International Cereal Trade of Bangladesh: Implications for Virtual Land, Water, and GHG Emissions from Agriculture

Parmeshwar Udmale Udmale, Indrajit Pal, Sylvia Szabo, Malay Pramanik


The study aims to get insights into virtual land, water flows from producers’ perspectives for cereal crops and trade in Bangladesh and provides insights into the carbon emissions from agriculture. For this purpose, FAO’s cereals area, production and yield, food balance sheets, detailed trade matrix, GHG emissions, and population data for the year 2014-17 were used. Cereal water footprints data were obtained from the secondary literature. The study finds that 8% of domestic cereal supply (70% wheat, 17% maize, and 2% rice and related products) was imported through international trade. The annual average virtual cropland area and water imported through trade of 6.9 million tonnes of the three cereal crops (excluding products) were 2.1 million ha and 14 billion m3, respectively, during 2014-17. Bangladesh would need additional 2.81 million ha land and 12 billion m3 water to be cereal self-sufficient. Energy used in agriculture, including mechanization and irrigation, adds to GHG emissions, and there is potential to use renewable energy sources to reduce the GHG emissions from agriculture. An integrated management of water, energy, and carbon should be considered as one of the strategies to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture.


Bangladesh; carbon trade; greenhouse gases; international crop trade; water-energy-food nexus

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