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Agricultural productivity and domestic food availability in Bangladesh

Rahman, Masuka (2018) Agricultural productivity and domestic food availability in Bangladesh. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis sheds light on the economic aspects of agricultural technological progress in meeting the challenges of sustainable food security in rural Bangladesh. The key question at the heart of this research is to explore how Bangladesh could increase its food production in a sustainable manner to feed its ever increasing population in the long run, despite facing increased natural resource constraints and increasing climate variability. One well demonstrated method by which to increase food production using fewer resources is to increase the productivity of factors of production. The impact or relationship between productivity and long-run sustainable output growth can be captured or measured with the growth accounting framework pioneered by Solow (1956, 1957).

This thesis concentrates particularly upon household level crop productivity by empirically estimating medium term growth in eight different regions of Bangladesh. This is because statistical research conducted from a macro perspective on growth accounting will never be able to offer a complete account of the growth process, but case studies based on field surveys can provide an important (or perhaps a deeper) complementary understanding of agricultural productivity.

The findings of this study, using secondary source-based data, show a very low level of average total factor productivity (TFP) growth, of only 0.24 per cent per year between the 2009-2014 period. In addition, empirical results of TFP growth in diverse regions of Bangladesh show considerable variation, ranging from on an average 0.38 to 0.14 per cent per annum during the same period. In addition, a combination of primary and secondary source-based TFP growth analysis shows TFP grew at an average of 0.46 per cent per annum in the Mymensingh district of Bangladesh during 2009 to 2015. This relatively impressive performance sets a benchmark target for other regions. Although achieving similar TFP growth levels across the regions may be difficult mainly due to environmental differences, minimizing the TFP growth gap through appropriate policy initiatives will make a valuable contribution to food security in Bangladesh.

Overall, the findings in this thesis suggest that agricultural output growth in all the study areas are technology or TFP driven, including sustainable food production.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School Of Business and Governance
United Nations SDGs: Goal 2: Zero Hunger
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Supervisor(s): Taylor, Ranald and Tull, Malcolm
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