The Transformation of Rice Value Chains in Bangladesh and India: Implications for Food Security

Publication | September 2013

From a study conducted in 2009–2010 that found rice and potato value chains in Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, and India were transforming, this paper presents findings on rice value chains in Bangladesh and India.

This paper reports the survey findings that rice value chains are transforming in Bangladesh and India. The main elements of the transformation are as follows: First, rice value chains in both countries have begun to "geographically lengthen" and "intermediationally shorten." Second, farmers capture about 60% of the final urban retail price of rice; this can be compared to about 23% in 1998 and 37% in 1980 in the United States. Third, the corollary is that about 40% of the value chain is formed by the postharvest segments of the rice value chain—in milling, trading, and retailing. Fourth, while much policy debate centers on direct government operations in food value chains, such operations were, in general, quite small in the rice value chain, except for the Government of India's purchases from mills. Fifth, the indirect roles of governments have been important in enabling change and at times in providing incentives for transformation. Sixth, government subsidies had important effects, but the evidence of accessibility to subsidies and the impact of the services were mixed. Seventh, the study points to the importance of farm input supply chains upstream from farmers and of midstream and downstream postharvest activities such as logistics and wholesale, milling, and retailing. Policy implications are drawn in the final section of the paper.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Survey Methods and Data
  • Overview of Changes in the Rice Value Chain in Bangladesh and India
  • Key Findings on the Transformation of Each Segment of the Rice Value Chains
  • Key Findings on Overview of Margins and Costs along the Segments of the Rice Value Chain
  • Conclusions and Implications for Food Security
  • Appendix: Details of the Sampling Framework
  • References

Additional Details

  • Agriculture and natural resources
  • Economics
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • WPS136000
  • 1655-5252 (Print)

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