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The 1974 and 1984 floods in Bangladesh: from famine to food crisis management

The 1974 and 1984 floods in Bangladesh: from famine to food crisis management

Food Policy 10: 2-6

ISSN/ISBN: 0306-9192

DOI: 10.1016/0306-9192(85)90060-0

In 1984 Bangladesh suffered the worst monsoon flooding since 1974, the year of famine. The flood losses in production inevitably put severe strain on the food system. The strains were so severe as to be characterized as a ‘food crises’ - a situation in which government resorted to extraordinary measures. The seasonal losses in production for the first three crops of the calendar year 1984 (boro, aus, broadcast aman) were at least a million tonnes. As is now recognized this loss in production also resulted in a drastic reduction in employment for the rural landless, on a conservative estimate 25 million person days. These are circumstances which could have led to famine conditions.

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