Climate, Agroecology and Socio-Economic Determinants of Food Availability from Agriculture in Bangladesh, (1948–2008)
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The paper examines the impacts of prices, resources, technology, education, public investments, climatic variables and agroecology on Food Availability (FA) from domestic agriculture in Bangladesh using a panel data of 17 regions covering a 61-year period (1948–2008) by utilising a dynamic agricultural supply response framework and Generalised Methods of Moments (GMM) estimator. Results revealed that FA has increased at the rate of 1.32% p.a. with significant regional variations. Significant regional differences exist with respect to climatic variables, resources, Green Revolution (GR) technology and education. Among the output prices, rise in the prices of rice, vegetables and pulses significantly increase FA whereas an increase in spice price significantly reduces FA. Among the input prices, a rise in labour wage significantly increases FA. FA increases significantly with an increase in GR technology expansion, as expected. Among the resources, increases in average farm size and labour stock per farm significantly increase FA, as expected. Among the climatic factors, a rise in annual minimum temperature significantly increases FA. FA is also significantly influenced by agroecological characteristics. FA is significantly higher in Karatoa floodplain and Atrai Basin but significantly lower in Ganges Tidal floodplain. Major disasters/events (i.e., the Liberation War of 1971 and 1988 flood) also significantly reduced FA, as expected. The key conclusion is that, over the past six decades, Food Availability in Bangladesh was significantly shaped by changes in climate, agrocology, output prices, resources and GR technology diffusion.
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