (estimated) in 2004-05. Similarly, pulses and oilseed production steadily declined mainly because of the loss of areas under these crops to Boro rice and other remunerative winter crops. Production of vegetables and fruits has increased, but at a slow pace from 1.21 million tons and 1.41 million tons in 1994-95 to 1.61 million tons and 1.55 million tons in 2002-03 respectively. But the production of vegetables jumped to 6.13 million tons in 2003-04 and 7.28 million tons in 2004- 05 according to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE). Fruit production has also jumped to 4.60 million tons in 2004-05. Spectacular success has been achieved in the production of potato. It has made a quantum jump from 1.47 million tons in 1994-95 to 5.95 million tons in 2004-05 (Table 1). Production of non-cereals such as pulses, oilseeds, vegetables and fruits, which are the chief sources of protein, mineral and vitamin, still remains far below the actual requirements, making it difficult to provide balanced diet for all. Out of the four components of availability (national food production, commercial imports, food aid and government security stocks), national food production is the major source of supply at both market and household levels. The majority of the rural population is directly involved in food production, and shortage of land is the major constraint on agricultural production. Bangladesh has only 0.07 hectares of agricultural land per capita, a figure that is declining with population growth and increased used of land for non-agricultural purposes. This continued expansion of the population base tends to lessen the food security of marginal farmers and leads to increased numbers of landless households. In spite of severe land constraints, however, Bangladesh has made considerable progress in food grain production, making it virtually self-sufficient in rice under normal climatic conditions. Rice plays the dominant role in Bangladesh agriculture, occupying around 75 percent of the cultivable land. Increasing both production and productivity of rice is thus a high priority. Bangladesh has more than doubled its food grain production since independence, and total rice and wheat production reached 21.8 million MTs in 1998/99. The target food grain production for 2002 is 25 million metric tons. However, the production of other main food items such as vegetables, pulses, oil-seeds, fruits, meat, milk and eggs is insufficient, both in terms of local demand and nutritional requirements. As shown in Table 2.1 and Figure 2.1, the food grain gap, defined as the difference between net production (production less 10 percent for seed, feed and wastage) and the food grain consumption requirement (defined as 454 grams or 16 ounces per person per day) has narrowed in recent years and is projected to be only 1.11 million MTs in 1999/2000. Thus, food grain production has more than kept pace with population growth, in large measure due to increased production of Boro rice and wheat. Production and intakes of several other crops are far below nutritional targets, however (Table 2.2). Pulses accounted for only 39 calories per person per day (1.9 percent of total calories) on average in 1997, less than one fifth of the target of 231 calories per person per day. Intake of fish and meat were about two -thirds of the target levels, and intake of vegetable oil and fruits were approximately one third and one fourth of requirements. Vegetable consumption was less than one-seventh the target level. Domestic production accounts for nearly all the consumption of pulses, fish, most meat, eggs, milk and most vegetables. In the absence of substantial imports, increases in consumption will thus require corresponding increases in domestic production. As shown in Figure 2.2, real rice prices (i.e. rice prices adjusted for non-food price inflation), have fallen significantly over the last fifteen years, from Taka 16

to 18 per kilogram in the mid-1980s, to Taka 12 to 13 per kilogram in most recent years. Current food availability in Bangladesh: During Q3 FY08, the real economy showed significant signs of recovery after the subdued performance during the first two quarters that resulted mainly from the consecutive floods and the devastating cyclone, Sidr. Over the first two quarters of FY08, the growth in the crop sector slowed down mainly due to shortfall in output of aus and aman rice (by an estimated amount of 0.8 percent and 16.9 percent, respectively) against their actual production in FY07. This year's production of boro rice, however, is likely to surpass all previous production levels and may exceed its target of 17.5 million metric tons compared with the last year's production of nearly 15 million metric tons. With massive rehabilitation program after the natural disasters; streamlining of the subsidized input distribution programs especially fertilizer, diesel, and electricity for irrigation; and other support services including awareness campaign by the government; and measures taken by the BB for speedy disbursement of required agricultural credit underpinned by incentives of high rice prices, the farmers succeeded in bringing more land under boro cultivation than targeted. With good weather and the adoption by the government of successful measures to ensure adequate and timely availability of agricultural inputs including better seeds to the farmers that was supported by constant monitoring, the yield of boro rice is also likely to be higher than normal. The harvesting of boro rice has just started which reports good yield and high production level in different parts of the country. The overall picture, however, will be clear within the next few weeks. The target of food grains production has been set at 30.2 million metric tons in FY08, higher by 4.5 percent over the actual production of FY07 (Table I.4). Though the production of aus and Aman rice fell short of their targets, the expected bumper harvest of Boro is likely to help achieve the target. Moreover, the production of other cereals, especially wheat and maize, is also reported to be higher than normal, with farmers cultivating more land under these crops and good weather conditions especially in the northern region contributing to higher yields. Production in Boro season: Boro is the main crop in Bangladesh. The main part of our staple food grain rice comes from the Boro season. Boro is produced in every part of our country. According to a statistics 55%to 60% of produced rice comes from Boro. In this year Boro is produced in 46lac75 thousand hectare land. The amount of production of Boro in this land is 1 core 75lac MT. The most is produced in sunamgonj , Kisorgonj Moymonsingha, Dinajpur, Comilla ,Nargon and Bogra dist. In most areas farmers produced High Yielding Variety (HYV). They also harvested hybrid and local variety. The productivity per acre in HYV is 2.3MT, in hybrid 2.7 acre and in local variety is 0.8MT.

Production of rice in Amon and Aush Amon and Aush are another two crops in our country. This year the amount of harvested Amon and Aush is 1core 11lac 68 thousand MT. Last year the amount was 1 core 23lac 53 thousand MT. This year the harvest of Amon and Aush is hampered because of two reasons-Flood and Sidr.

Access to Food in Bangladesh: The Current Situation The key issue regarding access to food is purchasing power of households, including food available through government programs. In Amartya Sen’s terminology, this ability to acquire food through the household’s own production, income, participation in government and NGO programs, gifts and borrowing is called “food entitlements”. The price of food is one determinant of access since it affects the quantity of food a household can purchase with its income. About half of the population does not consume minimum caloric requirements, mainly because of insufficient incomes to meet their needs for food, clothing, shelter and other necessities. Food and other

material goods are not the sole determinants of comfortable, happy lives. Nonetheless, poverty causes severe hardships, limits the options and often shortens the lives of millions of people in Bangladesh. As shown in Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1, the poverty gap (the total amount of cash transfer that would be required to raise the household incomes of all poor households above the poverty line) is very large. Using national household survey data from the 1995/96 Household Expenditure Survey (the most recent year available), a rural poverty line of Taka 513 per person per month and an urban poverty line of Taka 946 per person per month, shows that about 48.5 million people in rural areas and 9.6 million people in urban areas are poor (Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1). Raising each of these individuals’ income to the poverty line would require a total of Taka 11,300 crore (2.7 billion US dollars), Taka 7,700 crore (1.8 billion US dollars) to lift the rural poor out of poverty and an additional Taka 3,600 crore (0.9 billion US dollars) to lift the urban poor out of poverty. These figures are in addition to actual food distribution and development spending in that year, when total foreign aid was 1443 million U.S. dollars (6060 crore Taka) and food aid of 737 thousand MTs of wheat was valued at 138 million U.S. dollars (570 crore Taka). Such large transfers are of course neither feasible, nor sustainable. The point is simply that no plausible increase in food aid will in itself fill the poverty gap. A number of factors contribute to this widespread lack of access to food in Bangladesh. Insufficient government and private resources for investment in physical infrastructure (roads, bridges) contribute to slow overall economic growth. Shortage of human capital as reflected by a high level of illiteracy and general lack of education prevents individuals from reaching their potential. Unequal land distribution results in a large number of farmers with insufficient land to grow enough food for their families or earn sufficient incomes. Inadequate market infrastructure increases market margins between producers and consumer, ultimately lowering the prices producers receive for their products. Recurring natural disasters destroy the physical infrastructure, necessitating frequent rebuilding efforts. Because of the shortage of capital and land relative to the abundant unskilled labor in Bangladesh, wages in Bangladesh are low. The average agricultural daily wage in 1998/99 was only 59 Taka/day (BBS data). Average construction wages were only slightly higher, 77 Taka/day. Using an exchange rate of 49 Tk/dollar, these wage rates are only about $1.20 and $1.60 per day, respectively, somewhat higher than the one dollar per day norm used in international poverty comparisons. But these wage rates are not large enough to keep a family out of poverty if they represent a major share of total household income. Moreover, as shown in Table 3.2 and Figure 3.2, real wages in Bangladesh agriculture show a slightly declining trend over the past twenty years. Apart from four years in the mid-1980s, (1984/85 to 1987/88), when real agricultural wages averaged 65 Taka/day (1999 prices), real wages have been below 60 Taka/day (1999 prices) every year for two decades. Real wages in the construction sector have risen by 22 percent since 1993/94, but are still 9 percent below their peak of 84 Taka/day (1999 prices), and the long-term trend is flat. Not only is the average level of income low, but variability of incomes results in transitory food insecurity for many households. Households may be able to afford sufficient food in normal times, but lack this capability in times of natural disasters or other emergencies. Therefore, special attention

needs to be given to disaster prevention and the food security of households affected by natural disasters. In addition, some pockets of Bangladesh such as Rangpur, Jamalpur and Kurigram are particularly food insecure. Major reasons for this include river erosion in these areas, little non-farm employment and unequal land distribution. Monitoring of these areas is particularly important in times of droughts, floods or economic recessions.

Monga And Its Impact On The Food Security Of Bangladesh The Northern Region of Bangladesh is situated in the Tista and Jamuna basin, and contains many tributaries of these. Topography and climate make the area ecologically vulnerable to destabilizing variations including floods, river erosion, drought spells, and cold waves, all of which occur more frequently and intensely than in other regions. Amidst these compelling conditions, the local economy shows little diversification and is heavily dependent on agriculture – which yields only one or sometimes two annual harvests, in contrast with three crops per year in more fertile and benign parts of the country. In this setting, local employment is limited from September through December – in average years. As the landless and poorest survive on agricultural wage labor, their opportunities and ensuing incomes drop in this period, and they become trapped in what is called Monga – a cyclical phenomenon of poverty and hunger.

Impact Of Monga On Food Security For those who seriously start to reduce food intake, the lean season turns into monga. People reduce the amount of food by taking fewer meals per day or by reducing the quantity per meal. Interviews with different families showed that food intake is reduced to one or two meals per day and sometimes they are not eating at all. Most of them consume two or three meals during normal times. The famine of 1974 in Bangladesh bears an analogy to the monga phenomenon. Heavy flooding during summer and autumn 1974 led to extensive damages on the newly planted aman crop and employment opportunities for the agricultural laborers decreased stronger than usual. The traders expected a low supply of paddy for the coming harvest and therefore a high price. Overestimations of the shortfall led to a price explosion which peaked in November. The rural poor, weakened by the severe lean season, could not fulfil their basic needs because the prices were too high.

Concrete manifestations of Monga : • • •

The poorest households are pushed into distress conditions, and become compelled to sell their assets for survival. Monga affected families are taking maximum one meal per day. Pregnant, children, lactating mothers including elderly people are s uffering from malnutrition.

• • • • • •

Rate of diseases increase due to malnutrition and distressed life conditions. Theft and hijacking increase in the Monga affected areas. Poor vulnerable people are changing their professions. Unrest and domestic violence tend to increase. Able-bodies boys and men migrate to cities and more resourceful rural regions of the country. Babies are born underweight and suffer malnutrition from their first days on ward.

Areas Affected By Monga

The map shows that

Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilpharmari and Rangpur, which together form Greater Rangpur, were most frequently mentioned as ‘the monga districts’. Response of government & other agencies: The central government and some Union Parishad authorities have taken initiatives to face the Monga situation in this region. The regular VGF program has been increased with resources to reach out to additional hard-core poor families under different packages. Statistical information regarding the actual coverage of these measures is not available. Among CARE’s key informants are a District Commisioner and several Upazila Nirbahi Officers who confirm that there is no systematic approach in these responses. Most interventions by UP and Upazila officials are of small scale, and generally scattered. All government officials resented the critical tone in most newspaper reporting on the response to this year’s Monga. In some localities, army staff has been deployed to monitor the process

and the local government’s response.

Weather Change And Its Effect On Food Security A news report from August 18, 2007, in the wake of the floods in Bangladesh, states.More than 53,000 people have contracted Diarrhea in Bangladesh, mostly caused by eating stale food and drinking impure water. A field hospital has been opened in the capital, Dhaka, to treat Diarrhoea patients. ‘The overall Diarrhoea situation is grim. Everyday there is a rush of patients,’ said Ayesha Khatoon, a senior official at the government’s health directorate. ‘We are trying to cope with it.’ One doctor at the Dhakabased International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research said the facility had received 1,100 patients on Tuesday; the highest single-day admissions in its history.’ We suspect the flow will increase further,’ said Dr Azharul Islam Khan. The country’s interim government said it was doing everything possible to ensure that flood victims get food, clean water and access to healthcare. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says. Average global temperatures will increase between 1.8°C and 5.8°C over the next century, and the sea level will rise between 9 and 88 centimeters with midrange estimates of 3°C global mean warming and 45 cm sea-level rise, respectively. Increased variability in the hydrologic cycle (i.e., more floods and droughts) is expected to accompany these global-warming trends. The rate of change in climate is faster now than in any period in the last thousand years. And while industrialized countries are most responsible for causing global warming, it is the low-income countries with little capacity to adapt that are the most vulnerable. With the juxtaposition of scientific facts by academics and theoreticians with cold, hard, reality, it is becoming increasingly difficult to shy away from the truth. Climate change is, indeed, not a myth. In October 1999, a cyclone in Orissa, India, caused 10,000 deaths. The total number of people affected was estimated at 10-15 million; in December 1999, floods in and around Caracas, Venezuela, killed approximately 30,000 people, many in shanty towns on exposed slopes. The hurricane Sidr, which hit Bangladesh’s southern coast on November 15, 2007, has already claimed more than three thousand lives, and the Red Crescent has expressed fears that the toll could cross the 10,000 mark. Research conducted, and reported on, from several sources indicate that climate change is likely to have several important impacts on Bangladesh. The most significant may be through sea-level rise. The IPCC Special Report on the Regional Impacts of Climate Change indicates that Bangladesh is ‘especially at risk’ from sea-level rise and its implications: coastal erosion and land loss, inundation and sea flooding, and increasing salinity of rivers. The bottomline is this: for poor countries like Bangladesh, climate change is not just posing a threat to livelihoods, food security, and ecology, it is increasingly a threat to the lives of millions of people. One of the most devastating ways that a changing climate will impact the lives of the poorest sections of society is through the threat to health that it will pose. Broadly, a change in climatic conditions can have three kinds of health impacts: Those that are relatively direct, usually caused by weather extremes; the health consequences of various processes of environmental change and ecological disruption that occur in response to climate change; the diverse health consequences – traumatic, infectious, nutritional, psychological and other – that occur in demoralised and displaced populations in the wake of climate-induced economic dislocation, environmental decline, and conflict situations. In addition to its effect on sea level and government policy, climate change also is likely to have

important effects on the prevalence of infectious diseases in Bangladesh. Food security is achieved ‘when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for a healthy and active life’. The components of food security are: the availability of food, or the amount of food that actually exists (local production and other sources); people’s physical, economic and social access to food (the capacity to produce/buy/acquire food), and the stability of this access over time; the quality or nutritional adequacy of that food; and people’s ability to utilise this food, including the patterns of control over who eats what and the physical ability to absorb nutrients (affected by health status factors such as intestinal parasites. These are determined by physical, economic, political and other conditions within communities, and are undermined by shocks such as natural disasters and conflict. Undernourishment is also an indicator sometimes used to assess food security levels. Based on national food production figures, it is a measure of food availability. Malnutrition is the condition caused by deficiencies or imbalances in energy, protein and/or other nutrients. Signs include wasting (thinness), stunting (shortness), or being underweight (low weight for age due to wasting/stunting).

DROUGHT Referring to the recent report on the serious scarcity of drinking and irrigation water in the northern, southern and south western parts of the country, the DPHE (Department of Public Health Engineering) officials attributed these phenomena to the cause of drought during the last several months, inadequate rainfall and inadequate flow from high areas during the dry season also cause drought. “prolonged drought may hamper irri-boro cultivation” cautioned scientists from the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) adding that the boro harvest may fall into 7.7 million tons.Drought in countries such as Australia has reduced its historically large volumes of wheat and rice exports.

SIDR Farmers in rural areas - already affected by the recent cyclone Sidr - are hanging on to any surplus crops that are normally sold onto the markets and cities, to feed themselves. This has the ongoing impact of decreasing the supply of food to the urban areas pushing food prices up even further. City people without land are now using what savings they have to buy food. Cyclone Sidr hit south and south-west coasts of Bangladesh late on 15 November with winds up to 240 km/hour that whipped up 5 metre tidal surge. The category 4 tropical storm was the strongest cyclone since 1991. At the time of the passage of cyclone Sidr, the main 2007 “aman” rice crop, accounting for about 50

percent of the annual production, was being harvested. Although the full impact of the cyclone on crop production is still unclear, preliminary data from the DMB indicates that some 644 000 hectares of rice and other standing crops were totally or partially damaged. This area represents only about 6.2 percent of the total area cultivated with paddy crop, but at localized level the losses are substantial. In 11 of the worst affected coastal districts, crop losses are estimated at 95 percent of the cultivated area. Livestock losses are reported to be severe with more than 350 000 ruminants (cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats) and large numbers of poultry estimated to have been lost. Localized devastation to fisheries infrastructure and the shrimp aquaculture sector is also reported, with shrimp hatcheries badly hit, particularly in Satkhira, Khulna and Cox’Bazar districts. In Morelganj and Sharankhola upazilas, important shrimp producing areas, some 5 000 shrimp enclosures were destroyed. In Bagerhat district some 90 percent of the shrimp enclosures (gher), along the Baleshwar River are destroyed and Flushed by tidal waves.Most of the affected population is critically dependent on agriculture for its living and many are vulnerable to food insecurity. Therefore, the severe damage to the agriculture sector will have a negative impact on their livelihood and it is anticipated to result in a deterioration of their prospective food security situation.

At national level, the crop damage due to Cyclone Sidr follows severe floods in July and August that affected some 10 million people and resulted in the lost of large area of the “aus” paddy crop (20 percent of the annual production) being harvested, and of the “aman” crop being planted. Overall, it was estimated that some 13 percent of the total area with paddy was comprised by the floods. Prospects for this year’s paddy crop have deteriorated further and the aggregate 2007 rice production could decline significantly from the good level of 2006.

River Erosion River erosion is also responsible for food insecurity in our country. Vast tracks of cultivable land, houses and small industries are often washed away by the eroding river rendering thousands of people homeless. Erosion by the big rivers like Jamuna & Meghna continues throughout the year. But with the onset of the monsoons, they take a devastating turn. As a result every year our cultivable land is decreasing and people also become helpless and landless. That creates long term food insecurity. With Land Rivers also guzzle its crops. As a result a short term food crisis evolved in erosion affected areas.



Soaring Food Prices

Biofuel Fine Master Apalling Foe

Oil Price Increase

Water And The Environment

Achieving Food Security And Becoming Food Surplus

Expert Suggest Extensive Research

Focus On Agriculture For Securing Right To Food

Steps Taken By Government

What is being done? Achieving Food Security And Becoming Food Surplus DEDICATED planning and timely supports can make Bangladesh food-surplus ensure food security for its population. This year's net food grain shortage is only 0.1 mil. ton against a total demand of 26 mil. tons (despite 1.8 tons standing crops damage back-toback floods and Sidr). Bangladesh produced 24.3 mil. tons of food grains in 1999 -2000 matching requirements of the then 130 mil. Population and since then it is on the of selfsufficiency. Presently, Bangladesh has 8.29 mil. ha. of cultivable land and about 145.6 mil. population. Each year, the country is losing about 1 percent of its cultivable lands to non-agricultural uses its population is increasing by 2 mil. A yearly incremental fiction of 0.35 mil. ton in addi3 2 mil. tons average deficit is red fo r fo od g rai ns s e l f s uffi ci ency . World’s exportable rice has already advanced booked up to 2010 by world rice price benchmark the Thai variety has risen to 3 times its price of January 2007. Recent worldwide surges in food price are themselves part of a wider range of commodity price hike linking prices of petroleum products, energy, industrial raw materials, food grains and feed stuff. UN World Food Report says that present world food prices are 10 years’ high having no chance of appreciable reduction in, at least, next 10 years. FAO, WFP, IRRI, IFAD, ADB etc. are all unanimous about continuation of high prices in coming years. The flip side of high price is that surplus producers will get lucrative payments. ‘Net Food Importing Low Income Countries (NFILICs) have to go for long term strategy aimed at maximizing food production to protect themselves from uncertainty of unpredictable volatile external markets. An IFRI and John Hopkins University study of 2000 found that s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y i n r i c e f o r Bangladesh is necessary not only to meet world market instability, but also for its comparative advantages in production. Bangladesh, the world's 4th largest rice producer, has potentials and capabilities to attain sustainable food security and even become net rice exporter.

Food surplus in short-term Bangladesh has to produce at least 31 mil. tons of food grains in its 7.88 mil. ha. of cultivable land (available at that time), for a projected population of 156 million to attain food-surplus in a short-term of 5 years. This is not an unachievable target, since

addition of the lost 1.8 mil. tons would have pushed this year's production to 44 mil. tons. Some of the attainments necessary for being food-surplus in short-term are:-

• Proper planning and effective coordinated implementation: 'Grow More Food' campaign, 'Green Revolution', 'Medium Term Food Production Plan (MTFPP)', 'Accelerated Rice Production Programme (ARPP)' and various national 5 -year plans have consistently facilitated and enthused the farmers to grow more food crops. This resulted in higher growths of 1990s and early 2000s. Coordinated implementation of a farmer friendly longterm plan of government is a pre-requisite for self-sufficiency.

• Product price stabilization and agricultural credit: Drastic fall in immediately post-harvest price is a common local happening. 85 percent of the farmers have to sell immediate on harvest (even sell in advance) for debt payment or other urgent necessity. Ensuring reasonable postproduct price and keeping price-variation within rational limits will hold farmers' interest in food crops. Formation of "Producers' Food Bank" as is being experimented in India, is worth consideration.

• Financial constraint in procuring inputs is an impediment for majority of farmers: Availability of pre-product agricultural loan will boost production. Disbursement and recovery of loan, with government/private funding, can be made through "farmers' cooperatives" in a similar system as PKSF's loans to NGOs. Availability of prep r o d u c t i o n c r e d i t a n d p o s t - production reasonable price can do away with agricultural subsidies and their related maladies. •

Population control:Lax population growth is unwarranted in Bangladesh because of limited land and other resource bases. 1974 population growth rate of 2.48 has come down to 1.42 at present. Jobs for rural women, extensive motivation and easy availability of family planning materials at grassroots level will effectively assist in bringing down the growth rate.

• Food habit change: Nationwide substituting one meal of rice with bread (made of 50 percent wheat/maize flour and 50 percent meshed potato) will reduce our total food grains

requirement by at least 15 percent and optimize use of home grown potatoes. Food habit change motivation will need active support of media, civil society and government. Japanese per capita/year consumption of 155 160 kg of rice in mid-50s has already come down to 60 kg at present.

• Contract farming: Myanmar h a s o f f e r e d t o l e a s e o u t t o Bangladesh at least 50,000 acres of land for rice cultivation for a period of at least 10 years. 50,000 acres will add at least 60,000 tons of food grains to national inventory. China and Thailand are already engaged in contract farming there.

• Cultivation of fallow lands: Fallow lands in Bangladesh are either lying fallow in between two crops or remaining vacant for a year or more. About 75,000 ha. lying fallow after an Aman harvest in Rajshahi region is capable of producing additional 0.2 mil. tons of wheat with timely irrigation. 737,363 ha. was lying fallow for a year or more against a net cropped area of 7.97 mil. ha. in 2005. Even raising a single crop there would have increased total national production by at least 9 percent.

• Improvement in seed quality and production techniques; dissemination of information and stable supply of inputs:

Wide dissemination of updated and validated information on quality seeds, production techniques, balanced fertilizer use, irrigation, harvesting, storage, marketing etc. to grassroots level augments agricultural growth. Average yield of 1.5 tons/ha. of late 70s has come up to more than 3 tons/ha. A Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) experiment has more than doubled per ha. rice production, with timely provision of proper inputs alone. Raising the average rate of production to 4 tons/ha. to achieve food-surplus is not unattainable. According to Dr. Mahabub Hossain, only ensuring availability of good HYV seeds will increase local total food grains production by 10 percent.

• Efficient post-production crop management:

Post-harvest loss in Bangladesh, amounting to 30 percent -40 percent of production, is very high. 50% savings in post-harvest loss by efficient management of production and storage alone can make Bangladesh a food-surplus country.

Bangladesh can immediately become accomplishing any one of the factors like …..






Cultivation of all fallow lands; or

Improvement in seed quality and production techniques, stable and timely supply of inputs; or

Efficient post-production crop management. Nation-wide food habit change will accrue sufficient food-surplus and make Bangladesh a net rice exporter.

Food Security In Medium-Ter Though availability is a necessary prerequisite, mere availability may not ensure food security for all, as access is also related to economic capability. Individual food security, cumulatively leading to national food security is the choicest option in this regard. To achieve food security in a medium-term of say 15 years, Bangladesh has to produce at least 35 mil. tons of food grains in the 7.05 mil. ha. of cultivable land available at that time, for a projected population of 176.6 million. The factors mentioned before can provide food-surplus in a short-term but for long-term food security, cultivable lands available at that time will simply be not enough. According to Prof Abdul Bayes, land is the only source of food security at household and at national level. M u c h o f t h e l a n d - m a s s o f Bangladesh is created by deposition of Ganges Brhmaputra Meghna (GBM) sediments and the normal delta development is still going on. Retaining the yearly passing 2.4 billion tons GBM sediments would give rise to 200 sq. km of new lands. Natural depositions are random, slow and fragile. Partial sediment retainment is neither technically difficult nor economically prohibit i v e . L a n d r e c l a m a t i o n s i n Bangladesh require less cost- intensive interventions. Artificial interventions can make land reclamation sustainable by accelerating deposition at desired places and holding them there. New jobs, food s e cur i ty and rice expo rt, fo r Bangladesh in the coming decades, all are linked together to adequate cultivable lands and land reclamation can ensure that. BWDB's Land Reclamation Project, Meghna Estuary Studies etc. were preparatory works for long-term land reclamation activities. More than 1000 sq. km of lands have been reclaimed by hands-on activities like Meghna Cross Dams 1 and 2, Muhuri Closure Dam etc. A ‘BWDB Task Force' recommended erection of 19 priority cross dams to assist and accelerate Meghna Estuary's natural land development activities. Present Meghna Estuary and its future vision are shown in Figures 1 and 2

respectively. 'The Royal Netherlands Government', 'Global Environment Facilities (GEF)', 'Cool Earth' partnership of Japan, UN's 'Least Developed Countries Fund' and 'Special Climate Change Fund', JBIC, JICA, DFID, WB, ADB etc. are some of the sources of support funding.

Estuary' Development Programme (EDP) initiated by BWDB in March'07, with Dutch grant funding, is a logical follow up of land reclamation activities in Meghna Estuary. The project limped for one year and since then is passing through a scaled down phase, for circumstances beyond its control. Invigorating 'the EDP will put in motion the process of reclamation of hundreds of sq.kms of new lands from sea and push the national boundary further south resulting in a geographically bigger Bangladesh and expanding the apparently finite land resource base. The process will go on ensuring food security, in the coming decades, for millions of Bangladeshis.

Experts Suggest Extensive Research On Agriculture To Ensure Food Security Agri experts yesterday urged the government to set up a bio- technology division to boost agri —research with a view to enhancing food security in both quantity and quality. The opinion was expressed at a two-day 'International Biotechnology Conference', at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) in Dhaka. At the opening session of the conference, renowned scientist Kazi M Badruddoza said the government should open a biotechnology division to conduct extensive research on agriculture and food security. Badruzzoda, who spoke as the chief guest, also asked the government to release more fund for biotechnological research. "The institutional capacity building, adequate fund and human resources are the key elements for conducting bio-technological research and increased food production and food security," he said. Managing Director of Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) Yeasin Ali, attending the inaugural session of the conference, said the government should increase budgetary allocation for agricultural research. "We cannot ignore the importance of agricultural scientists when there is a food crisis, prevailing all over the world/' he said. Vice Chancellor of Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU) in Mymens-ingh Akter Hossain said it needs technological breakthrough for increasing the food production to ensure food security. The inaugural session was presided over by BARC Executive

Chairman Abdur Razaque. "Cost for producing crop must decline for better food security," he said

Focus On Agriculture For Food Security As we await the announcement of the Budget for 2008-9 let us spare a thought for what the honorable finance adviser has to contend with: record oil prices, soaring food prices and shortages, financial crises and recessionary economies and major natural disasters. Compounded with the political crisis in Bangladesh pre 1/11, the heightened expectations of the people after 1/11 and the current political crisis, delivering this budget is a daunting task. Especially as this next budget must deliver on certain key areas. First and foremost, learning from the challenges of 2007, the budget must have a very strong agricultural focus to ensure food security for the nation. This must include ensuring efficient delivery of seeds and fertilizers, supporting R&D initiatives to boost productivity, better land management, encouraging crop rotation and diversification, and government procurement. A related issue will be delivering the diesel subsidies to the farmers in an effective and timely manner. This leads onto the second focus area which must be employment generation . As our ability to contain prices is limited we need to create and boost purchasing power in the economy and an investment friendly budget will help create new jobs in the economy. Enhancing ADP utilization capacity will boost the rural economy in particular. Export basket diversification with an emphasis on labor rich sectors and setting up a Skills Development Bank must also be prioritized. The third focus area should be widening the social safety net for the most vulnerable segments of our society. Here also we need innovativeand

effective delivery systems so that the target groups are the true recipients of the support and not middle men and agents. Fourthly, this budget must provide clear and significant incentives to attract substantial long term investment in the power sector, by both public and private sector players. Education is at the core of all social sector reform and investment in education and health must continue to be a priority. In conclusion we hope that there will be a move towards a wider, flatter and simplified tax structure as well as minimal use of distortionary supplementary taxes. The huge withdrawals from the banking system by the government should also be reduced to alleviate the liquidity crisis in the market. Irrelevant and duplicative programs should be terminated and mandatory and discretionary spending clearly segregated for better accountability. Ronald Reagan once said that a government bureau is the closest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth. He .identified during his tenure 130 programs serving the same constituency and cut them to 10 ! Exactly what we want -smaller ,better andmore effective government.


Gordon Brown: Prime Minister, United Kingdom: Every day, 25,000 people die from hunger- related causes. And when accounts......... for more than half a’s spending, price rises

can ............ devastating for mil-lions living on the edge. To find solutions to the short-and long-term problem these families face, I recently hosted a meeting of leading experts, scientists, food producers and retailers in Downing Street. Already the UK has pledged 30 million of immediate support to countries hit hardest by food-price inflation, as well as an additional 25 million to boost incomes. But what the world really needs is fully coordinated and committed action from the international community a worldwide response to this unfolding catastrophe.

Muhammad Yunus: Managing Director, Grameen Bank: All the indication shows that the current crisis will not be temporary. Unless firm global actions are taken immediately, the crises will deepen and expand in other directions. The rise of oil prices to unprecedented levels, climatic changes intensifying droughts, floods and cyclones, the increasing popularity of biofuels and the depletion of global food res3erves have all combined to cause the current food shortage and inflation. A decline in global poverty in large countries like China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh, which made up nearly half the world population, has led to higher consumption of food grain among newly better-off people, also raising prices. This has hit the poor and particularly poor children, very hard.An immediate global action plan should be put into place to secure food supplyu and financing for needy countries. The idea of creating a global food bank can also be explored seriously. Longer term funding and political direction must be given to encouraging “green revolution�- type technological breakthroughs in agriculture. It is also time that rich countries take the lead in ending trade distorting agricultural subsidies. The rise in oil prices has significantly contributed to the rise of food prices. It will continue to do so. We need. a solution to this crisis that connects it -oil pacesrTrre BiT~ bill for each country is becoming

higher and higher, and with this increase in price, there is less and less money available for food imports.

Josette Sheeran : Executive Director, United Nations World Food Program:

Hunger and malnutrition are on the advance, fuelled by aggressively soaring food prices. Many consumers feel the pinch, but for those living on less than a dollar a day it means catastrophe. From Burundi to Haiti to Afghanistan, the poorest of the poor are eating mud cakes and flour that is blue with mold, or skipping meals, sometimes for days. Evenjjefore this crisis, there were more hungry and malnourished people than ever — 850 million. But now an estimated 100 million more are joining their ranks. The WFP is the world's frontline hunger force, helping protect up to 90 million people a year from the devastation of hunger. It is as effi cient we are proud of our standard-setting 7 percent cap on overhead. But just when the world needs us most, our operations have been hampered. Contributions buy 40 percent less food today than they did just 10 months ago. In March, I issued an emergency appeal to world leaders to cover those losses -- now set at $755 million — so we maintain rations for the millions of hungry we reach. We must also raise our base operations budget of $3.5 billion.

No one wants to be dependent: we must help the hungry help themselves. The WFP has revolutionized food aid to build local capacity through ways such as making 80 percent of our food purchases from farmers in the developing world. We can help get food to those who need it, as we have recently in Myanmar -- using the WFP's" network of planes, ships, helicopters and, where_ necessary, donkeys, camels and elephant. But we must also take this as a wake up call to act now to defeat the plague of hunger once and for all.

Bangladesh: B'desh To Import 567,000 Tonnes Of Rice DHAKA, BANGLADESH: The government is going to purchase 567,000 tonnes of rice at a cost of 15.92 billion taka (US$232.66 million) to meet the local demand amid another spell of price hike in the capital's retail and wholesale markets.The price of per kilogram of coarse rice rose by 1 taka (1 US cent) in the last two days at retail shops. The rice traders blamed the Indian government's decision to impose ban on rice export through private traders for the new spate of price increases. "The advisory committee on purchase sits today to approve the rice procurement mainly from India through government channel," an official of the cabinet division said. He said that 500,000 tonnes of rice would be imported from India and the rest 67,000 tonnes will be procured from local importers in a bid to boost the rice stock in the country. The import from India will start this month once the deal is finalised and it will be completed within 75 days of signing of the contract, food ministry sources said. The cost of procuring per kg of rice from India will be 27.93 taka (40 US cents) while the government will buy per kg of rice at 28.17 taka (41 US cents) to 29.40

taka (42 US cents) from local importers, sources said. According to the daily price index of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the market price of per kg of coarse rice was 28-30 (approximately 43 cents) on Saturday (9 Feb), while it was being sold at Tk 2931 (approximately 45 US cents) Monday (Feb 11). Besides, prices of rice in wholesale markets also rose by 20-40 taka (29-58 cents) per maund in the same period. Talking to The Daily Star, Mohammad Nizam Uddin, secretary of Badamtali and Babubazar Rice Aratdar Samiti, brushed aside the allegations of local traders' syndication behind the price hike of rice. The price of the staple food increased as India suspended rice export through private importers, he added. "We did not get any supply from Indian traders in the last three days, which have caused a crisis in our market," said another rice trader at the Babubazar wholesale market of rice. Our correspondent from Rangpur reports: A huge number of trucks loaded with rice have been stranded at Changrabandha port and its adjoining areas in India since 8 Feb as the Indian government put a ban on export.Cost for importing per tonne of rice through seaports will be $414 while through river ways, it will be $400. A total of 250,000 tonnes of rice will be imported--125,000 tonnes each through the seaports and the river ways. Meanwhile, $388 will be spent for importing per tonne of rice through railways for the rest 125,000 tonnes. The purchase committee is likely to approve the deal to import rice from India at the cost of 13.96 billion taka ($204.01 million) Tuesday (12 Feb). After the purchase committee approves the deal to import rice from India Tuesday, Directorate of Food would sign a contract with the WBECSCL, food ministry sources said. Director General of Directorate of Food Molla Waheeduzzman will sign the contract, who is in Kolkata at present leading a delegation of the directorate. The government will procure 25,000 tonnes of rice from a local importer at the cost of $402 per tonne and another 42,000 tonnes from 13 importers at the cost of $420-$430 per tonne. Meanwhile, government stock of rice is being used up fast in recent days. Yesterday's total stock of rice was 396,000 tonnes, which was over 400,000 tonnes in last week, government sources said.

Steps Taken By The Government Tk.622 Cr. Agriculture Research To Up Farm Output Launched

The government has recently launched a Tk.622crore project to revitalize agricultural research and extension for increasing farm production to ensure food security of the country. Under the project titled National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP): Phase 1, Tk.258.63crore has been allocated for research and Tk.251.09crore for extension services. And the rest is for building an effective marketing system for farm products, project preparation and coordination. Of the amount, the World Bank (WB) will provide around Tk.438crore, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Tk.135crore and Bangladesh Government Tk.48crore. The NATP in its 5 year 1 st Phase will cover farmers in 1200 unions of 120 upazilas.

5.74lac MT Rice Procured Till Now

The government has procured 5.74lac metric tons (MT) of rice and 43 thousand MT paddies till now in its drive to scale up the country’s food stock. The government set a target to buy 12lac MT rice and 3lac MT paddy during the boro season this year. A total of Tk.9772crore has been allocated this fiscal to ensure food security, up from Tk.5425crore in the revised budget of the last fiscal. The government targets to procure 31.84lac MT food grain this fiscal. Of this, it will procure 16.34lac MT from the international market and 15.50lac MT from domestic market.

Govt. Targets Coastal Lands For Cultivation The government is going to determine strategies for best use of cultivable fallow land, especially in seven costal districts and Sylhet region, to increase production following shortage of food and high prices. According to Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council, the country is loosing 80000 to 100000 hectares of arable land every year due to urbanization and industrialization. Currently, an 82.9lac hectare of land is cultivated, while 3.23lac hectares of arable land lays fallow. On the other hand, only 10.27lac hectares of land produce 3 crops annually, 41.34lac hectares produce 2 crops and 28.73lac hectares produce only one crop a year. Bangladesh is to import around 6 to 10lac tons of rice, 15lac tons of wheat and good amounts of pulse, oil and fruits every year. Agriculturists say good usage of cultivable land will not only meet the domestic demands but also lead to food

surplus. It is a long term process, but whatever technologies are available should be taken to farmers to make an enabling environment so that they are encouraged to cultivate.

Irrigation Subsidies Doubled In This Fiscal Year The proposed budget for fiscal 2008-09 contains several measures to boost agriculture sector, including raising direct cash subsidy to farmers using diesel powered irrigations pumps to Tk.540crore from Tk.250crore this year and tax holiday for agro-processing industries. The govt. also proposed for keeping Tk.2lac to Tk.2.15lac as tax free income for persons having only agricultural income. Besides, the government proposed tax exemption for farms engaged in various agri-sub sectors, such as fisheries, poultry, cattle breeding and dairy. Direct cash subsidy, introduced for the first time in the current fiscal year, was distributed among more than 65.93lac farmers in 484 upazilas.

Agricultural Credit On agri credit, this budget has set a target of disbursing Tk.9000crore, 8% up from Tk.8308crore this fiscal year. In the current fiscal year Tk.500crore and Tk.200crore have been provided by Bangladesh Bank to Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank respectively to re-finance their credit disbursements. The govt. has also allocated Tk.383crore to Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Sonali Bank to ensure increased credit flows to the Sidr and flood affected areas. Moreover the govt. has spent Tk.165crore for agricultural rehabilitation in these areas. In addition the government channeled an additional amount of Tk.130crore to Palli Karama Shahayak Foundation (PKSF) to disburse credit to the small farmers and fishermen on highly concessional terms

Economic Growth And Trade Liberalization Increasing food production leads to greater availability of food and economic growth in the domestic and/or overseas markets. Generating income can provide access to more and varied foods and provide cash for use in other areas of the economy, such as small enterprise and manufacturing, which in turn helps reduce poverty. Trade liberalization is opening up markets slowly, but there are costly barriers to overcome. Work is underway through the Doha Round of multilateral trading negotiations in the World Trade Organization to make trade rules fair, encourage trade liberalization and assist developing countries to participate in the global trade environment.

Distribution: While there are sufficient resources in the world to provide food security for all, policy and behavioral changes are necessary to guarantee a fair share for all people, especially the poor. Building on a series of global conferences, in particular the 1992 International Conference on Nutrition and the 1996 and 2002 World Food Summits, countries have developed national nutrition plans and policies in nine major strategic action areas that • •

include mainstream nutrition goals in development policies and programs improve household food and nutrition security

protect consumers through improved food quality and safety

prevent and manage infectious diseases

promote breastfeeding

care for the socioeconomically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable

prevent and control specific micronutrient deficiencies

promote appropriate diets and healthy lifestyles

assess, analyze and monitor nutrition situations.

The progress towards achieving these goals, however, has been much slower than intended.

Recognizing The Role Of Women Gender equality is a prerequisite for the eradication of poverty and hunger. Many programs recognize the need for changes in access to food, land, credit, education, health and nutrition training and decision making in order to make effective use of women's roles in agricultural production and food preparation.


• Soaring Food Prices. • Biofuel Fine Master Apalling Foe. • Oil Price Increase. • Water and the Environment.



What Happens When People Do Not Have Food Security?

For the more than 800 million people who do not get enough regular, healthy food, ill health and a shorter life expectancy are real risks. Children, and especially very young children, who suffer from food insecurity will be less developed than children of the same age who have had sufficient food. They will most likely be shorter and weigh less, and be less able physically and intellectually, because of poor nutrition.

Soaring Food Prices

Background : The recent rapid rise in food prices has had an immediate impact that affecting all countries, but particularly Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries, where it is raising the cost of food imports and exacerbating the balance of trade. It is causing greater hardship for poor families in both developed and developing countries. Hundreds of millions of people in developing countries already face hunger and malnutrition on a daily basis, and many more will be added to their number. Even in wealthy countries, consumers are scaling down on quality and scaling up on quantity so as to contain their food costs. The current rise in prices also raises fundamental questions about the adequacy of the current global food management system to ensure world food security, and about the long-term sustainability of production and distribution systems on which the world’s food supply is currently based. The new challenges posed by climate change and the emerging market for Bio-fuels make it all the more urgent to begin addressing these long-term strategic issues that will determine whether the world can assure adequate food for its burgeoning population. The persistence of widespread food insecurity and malnutrition is negatively influencing economic growth where it is most needed and creating conditions that are bound to breed social and economic instability and, potentially, political insecurity worldwide. While some countries have made rapid progress towards reducing hunger, far too many people remain chronically undernourished and many more suffer from various forms of malnutrition. As a result of the current price rises, any gains made so far risk being wiped out, and many more people’s lives are at serious risk. This document provides information about some fundamental issues affecting food security.

The Food Price Crisis: The world is experiencing a dramatic increase in international prices of basic food commodities. The increase has been rapid, sustained, and across all major crops. In the first three months of 2008, international prices reached their highest point, in real terms, in nearly thirty years, for all major food commodities. Projections suggest that prices are likely to remain high for the next few years, and that this will affect most developing countries’ markets. The indications are that the observed long-term decline in real prices could come to a halt, signalling a structural change in agricultural commodity markets, though it is too early to be certain. The FAO Food Price Index rose by 8 percent in 2006 and by a further 24 percent in 2007. The index average for the first three months of 2008 was 53 percent higher than for the same period in 2007. Over the same period, the price of vegetable oils rose by 97 percent, grains by 87 percent, dairy products by 58 percent and rice by 46 percent. Sugar and meat prices also rose, but to a lesser extent. There was much greater price volatility than in the past, which has lasted longer than in past high price

events. The World Bank estimates that some 100 million people have been pushed into poverty as a result of high prices over the last two year

Impacts of rising food prices: Balance of payments situations have worsened. Large increases in food and fuel prices threaten macro-economic stability and growth, especially in low-income, net-importing countries, which are especially vulnerable, due to a combination of chronic hunger and dependence on imports of petroleum, and, in many cases, of cereals and oilseeds. The total cost of food imports for developing countries was US$ 254 billion in 2007, some 33 percent higher than 2006, which was already 13 percent higher than 2005. These countries’ annual food imports could now cost over twice what they did in 2000. Low-Income FoodDeficit Countries are expected to face cereal import costs in the 2007/08 that are 56 percent higher than the previous marketing year. Africa is particularly affected. In some poor countries, the increased costs lead to a substantial deterioration in their current accounts, sometimes by over 3 percent of GDP in a year. A negative balance of payments places a heavy burden on developing countries, as higher food and energy prices compound existing problems of undernourishment and further reduce the availability of funds for essential investments. Household food insecurity and malnutrition have been aggravated. Rising prices are bound to deepen the already unacceptable level of food deprivation suffered by 854 million people (SOFI, 2006), and risk adding many more millions to their numbers. The impact of domestic food inflation on food security in developing countries, where food represents over half of consumer spending and as much as 70-80 percent of expenditure by low-income families, is severe. Malnutrition is worsened, when the poor are unable to afford higher quality foods, including meat, dairy products and vegetables. The impact of soaring food prices on households depends crucially on their position in agricultural output food markets as producers and consumers: taking an unweighted average across countries, only 23 percent of all households and 31 percent of rural households are net food sellers, indicating that a majority of households are net buyers of staple foods: this means that the majority of the poor stand to lose from rising prices. Agricultural production, for net exporting countries and net-sales households, will usually benefit from rising prices. They can raise incomes, induce an expansion in production, and encourage additional investment in productive assets. For this to be the case, price rises must be allowed to reach farmers, and they must have confidence that high prices will continue in the medium term. The current price rise should therefore trigger a spontaneous growth in world food production, in both developed and developing countries, and provide a unique opportunity to re-launch agricultural investment and increase agricultural productivity in developing countries. The risk, however, is that this stimulus will be dampened if governments adopt policies that unduly lower prices, in order to protect consumers from hunger and malnutrition, by measures such as the removal of import tariffs, export restrictions, or the sale at low prices of government-owned food

stocks. Rising energy and input prices will also dampen production responses, if higher farm-gate prices do not compensate for them.

Factors behind the food price crisis: Supply Scarcity There were production falls in cereals in some major exporting countries, by 4 percent in 2005 and 7 percent in 2006, though there was an estimated 5 percent increase in cereal output in 2007, at the expense of a decline in oilseed output. Most of this decrease is the result of adverse weather in major producing countries but some can be attributed to longterm declines in the profitability of farming, given a falling trend in food prices that is only now being reversed. Climate change (rising temperatures) and climate variability (droughts, floods) are expected to exacerbate food supply instability.

Food Stocks Decline A growing imbalance between world food output and a progressive rise in food demand due to a growing world population and a rise in average disposable income levels, combined with a reduction in the size of publicly owned reserves, has reduced world stock levels by 3.4 percent yearly since the last high price event in 1995. World stocks are now at the lowest level since the 1970s, at an estimated 18.8 percent of annual utilization2. By the end of the 2008 main production seasons, they are expected to decline by a further 5 percent.

High Energy Prices Increasing fuel costs (which have more than tripled since 2003) have fed through to increases in the costs of agricultural inputs (particularly some fertilizers, which rose over 160 percent in the first two months of 2008, compared to a year earlier), transport and farm machinery operations. Freight rates doubled in the year up to February 2007, adding to food import costs.

Bio Fuel Demand A new factor has been the rapidly expanding use of agricultural commodities for the production of liquid bio-fuels. The rising demand for maize for bio-ethanol production and rapeseed for biodiesel has been the principal new factor behind rising food prices. Increased plantings of individual crops for bio-fuel leads a reduction in planting of other crops, and to price rises in these. Increased conversion of tropical forests to oil palm plantations is being driven by high demand for palm oil for bio-fuel. This results in

greenhouse gas emissions, particularly when the draining of peat swamp forests is involved.

Speculative Transactions. The abundance of liquidity among certain countries, matched with a collapse in other formerly attractive areas of investment, low interest rates and high petroleum prices, made agriculture-based derivative markets a magnet for speculators looking to spread their risk and pursue more lucrative returns. This influx of liquidity seems to have affected the decisions of farmers, traders and processors of agricultural commodities, thus contributing to price volatility.

Exchange Rate Swings The decline of the US dollar, in which most agricultural commodities are quoted, has had critical effects in agricultural markets and trade patterns. Short-term policy responses by Governments, in banning or taxing exports, have exacerbated market volatility.

Poverty Poor people lack access to sufficient resources to produce or buy quality food. Poor farmers may have very small farms, use less effective farming techniques, and/or be unable to afford fertilizers and labor-saving equipment, all of which limit food production. Often they cannot grow enough food for themselves, let alone generate income by selling excess to others. Without economic resources and a political voice, poor farmers may be forced on to less productive land possibly causing further environmental deterioration. Addressing poverty is critical to ensuring that all people have sufficient food.

Health Without sufficient calories and nutrients, the body slows down, making it difficult to undertake the work needed to produce food. Without good health, the body is also less able to make use of the food that is available. A hungry mother will give birth to an underweight baby, who then faces a future of stunted growth, frequent illness, learning disabilities and reduced resistance to disease. Contaminated food and water can cause illness, nutrient loss and often death in children.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic has reduced food production in many affected countries as productive adults become ill or die. Lacking the labour, resources and know-how to grow staples and commercial crops, many households have shifted to cultivating survival foods or even leaving their fields, further reducing the food supply. Addressing health issues will improve utilisation and availability of food.

Water And The Environment Food production requires massive amounts of water. It takes one cubic metre (1000 litres) of water to produce one kilogram of wheat and 3,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of rice. Producing sufficient food is directly related to having sufficient water. Irrigation can ensure an adequate and reliable supply of water which increases yields of most crops by 100% to 400%. Although only 17% of global cropland is irrigated, that 17% produces 40% of the world's food. Increasing irrigation efficiency and limiting environment damage through salinisation or reduced soil fertility are important for ongoing food availability. Where water is scarce and the environment fragile, achieving food security may depend on what has been called 'virtual water', that is, importing food from countries with an abundance of water. This may be a more efficient use of a scarce resource.

Gender equity Women play a vital role in providing food and nutrition for their families through their roles as food producers, processors, traders and income earners. Yet women's lower social and economic status limits their access to education, training, land ownership, decision making and credit and consequently their ability to improve their access to and use of food. Food utilization can be enhanced by improving women's knowledge of nutrition and food safety and the prevention of illnesses. Increasing women's involvement in decision making and their access to land and credit will in turn improve food security as women invest in fertilizers and better seeds, labor-saving tools, irrigation and land care.

Disasters And Conflicts

Droughts, floods, cyclones and pests can quickly wipe out large quantities of food as it grows or when it is in storage for later use. Likewise, seeds can be destroyed by such environmental dangers. Conflict can also reduce or destroy food in production or storage as farmers flee to safety or become involved in the fighting. Previously productive land may be contaminated with explosive debris and need to be cleared before it can again be used for food production. Stored food, seeds and breeding livestock may be eaten or destroyed by soldiers, leading to long-term food shortages. Government spending needs to priorities food security in the aftermath of conflict.

Population and urbanization Population growth increases the demand for food. With most productive land already in use, there is pressure for this land to become more productive. Poor harvests and higher costs lead many poor farmers to migrate to cities to look for work. Expanding cities spread out across productive land, pushing food production further and further away from consumers. This increases the cost of all the activities associated with producing and transporting food, and decreases the food security of the poor in cities.

Trade Many poor countries can produce staples more cheaply than rich nations but barriers to trade, such as distance from markets, quarantine regulations and tariffs make it difficult for them to compete in export markets against highly subsidised farmers in rich countries. This deprives poor farmers of income and entire countries of the agricultural base they need to develop other sectors of the economy. In addition, trade imbalances prevent poor countries from importing agricultural products that could enhance their food security.

Oil Price Increase Showing Graphically

Bio-fuel Fine Master Appalling Foe

Bio-fuel emerged as an alternative fuel to benefit the biotech companies and the transnational corporations (TNCs) which claim that Bio-fuel is a unique `green innovation' of the modern technology sensitive to the environment, ecology and the poor. Refuting this TNC claim, reputed and established scientists of the world are saying that the TNC claim is contrary to the reality as Bio-fuel production causes food scarcity and environmental degradation. That by propagating this, they are rather committing crime against humanity. Bio-fuel, also called agro-fuel, is available in solid, liquid and gaseous forms derived from biomass. Biomass develops from the living organisms of trees and animals or their byproducts such as cowdung and the residues of plants and crops. It can be used for the production of heat or energy. The agricultural products that are used for developing biomass include maize and soybean in the USA; wheat, rapeseed and sugar beet in Europe; sugarcane in Brazil; palm oil in South East Asia; and jatropha, pongemia and sugar beet in India. Vegetable oil, bio-diesel, bio-alcohol, butanol, bio-ethanol and bio-methanol are the differen kinds of bio-fuel produced across the world. Bio-fuel began to be used before the World War II and was regarded as an alternative to the imported fuel. After the War, oil became cheap in the Middle East causing decline in Bio-fuel production but while the global oil market encountered recession in 1973 and 1979 this created new interest in Bio-fuel production. The trend of production registered decline in 1986 but began to increase in 2000. The trend thus oscillated due to the rise and fall in the international oil market price. To promote Bio-fuel as well as to replace fossil fuel, multinational companies (MNCs) have been active in growing soybean, maize, sugarcane, palm oil, etc, by using genetic technology in connivance with their local interest groups. To promote this technology, the proponents have placed a number of arguments. Firstly, Bio-fuel will increase the security of fuel as a reliable alternative to fossil fuel. Secondly, Bio-fuel is carbon-neutral, green and friendly to ecology and environment, and, therefore, it decreases the emission of greenhouse gas. Thirdly, poverty will decrease in the 'developing countries' through generation of new employments. The proponents' statement that Bio-fuel is carbon-neutral, so it does not add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, has been supported with a research employing the technique of 'Life Cycle Analysis'. The analysis shows that Bio-fuel emits less greenhouse gas than fossil fuel such as petroleum and diesel does. Refuting this research claim, the scientists have asserted that Bio-fuel is neither carbon-neutral nor green because it requires energy to

produce bio-crop as well as to transform biocrop into fuel. The scientists from Britain, the US, Germany and Switzerland, including Professor Paul Crutzen who won Nobel Prize for his contribution to the research on ozone, said in a research report in 2007 that the amount of greenhouse gas emitted due to production of Bio-fuel from rapeseed and corn is much more than saved. Referring to a recent research, five noted scientists of different countries have said in a joint letter to Rajendra K Pachaur, Chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the whole process of producing one-tonne palm oil emits 10-30 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The scientists are David Pimentel of Cornell University; Tad Patzek of the University of California; Florian Siegert, managing director, Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH, Munich; Mario Giampietro of Institute of Environmental Sciences, Barcelona; and Helmut Haberl of Klagenfurt University, Austria. The five scientists have questioned the basis of the IPCC publicity that Bio-fuel production is eco-friendly and it reduces the emission of carbon dioxide. Moreover, they have warned that massive plantation of bio-fuel crops may cause displacement, eviction and 'disforestation', which eventually will 'negate benefits for decades or centuries'. According to the researchers of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK, which has been known as the "Think Tank of 2007" in international development, it is possible to alleviate poverty through increased employment opportunities and economic growth. This argument of the ODI researchers is, however, not acceptable to many experts because they consider a counterpoint that the rising pressure on cultivable land to meet the increasing demand for Bio-fuel production will rather increase than decrease poverty and hunger. Eventually, this will hit the rural poor, especially the women-headed households which struggle hard to collect woods, twigs and cowdung from the forests, sell them in the market to secure their livelihoods and meet their fuel requirement. Thus, it is creating new grounds for the marginalized men and women to experience another dimension of policy deprivation. GRAIN, an international organization working on biodiversity, reveals that the use of Biofuel has increased to power transports and generate energy. To cope with the global fuel crisis, many countries of America, Asia and Europe have started to produce Bio-fuel from plants and food crops. The US has now replaced much cultivation of barley with maize which is used in producing bio ethanol, and this is a significant reason for rise in the price of maize. In June 2007, the United Nations reported that "soaring demand for bio-fuels is

contributing to a rise in global food import costs". Shalini, coordinator of Delhi office of GRAIN, said, "Interestingly, a few giant multinational companies that control the energy markets will also dominate the food grains or plants for producing Bio-fuel. Thus, food prices will be hiked due to shortage of food." It is notable that the US will have to transform its entire maize grown to produce seven percent fuel currently generated from petroleum, and if this continues to work it is feared that a serious crisis will hit the global food security. President Bush in his 'State of the Union Speech' in 2006 declared that the US would cut its 75% fuel import by 2025 through Bio-fuel production. Meanwhile the US has allocated 375 million dollars for research on Bio-fuel. India has planned to set up a National Bio-fuel Mission and a National Bio-fuel Board for Bio-fuel development. Both India and China are implementing their bio-ethanol and bio-diesel programmes while Bio-fuel industries have been set up in many 'developing countries'. The countries involved in developing and expanding Bio-fuel industry include Brazil, Columbia, Venezuela, Canada, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It has been reported that Honda Denki Company of Japan has expressed its interest in investing one billion dollar in the Bio-fuel and sugar sector in Bangladesh. Expressing concern at the growing expansion of Bio-fuel market, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in its summit that the production and use of Bio-fuel added no improvement to the environment; it has rather created market instability. Calling for a five-year ban on agro-fuel market expansion, Mr Jean Ziegler, UN Special Reporter on Food Rights, has said, "A moratorium on the conversion of land for agro-fuel production should be accompanied by the development of new energy technologies that do not compromise global food security." George Monbiot, an environmental campaigner, has argued in the British newspaper "The Guardian" that it is important to impose a 5-year freeze on Bio-fuels and assess their impact on poor communities.

Environmental and human rights organizations in different countries have voiced protests against Bio-fuel production affecting food security. Similar protests are being echoed also in Bangladesh. With the conscious global society we may also have to



• Improving Food Production • Real Price Of Rice(1961---2008) • Japan, China And Thailand Can Solve The Rice Crisis ,But U.S. Leadership Is Needed


Improving Food Production Increasing the amount of food available is necessary to feed the growing population. The Green Revolution of the 1970s and 1980s led to huge increases in output, largely due to the cultivation of high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat, the expansion of land under production and irrigation, greater use of fertilizers and pesticides and greater availability of credit. In many countries these gains have reached their limit, and social and environmental issues must now be addressed. Further increases in food production depend on better integration of traditional knowledge with research; improving farming practices through training and the use of technology to increase outputs from current land without further loss of productive land; land reform to provide secure access to land for more people; and the provision of low-cost finance to help farmers invest in higher quality seeds and fertilizers and small irrigation pumps.

While genetically modified seeds are being hailed as a means of improving crop outputs, there are also concerns about the ownership of seeds, adequate compensation for traditional knowledge and possible side effects.


While there are sufficient resources in the world to provide food security for all, policy and behavioral changes are necessary to guarantee a fair share for all people, especially the poor. Building on a series of global conferences, in particular the 1992 International Conference on Nutrition and the 1996 and 2002 World Food Summits, countries have developed national nutrition plans and policies in nine major strategic action areas that: • •

include mainstream nutrition goals in development policies and programmes improve household food and nutrition security

protect consumers through improved food quality and safety

prevent and manage infectious diseases

promote breastfeeding

care for the socioeconomically deprived and nutritionally vulnerable

prevent and control specific micronutrient deficiencies

promote appropriate diets and healthy lifestyles

assess, analyze and monitor nutrition situations.

The progress towards achieving these goals, however, has been much slower than intended.

Recognizing The Role Of Women Gender equality is a prerequisite for the eradication of poverty and hunger. Many programs recognize the need for changes in access to food, land, credit, education, health and nutrition training and decision making in order to make effective use of women's roles in agricultural production and food preparation.

Food Aid

The need for food during emergencies such as drought, disaster, population displacement and conflict is addressed by the distribution of basic food supplies and fuel. Early warning systems can predict problem areas, allowing action to be taken to keep people in their homes and help them back to food self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. Food sourced locally rather than internationally minimizes the costs and disruption to local markets. In severe situations feeding may be necessary but often food aid is linked with work, health or education to avoid dependency and address the long-term causes of food insecurity.

Japan, China And Thailand Can Solve The Rice Crisis ,But U.S. Leadership Is Needed The world rice market is in crisis, with export prices soaring to $1,100 per ton in April, from $375 per ton in December.2 If action is not taken, prices may double again, returning them to stratospheric real levels last seen during the crisis in 1973/74 (Fig. 1). The loss of rice production in Myanmar due to Cyclone Nargis complicates the task of stabilizing the world rice market. Fortunately, the release of rice stocks by Japan, China, and Thailand

can bring rice prices down now, possibly cutting them in half by the end of June. But the U.S. government must take the lead in making this happen. To do so, it will need to get U.S. rice growers on board with the plan, a potentially difficult roadblock.

Why Food Aid Isn’t the Answer The alternative is hard to contemplate. Unless prices are brought down quickly, hundreds of millions of people will suffer from hunger and malnutrition—and many will die prematurely. Food aid won’t do the trick: There is simply no financial, logistical or political way that the world’s poor rice consumers can be saved by food aid. Instead of focusing solely on marshalling food aid resources, Washington can take immediate action to help solve the world rice crisis. What is needed is leadership on getting new rice supplies to the world market. How can this be done? With India having banned all non-Basmati exports and Vietnam having largely withdrawn as a seller from the export market for now, ideally the new rice supplies must come from a non-traditional source. Fortunately, two such sources are available: rice stocks in Japan and China. In addition, Thailand’s new government is sitting on almost 2 million tons which it has been husbanding.

Japan Uses High Quality Imported Rice as Animal Feed Because of its WTO commitments under the Uruguay Round Agreement, Japan imports a substantial amount of medium-grain rice from the U.S. and long-grain rice from Thailand and Vietnam. Tokyo, however, seeks to keep most of this rice away from Japanese consumers 1 Slayton is an expert on world rice issues, with extensive USDA experience and as former editor of The Rice Trader. Timmer is non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development, Washington, DC, and Visiting Professor in the Program on Food Security and Environment at Stanford University. (perhaps fearing a realization that the taste of foreign indica rice is not so bad and a bargain compared to the $3,900-per-ton locally-produced short-grain varieties of japonica rice). But under WTO rules, the government cannot re-export the rice, except in relatively limited quantities as grant aid. So the Japanese government simply stores its imported rice until the quality deteriorates to the point that it is suitable only as livestock feed and sells it to domestic livestock operators. Last year about 400,000 tons of rice were disposed of in this manner at a huge budget loss, displacing an equal quantity of corn exports from the U.S. and thus displeasing another constituency, the U.S. corn growers. Japan currently has over 1.5 million tons of this rice in storage, roughly 900,000 tons of U.S. medium-grain rice and 600,000 tons of long-grain rice from Thailand and Vietnam. Most of this rice is in good condition, and is incurring large storage charges. Japan would be very happy to dispose of this rice to the world market, but it cannot do so without U.S.

acquiescence. (Technically, Thailand and Vietnam will also need to give approval for rice supplies originally imported from their countries to be released to world markets.)

Why U.S. Leadership is Needed

So far the U.S. has been reluctant to take the lead, out of fear of potential political repercussions from the U.S. rice industry. Re-exporting the rice from Japan would mean additional competition for U.S. rice exports. But at the moment, there is no competition— that is precisely the problem. The rice in Japan is needed immediately. By the time the next rice harvest in California is available for export late in 2008, the Japanese rice will have averted a crisis, but the world market will still need every ton available. It is even in the longer-run interests of U.S. rice growers to prevent this crisis, as the inevitable result of continued high prices will be energetic, but inefficient, self-sufficiency programs in countries that import rice. As a result the U.S. rice export market could actually shrink. The simplest mechanism to stop the crisis is for the U.S. to authorize Japan to sell its surplus rice stocks directly to the world market at a price that covers its acquisition and storage costs— probably below $600 per ton, to whichever importer wants to buy. Certainly, the Philippines will be at the front of the line, but other countries have urgent import needs as well. It is important to realize that this additional rice does not “solve” the world’s rice problem—rice at $600 per ton is still a major burden for the poor—but it will prick the speculative rice price bubble.

China’s Role: Olympic Rice In addition to the release of Japan’s rice stocks, China could get some badly needed good publicity by taking a leadership role in this crisis. While China’s leadership is currently focused on this week’s earthquake in Sichuan—the most severe effects of which appear at this time to be limited to a relatively sparsely populated area in the mountains, Beijing is holding stocks that are the equivalent of at least 4 months of domestic consumption. China could easily afford to double last year’s exports of almost 1.4 MMT with no repercussions on its own inflation rate. Indeed, a high profile announcement by the Chinese government of its intention to release some of its stocks might aid its own efforts to stabilize domestic food prices in the run up to its holding the Olympic games. Certainly, Chinese rice traders would like the opportunity to sell some of their stocks at more than double the price they paid to acquire them. It is worth noting the China has helped stabilize the world rice market before: during the three years from 1973 to 1975, during the worst rice crisis ever, mainland China had net exports of 7.1 million tons, compared to just2.8 million for Thailand. On either side of the crisis, i.e. 1972 and 1976, Thailand exported more than China. Thus, by boosting exports, China played a major role in stabilizing the world market at that time. Alternatively, Beijing could launch its own food aid program to help the world’s poor—they could call it “Olympic Rice” and make their first donation to Myanmar. This rice could be shipped overland from China, avoiding the logistical nightmare caused

by the sinking of 70 ships in Rangoon River that are unlikely to be cleared for at least a month. Word from senior Chinese policy analysts is that such a decision could only come at the “very highest level.” Some subtle behind-the-scenes U.S. diplomacy could play a positive role here.

Thailand: Sitting On Needed Stocks The newly-elected Thai government inherited very large stocks from its predecessor and has been wrestling with the question of what to do with this inventory. This month it has released a small quantity to its local population at below-market prices, but it still has almost 2 million tons for which no decision has been made. Officially, Bangkok is waiting for the new “main” harvest later this fall, but the reality is that rice is being harvested in the country’s rice bowl – the Central Plains – virtually every day of the year. These stocks should be either made available to its own exporters (via a system of orderly auctions held every other week) or be sold on a government to- government basis to countries such as the Philippines. As with China, quiet U.S. diplomacy can make a difference here. Beyond the immediate crisis, investment in agriculture generally and rice, in particular, has suffered over the last two decades, and hundreds of millions of dollars of new funding is needed annually. But the payoff from those long-overdue investments in irrigation infrastructure, plant breeding, and post-harvest losses will only be realized over the medium- and longterm.


• Bangladesh • Remaining Parts Of The World • Bibliography

CONCLUSIONS BANGLADESH: AMID deepening hunger crisis, Bangladeshis gradually beginning to stand on her own feet. One standing crop, Boro, is going to change the see-The impact of the healthy farm condition is being reflected in the wholesale and retail markets of staple foods, and the prices are going down everyday. The lines in the Open Market Sales (OMS) shops are shortening gradually. Although riots caused by spiraling food have been reported from Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Haiti, Burkina Faso and Senegal prices, the government of Bangladesh has – efficiently managed the situation through a concerted effort, and averted any untoward incident. The number of OMS centers and BDR outlets, and per head quota, has been increased. Vulnerable Group Feeding and Vulnerable Group Development cards for the rural destitute have been increased Besides, the allocations

for Food for Work Programme, Test Relief and Gratuitous Relief have been increased to strengthen the social safety net. The rise of oil prices to unprecedented levels, climatic changes intensifying droughts, floods and cyclones, the increasing popularity of Bio-fuels and the depletion of global food reserves have all combined to cause the current food shortage and inflation. So to achieve food security….. •

Proper planning and effective coordinated implementation is essential

Product price stabilization and agricultural credit

Remove Financial constraint in procuring inputs

Population control , Food habit change

Contract farming, Cultivation of fallow lands

Improvement in seed quality and production techniques; dissemination of information and stable supply of inputs

Efficient post-production crop management

Efficient post-production crop management

REMAINING PARTS OF THE WORLD: World food security is also at stake. So to ensure food security I think the following issues need to be obtained….. •

Poverty eradication is essential to improve access to food. The vast majority of those who are undernourished, either cannot produce or cannot afford to buy enough food. It is important to maintain an adequate capacity in the international community to provide food aid, whenever it is required, in response to emergencies. Equitable access to stable food supplies should be ensured. A peaceful and stable environment in every country is a fundamental condition for the attainment of sustainable food security.

Poverty, hunger and malnutrition are some of the principal causes of accelerated migration from rural to urban areas in developing countries. It is necessary to target those people and areas suffering most from hunger and malnutrition and identify causes and take remedial action to improve the situation. Availability of enough food for all can be attained. The 5.8 billion people in the world today have, on average, 15 percent more food per person than the global population of 4 billion people had 20 years ago. Yet, further large increases in world food production, through the sustainable management of natural resources, are required to feed a growing population, and achieve improved diets.

Harmful seasonal and inter-annual instability of food supplies can be reduced. Progress should include targeting on minimizing the vulnerability to, and impact of, climate fluctuations and pests and diseases.

Unless national governments and the international community address the multifaceted causes underlying food insecurity, the number of hungry and malnourished people will remain very high in developing countries, particularly in Africa, south of the Sahara; and sustainable food security will not be achieved. This situation is unacceptable.

The resources required for investment will be generated mostly from domestic, private and public sources.

Above all We need to ensure an enabling political, social, and economic environment to create the best conditions for the eradication of poverty and for durable peace, based on full and equal participation of women and men, which is most conducive to achieving sustainable food security for all.

BIBLIOGRAPHY • The Daily Star(News Paper) • The Dainik Prothom Alo(News Paper). • The Daily Jugantor(News Paper). • Internet • Bureau Of Statistics, Agargaon,Dhaka. • Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Gagipur. • Channel I, Shaik Siraz.

Eco final  

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