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Seasonal food insecurity in Bangladesh: evidences from northern areas

Listed author(s):
  • Mazbahul Ahamad


  • Rezai Khondker


  • Zahir Ahmed


  • Fahian Tanin


Seasonal food insecurity in Bangladesh is a multidimensional socioeconomic issue emanated from more than just access and availability of food. In general, it has been considered that the northern areas of Bangladesh, treated as monga-prone, is more vulnerable to seasonal food insecurity as compared to any other region of the country. The manifestation of monga is essentially food insecurity and consequent vulnerabilities. The paper investigates the seasonal food insecurity status, coping strategies along with its possible determinants linked to socioeconomic conditions of the affected households in Kurigram, one of the monga-prone districts of northern Bangladesh. A primary survey was conducted to explore the food insecurity status and diverse factors leading to food insecurity in terms of food consumption, livelihood and consequent family experiences in mitigating the severity of food insecurity during the monga (lean) period. The nature of household food insecurity seems to be an outcome of a variety of risk factors, as well as inability to manage those risks due to income and resource constraints. Moreover, a reduction in food intake during the monga period is one of the common scenarios in the study area. Marginal effects and elasticities after probit regression reveal that household’s income, share of per capita medical expenditure, safety net(s) involvement and the area of residence appear to be the leading factors affecting seasonal food insecurity during the monga period to a significant extent. Households with more medical expenditure (68 %), cultivable landholding (9 %) and households residing by the riverside (4 %) have a higher probability of food insecurity than their counterparts. On the contrary, relatively large size family (-16 %), higher income (-4 %) and safety net coverage (-19 %) have reduced the probability of food insecurity during the monga period. Finally, the paper concludes with some policy issues based on on-site observation and econometric analysis to overcome this transitory food insecurity in the monga-prone areas. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.

Volume (Year): 18 (2013)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
Pages: 1077-1088

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Handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:18:y:2013:i:7:p:1077-1088
DOI: 10.1007/s11027-012-9408-0
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  1. Khandker, Shahidur R., 2012. "Seasonality of income and poverty in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 244-256.
  2. Glomm, Gerhard & Palumbo, Michael G., 1993. "Optimal intertemporal consumption decisions under the threat of starvation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 271-291, December.
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