Food security in Bangladesh to 2050

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Mainuddin, Mohammed; Kirby, Mac

Mainuddin, Mohammed; Kirby, Mac


Journal Article

Food Security




We investigate food security in Bangladesh with reference to rice and wheat. We examine the trends in yields, area and overall production of rice and wheat in recent decades. Bangladesh’s recently achieved food security in rice is due mainly to increased yields and the greatly increased area of groundwater irrigated dry season rice over the last several decades. Wheat production, on the other hand, is less than demand, and the area has declined in the last few years. We then examine the prospects for continued increases in yield and area of the different rice crops and of wheat, and conclude that a continued large increase in production is likely. The demand for rice and other food will increase for many decades with the growing population. We examine the range of projections, and compare them to recent population growth. We also examine the impacts of possible shifts in food preferences on demand for rice and wheat. We show that the expected increase in demand for reasonable population projections is less than even fairly conservative projections of increases in rice production. Wheat production appears likely to remain less than demand, though it has the potential to increase sufficiently to meet demand by 2050. However, there are some major challenges to meet if production is to keep pace with (or exceed) demand to 2050. The most serious challenge may be the declining area of agricultural land, about 1 % of which is being converted each year into other uses. Water for irrigation will also be a major challenge, with concerns about unsustainable groundwater use. Sustainable groundwater use in some areas combined with use of more surface water use and moving some production to other less intensively cultivated areas will help meet this challenge. Climate change induced sea level rise may potentially lead to greater flooding and salinity in the coastal zone, which could adversely impact production. Climate change is also projected to reduce yields, but this impact is built into the projections and so does not appear to be a particularly serious challenge.


Food security, Bangladesh, Rice, population growth, climate change

Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling

Link to Publisher's Version


Journal article - Refereed


Mainuddin, Mohammed; Kirby, Mac. Food security in Bangladesh to 2050. Food Security. 2015; 7(3):633-646.

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