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Technological Change And Food Production Sustainability In Bangladesh Agriculture

Author

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  • Rahman, Sanzidur

Abstract

Although `Green Revolution' technology is the major technological breakthrough in agricultural history, which is adopted by nations worldwide, including Bangladesh, to boost their foodgrain production, it is increasingly felt that productivity from this new agricultural technology is declining and is a threat to sustainability of economic development. The present study attempted to evaluate the role of technological change in augmenting aggregate crop growth and sustaining food production for the future in Bangladesh. The overall hypothesis is that, though modem technology diffusion has contributed to crop production increase, it has not spread uniformly across regions and the long-run crop production is reaching a saturation level, thereby, threatening food production sustainability. Database of the study consists of time-series data for 47 years (1948 - 1994) and regionwise (19 region) data for 29 years (1961 - 1992). Results revealed that technological change played a significant role in augmenting aggregate crop productivity. `Constant return to scale' prevails in the crop sector when only traditional inputs are used while incorporation of technological and infrastructural factors revealed `increasing returns to scale'. But, declining productivity of modem rice, the major vehicle of technological change, is raising doubts on sustaining food production. The current increase in food production is largely due to switching from local to modem rice varieties and may not be sustainable in the long run. Trend analyses of 47 years of foodgrain production revealed that productivity is reaching a saturation value of 2,200 kg/ha, raising further doubts on food production sustainability to meet the growing demand. A policy of crop diversification incorporating non-foodgrain crops (potatoes, vegetables, spices, and cotton) as a strategy to sustain agricultural growth is suggested. Also, effective price policy, crop insurance policies, transportation, marketing, storage, extension and rural infrastructure development is suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Rahman, Sanzidur, 1999. "Technological Change And Food Production Sustainability In Bangladesh Agriculture," Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Economics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, vol. 22(2), pages 1-17, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:bdbjaf:202079
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.202079
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/202079/files/Article_01%20Vol-XXII_2.pdf
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    Keywords

    Production Economics;

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