Project final report

Regional Foresight for food systems in the EGP - Final Report

Date released
22 August 2023
Publication Code

Dr Avinash Kishore


This project aimed to create greater policy awareness of future issues and a greater collaboration between policy and research on using new approaches to support the transformation of food systems. It built upon ACIAR small research activities WAC/2019/136 and WAC/2018/168.

The project team conducted a range of studies including a) primary survey of farmers to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on farming families in Bangladesh, Bihar, and Nepal Terai; b) the situation of groundwater use and aquifers in Bihar and West Bengal (India); c) impact of public policies on the production of rice and wheat (India); d) analysis of the consumption of blue foods in South Asia and its potential contribution to the agricultural economy and nutrition; e) analysis of intrahousehold disparities in the consumption of nutritious foods (Bangladesh); and f) the future of food production and farmers in Eastern Gangetic Plains (EGP) and other parts of the developing world.  The key results discussed in this report are:

  • Occupational diversification does not always lead to greater resilience to economic shocks
  • Groundwater depletion is emerging as a problem in some parts of West Bengal
  • The impact of price support on the production of rice and wheat in India
  • Blue foods can play a major role in the shift towards a healthy and sustainable food system in EGP
  • Smallholder agriculture will continue to be the mainstay of food production in South Asia

View the project page