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Is growth in Bangladesh's rice production sustainable?

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  • Baffes, John*Gautam, Madhur

Abstract

The recent growth of food grain (primarily rice) production in Bangladesh has outpaced population growth largely due to the spread of green revolution technology. The transition from a"basket case"in the early 1970s to the virtual elimination of rice imports in the early 1990s is particularly remarkable considering the severe land constraint in Bangladesh. Two decades of concerted government efforts to achieve rice self-sufficiency have created both an atmosphere of optimism and concerns about whether rice self sufficiency is sustainable. The authors find that rice production grew in Bangladesh between 1973 and 1994 because of the conversion of rice-growing areas from local to modern varieties. Simulations suggest that the current level of per capita production can be sustained only through increased yields from modern rice varieties. Other factors that could affect growth in per capita rice production are population control and faster conversion of remaining areas to modern varieties. But population control and faster conversion to modern varieties are only complements for the most important factor: efforts to increase the yields from modern rice varieties. If policies designed to raise the overall rate of economic growth and reduce poverty succeed, it will be even more critical to focus on increasing productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Baffes, John*Gautam, Madhur, 1996. "Is growth in Bangladesh's rice production sustainable?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1666, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1666
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Byerlee, Derek & Siddiq, Akmal, 1994. "Has the green revolution been sustained? The quantitative impact of the seed-fertilizer revolution in Pakistan revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1345-1361, September.
    2. Anderson, Jock R. & Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes, 1994. "Sustaining growth in agriculture: a quantitative review of agricultural research investments," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 10(2), April.
    3. Pinstrup-Andersen, Per & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul, 1994. "Enough Food for Future Generations?," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 9(3).
    4. Goletti, Francesco, 1994. "The changing public role in a rice economy approaching self-sufficiency: the case of Bangladesh," Research reports 98, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Alauddin, Mohammad & Tisdell, Clem A, 1986. "Decomposition Methods, Agricultural Productivity Growth and Technological Change: A Critique Supported by Bangladeshi Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(4), pages 353-372, November.
    6. Boyce, James K, 1986. "Kinked Exponential Models for Growth Rate Estimation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(4), pages 385-391, November.
    7. Banerjee, Anindya & Dolado, Juan J. & Galbraith, John W. & Hendry, David, 1993. "Co-integration, Error Correction, and the Econometric Analysis of Non-Stationary Data," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288107.
    8. Alauddin, Mohammad & Tisdell, Clem, 1987. "Trends and projections for Bangladeshi food production : An alternative viewpoint," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 318-331, November.
    9. Faruqee, Rashid, 1995. "Pakistan's agriculture sector : is 3 to 4 percent annual growth sustainable?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1407, The World Bank.
    10. Bouis, Howarth E., 1993. "Measuring the Sources of Growth in Rice Yields: Are Growth Rates Declining in Asia?," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 03.
    11. Byerlee, Derek, 1996. "Modern varieties, productivity, and sustainability: Recent experience and emerging challenges," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 697-718, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Qiuqiong Huang & Scott Rozelle & Dinghuan Hu, 2007. "Pump-set clusters in China: explaining the organization of the industry that revolutionized Asian agriculture," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 14(2), pages 75-105, December.
    2. Baffes, John & Gautam, Madhur, 2001. "Assessing the sustainability of rice production growth in Bangladesh," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 515-542, October.

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