Bangladesh has an agriculture-dependent economy with a growing population and one of the world's lowest land areas per caput. Not surprisingly, the most important issue in Bangladesh agriculture is to enhance and sustain growth in crop production, the most pressing problem is therefore the current state of stagnating yields and declining productivity in a range of food and non-food crops. Projections of food grain supply and demand are consistent in their conclusions that there is a widening food grain supply gap.

With negligible scope for area expansion, as most of the arable lands of Bangladesh are already under cultivation, future growth will have to continue to rely on raising productivity per unit of land. For this reason, continuous efforts are being made towards developing new improved seed varieties. It is also felt that the agricultural sector has by no means exploited its full potential for crop production and that there are various opportunities for substantially increasing cropping intensities. Currently only 40 percent of the potential irrigated area is covered by modern varieties and, most important, there are wide gaps between the potential and the realized yields for all crops in the country.

Narrowing gaps between actual and potential yields, however, is easier said than done, for there are various underlying issues and constraints in terms of productivity that are beyond the bounds of technology and another green revolution. To think that the growth of crop production and the goal of self-sufficiency depend almost entirely on technological progress is not only deceiving but also detrimental to the long-term sustainable development of the country. Aside from the fact that Bangladesh is prone to frequent natural disasters, there are significant factors, both institutional and socio-economic, that play a part in determining the productivity of the agricultural sector and food security situation in the country. These include:


Environmental degradation

Crop diversification

Social and physical infrastructure and support services