Wheat Production and Consumption Dynamics in an Asian Rice Economy: The Bangladesh Case
Abdul Mottaleb, Khondoker
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Wheat consumption in Asia’s major rice economies has been increasing over the decades. Bangladesh is no exception, despite being the world’s fourth largest rice-producing and the largest rice-consuming country. In Bangladesh, wheat consumption has doubled from 1961 to 2013, and now stands at 17.5 kg per capita, about a ninth of the rice consumption. Densely populated Bangladesh has achieved rice self-sufficiency, but relies on imports to top up modest domestic wheat production. This study assesses the prospects for Bangladesh to expand its wheat production. The rice–wheat production system offers good prospects to expand wheat production in Bangladesh and respond to increasing domestic demand. Based on the findings, this study urges the expansion of wheat production in the seasonally fallow land, particularly in southern Bangladesh. Also, this study calls for further investments in wheat research and development to ensure local adaptation, comparative advantage, and sustainable intensification.