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Publication | 2024

The impact of crop diversification on food security of farmers in Northern Bangladesh

Background

Crop diversification is the potential for greater dietary diversity, and reduced micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition. Despite the increasing global concern of improving food security, the nature and extent of food security at the household level in rural areas are not well-documented. This paper determines the factors that influence crop diversification and its association with food security which helps policy maker to take proper steps in norther part of Bangladesh.

Methods

The effect of crop diversification on household food security in northern Bangladesh was measured by adopting the Herfindahl index (HI). Food Consumption Score (FCS) and Household Food Insecurity Access Score (HFIAS) were used to determine the food security status. The binary logistic regression model and multinominal logit model were performed to identify the factors influencing crop diversification and food security, respectively. All these analyses were performed based on 609 household samples collected from six northern districts of Bangladesh.

Results

Descriptive statistics show that the majority of farmers in the study districts reported 12–13 different crops, while only farmers in Bogura mentioned 19 different crops grown in their field. After calculating crop diversification using HI index, it is apparent that about 64% respondents irrespective of region produced different types of crops and around one third of them possessed in the middle categories neither they were fully crop diversified nor non crop-diversified. About 40% households had better Food Consumption Score lead to only 3.28% belonged to below poverty line and rest of the household fall in borderline. The analysis confirm that the crop diversified households were found to be more food secured or marginal food secured then that of less crop diversified households.

Conclusion and policy recommendation

We may infer from the factor analysis that, in line with the government policy to raise significantly the standard of living of the farmers, government should facilitate and encourage farmers to grow several crops rather than just one and provide training opportunities. In addition, food insecure people as well as the low food secure group might overcome their circumstances if the government places greater emphasis on education, training, and off-farm activities by providing financial support.