The Situation of Food Security in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, despite some remarkable development in recent years, several anxieties remain. For a nation on the brink of development, food security is an absolute must. Food security and sufficient nutrition are among the basic needs of every human being.
A large number of people linger under the threat of food insecurity and hunger in Bangladesh, and most people do not have an appropriately nutritious and assorted diet. More than one in three children under five years of age are stunted – an indicator of chronic malnutrition has not decreased significantly over many years. On top of this, there are emerging concerns with food security and nutrition as a result of socioeconomic and climate change.
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to enough safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle. Food security globally depends primarily on three components: food availability, food access, and food utilization.
When we talk about food security status in Bangladesh, we need to keep in mind that food security is not only about food production but also about making sure that it is affordable for all kinds of people in society.
The staple food of most people in Bangladesh is rice and more than 70 percent of their daily calories come from rice. The production of rice was assumed to be tripled over the last 30 years. Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in producing wheat, potatoes, vegetables, and fish.
In Bangladesh, fish is mainly derived from two sources: capture and culture. Nutrient-rich small fish are produced in aquaculture systems alongside large fish in a practice known as polyculture so that several species are raised in the same pond. The large fish can be sold for income, while small fish are harvested regularly for household consumption or, when in excess, for sale.
Despite making incredible success in food production, Bangladesh is still undergoing limited access to sufficient food. Land distribution inequalities led to people’s disproportionate access to food. Price hikes and market instability have worsened the condition of the households and affected their food access.
Besides, the full cycle of food production is equally important. Maintaining proper hygiene and sanitary practices are important. Unless foods are produced safe, consumers would remain exposed to unsafe food. This is a public health concern. Food can be contaminated and adulterated at any stage of the production, marketing, preserving, and distribution cycle. Maintaining the hygiene of food is also very important to make sure food security.
The government should conduct programs on food security for the poor and women in rural areas. Investment in rural infrastructure, agricultural research, and public services, as well as efforts to improve governance systems and institutions are necessary to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture” by 2030.