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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - LANSA Working Paper Series
Title Does Agriculture Promote Diet Diversity? A Bangladesh Study
Volume 2016
Issue 11
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/bitstream/handle/123456789/12884/BRAC study Hossain et al​GG.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
It is now widely recognised that intake of sufficient dietary energy — the most basic human need for
survival — does not ensure adequate intake of protein and micronutrients necessary for leading an
active and healthy life. Legumes, animal products, fruits and vegetables are important sources of
minerals and micronutrients. Micronutrient deficiency causes impaired cognitive development,
compromises immunity and increases vulnerability to infectious diseases and, in severe cases, even
causes mortality. Recent studies show that the consumption of animal and fish products, which are
dense in protein and micronutrients, has a higher correlation with nutritional status than does
energy consumption (Smith 2004b). Thus, to improve the nutritional situation it is crucial that we
address issues of dietary quality in addition to those of dietary quantity.
Bangladesh has made commendable economic progress in recent years with acceleration of the
growth rate from 3.5 per cent per year during 1971-89, to 5.0 per cent in the 1990s, and at 6.2 per
cent over the last decade. With reduction of population growth from 2.35 per cent per year in the
1970s to 1.21 per cent in 2015, the per capita income growth has also accelerated from a meagre
1.2 per cent during the first two decades after Independence to 4 per cent per year over the last
decade. The growth has made positive impact on reduction of poverty from 58 per cent in 1990 to
32 per cent in 2010 (BBS 2011). Agricultural growth has also accelerated from about 2.0 per cent
per year in the 1980s to 3.0 per cent in the 1990s and about 4.0 per cent in the last decade
(however, the rate has been declining since 2010). There has been considerable diversification in
agricultural income, with the share of crop production declining from 65 per cent to 56 per cent and
the share of fisheries increasing from 12 to 22 per cent.

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