Policy Research and Strategy Support Program for Food Security and Agricultural Development in Bangladesh
Improving food and nutrition security is a matter of supreme importance to many millions of people in Bangladesh, and an issue of paramount concern to those responsible for the nation’s welfare. Food plays a major role in economic growth, health, nutrition, and even political stability in Bangladesh; the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) considers agricultural development a major priority alongside food and nutrition security. While Bangladesh has experienced steady advances in food availability, the country faces a number of persistent and emerging challenges, including population growth, worsening soil fertility, deteriorating access to increasingly scarce natural resources (such as water and land), increasing vulnerability of improved crop varieties to pests and diseases, climate change, and persistent poverty leading to poor access to food. In 2010 IFPRI co-convened the Bangladesh Food Security Investment Forum, along with the Government of Bangladesh and the United States Agency for International Development, paving the way for future collaboration to improve food security.
With this program, a collaboration between the Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division and the Development Strategy and Governance Division, IFPRI aims to generate applied research to fill knowledge gaps on critical food security and agricultural developmental issues in Bangladesh. The project will facilitate the policymaking process, stimulate policy dialogue, and communicate evidence-based research findings to relevant Ministries of the Government of Bangladesh and other stakeholders. IFPRI proposes to achieve these objectives through three specific interventions: Provide policy advisory services, carry out research in collaboration with national institutions for developing evidence-based policy options, and improve the effectiveness of the delivery of food-policy related information to decisionmakers and other stakeholders. The expected outcomes of the project include enhanced efficiency of food production and marketing, accelerated income growth of the rural and urban poor, improved nutrition for vulnerable groups, and strengthened capacity of key Bangladeshi institutions for future food policy analysis. The four-year project is expected to run from October 2010 through September 2014.