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Bangladesh-Structure of Agricultural Production AGRICULTURE





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Despite progress toward greater industrialization, in the late 1980s agriculture still accounted for nearly 50 percent of the value of Bangladesh's GDP. Approximately 82 percent of the country's population lived in rural areas, virtually all of them making their living exclusively or substantially from agriculture (see Rural Society , ch. 2). Domestic production increased at a relatively steady rate in the years following independence, but not fast enough to close the gap created by the continued rapid growth in population. According to official statistics, the real value of all crops and of agricultural production rose every year in the 1980s, but except for a 6.1-percent surge in FY 1981, the gains did not exceed 3.8 percent, and in 3 of the years it was less than 1 percent. The goal of food self-sufficiency by 1990 was asserted as part of the Third Five-Year Plan, but it could be achieved only under optimal conditions. Bangladesh was still importing an average of 2 million tons of food grains each year to meet minimum needs for the subsistence of the population. Most of the imports were on a grant or concessional basis from the United States, the World Food Programme, or other food aid donors (see Foreign Assistance , this ch.).

The agricultural year begins in late February, when the weather is dry and getting warmer. Over a period of several weeks each field is plowed three or four times; using a wooden plow and two oxen, one man can plow 0.02 hectares in an eight-to ten-hour workday. In addition to plowing, field preparation for irrigation involves construction and maintenance of plot boundaries half a meter high, using earth and weeds from the field. These boundaries also serve to retain water in the plots when the rains come a few months later. Traditional methods of irrigation include pitcher, swing basket, and a hollowed-out log fixed on a pivot and fitted with a counterbalance. These methods have a natural grace and beauty and are still practiced in rural areas throughout Bangladesh. They offer the dual advantages of depending entirely on locally available materials and on human power for their operation. In those rural areas where electricity is available, tube wells with electric pumps are becoming an important irrigation device.

Absolute production has increased, and there has been an impressive diversification into a wide variety of seeds and new crops, such as wheat and vegetables. In fact, the patterns of agriculture have been virtually transformed. A previously self-contained and self-reliant subsistence economy has given way to one dependent on inputs, credit, markets, and administrative support from outside. But the price has been high--literally--and in the late 1980s was getting higher. Abu Muhammad Shajaat Ali, in his study of the agricultural village of Shyampur, describes the local economy as a "near-saturated agroecosystem." Continued population pressure has led in many areas to increases in output- per-unit area, but at very high rates of diminishing returns to inputs.

Shyampur exemplified the transformation going on in parts of the rural countryside affected by a modern market economy. The income of farmers in Shyampur, because of its proximity to Dhaka's high-demand urban markets, was greater than in more typical villages of Bangladesh. According to Ali, 31 percent of Shyampur's families in 1980 had a farm income greater than US$278 (Tk7,500) per year; 40 percent earned between US$93 and US$278; and the remaining 29 percent earned less than US$93. Eighty-four percent of farmers were also engaged for at least 100 days per year in off- farm work in small businesses or industrial occupations, with 70 percent of them earning between US$75 and US$295 and 23 percent receiving more than that. Virtually all of this employment was for males. As of 1980, it was rare for village females to be employed outside the household. The work they did in raising poultry, cultivating kitchen gardens, husking paddy, collecting fuel, and assisting neighboring families was not figured into calculations of income.

The ownership of agricultural land remained one of the most difficult problems in the Bangladesh countryside. During British rule, elite large landowners (zamindars--see Glossary), many of them absentee landowners, owned most of the land in East Bengal. After 1947 new laws abolished large estates and set limits on the amount of land one person could own. Many big Hindu landlords moved to India, but the wealthy Muslims who bought up their holdings became a new landlord elite. Legal ceilings on landownership resulted in little extra land for distribution to the poor because landlords arranged ways to vest ownership in the names of relatives. As a result, in most villages a few families controlled enough land to live comfortably and market a surplus for cash, while a large percentage of families had either no land or not enough to support themselves. Studies have suggested that in the mid-1980s the richest 10 percent of the village population controlled between 25 and 50 percent of the land, while the bottom 60 percent of the population controlled less than 25 percent. The disparities between the richest and poorest villagers appeared to be widening over time. The large number of landless or nearly landless peasants reduced the average landholding to only less than one hectare, down more than a third since 1971. Because Islamic inheritance law as practiced in Bangladesh calls for equal division of assets among all the sons, the large population increases led to increased fragmentation of landholdings and further impoverishment. Inheritance, purchase, and sale left the land of many families subdivided into a number of separate plots located in different areas of the village.

The ready availability of large numbers of poor laborers and the fragmented character of many landholdings has perpetuated a labor- intensive style of agriculture and unequal tenancy relations. At least a third of the households in most villages rent land. The renting households range from those without any land of their own to those middle-level peasants who try to supplement the produce grown on their own land with income from produce grown on additional land. Sharecropping is the most common form of tenancy agreement. Traditional sharecropping arrangements heavily favored the landlord over the sharecropper, with a fifty-fifty split of the produce and the tenant providing all inputs of labor and fertilizer. After decades of rural agitation, the 1984 Land Reforms Ordinance finally established the rule of three shares--one-third of the produce for the owner, one-third for the sharecropper, and one-third split according to the costs of cultivation. Poor peasants who could not obtain land as tenants had to work as agricultural laborers or find nonagricultural jobs. The 1984 Agricultural Labour Ordinance set the minimum daily wage for agricultural labor at 3.28 kilograms of rice or its cash equivalent. Employers who broke this rule could be brought to village courts and forced to pay compensation twice the amount of back wages. However, because village courts were dominated by landowners, there was still little official redress for the grievances of agricultural laborers. In fact, the structure of rural land control kept a great deal of power in the hands of relatively small groups of landlords (see Local Elites , ch. 4).

The Comilla Model, which began in 1959, has been the most successful and influential example of cooperative agricultural development in Bangladesh. Projects in Comilla District provided more modern technologies to farmers: low-lift water pumps; low-cost hand-dug six-inch tube wells; pilot research on adapting thirty- five-horsepower tractors for rice cultivation; new crop and animal varieties; testing and introduction of such inputs as chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and high-yield varieties of seeds; and new storage and processing technology. These innovations attracted resources to local rural institutions, against the prevailing urban orientation of the leadership elite. They provided some counterweight to the trend of ambitious village people seeking to leave the countryside in favor of the cities or foreign countries. Comilla, which received substantial assistance from Michigan State University and the Ford Foundation, remains a widely admired accomplishment, and the Bangladesh Academy of Rural Development, which gave broad dissemination to published reports on Comilla's progress, is world-renowned because of it.

Data as of September 1988

[JPEG]

Harvesting jute
Courtesy Bangladesh Ministry of Information

[JPEG]

Floating bamboo to market
Courtesy Bangladesh Ministry of Information

Structure of Agricultural Production

Despite progress toward greater industrialization, in the late 1980s agriculture still accounted for nearly 50 percent of the value of Bangladesh's GDP. Approximately 82 percent of the country's population lived in rural areas, virtually all of them making their living exclusively or substantially from agriculture (see Rural Society , ch. 2). Domestic production increased at a relatively steady rate in the years following independence, but not fast enough to close the gap created by the continued rapid growth in population. According to official statistics, the real value of all crops and of agricultural production rose every year in the 1980s, but except for a 6.1-percent surge in FY 1981, the gains did not exceed 3.8 percent, and in 3 of the years it was less than 1 percent. The goal of food self-sufficiency by 1990 was asserted as part of the Third Five-Year Plan, but it could be achieved only under optimal conditions. Bangladesh was still importing an average of 2 million tons of food grains each year to meet minimum needs for the subsistence of the population. Most of the imports were on a grant or concessional basis from the United States, the World Food Programme, or other food aid donors (see Foreign Assistance , this ch.).

The agricultural year begins in late February, when the weather is dry and getting warmer. Over a period of several weeks each field is plowed three or four times; using a wooden plow and two oxen, one man can plow 0.02 hectares in an eight-to ten-hour workday. In addition to plowing, field preparation for irrigation involves construction and maintenance of plot boundaries half a meter high, using earth and weeds from the field. These boundaries also serve to retain water in the plots when the rains come a few months later. Traditional methods of irrigation include pitcher, swing basket, and a hollowed-out log fixed on a pivot and fitted with a counterbalance. These methods have a natural grace and beauty and are still practiced in rural areas throughout Bangladesh. They offer the dual advantages of depending entirely on locally available materials and on human power for their operation. In those rural areas where electricity is available, tube wells with electric pumps are becoming an important irrigation device.

Absolute production has increased, and there has been an impressive diversification into a wide variety of seeds and new crops, such as wheat and vegetables. In fact, the patterns of agriculture have been virtually transformed. A previously self-contained and self-reliant subsistence economy has given way to one dependent on inputs, credit, markets, and administrative support from outside. But the price has been high--literally--and in the late 1980s was getting higher. Abu Muhammad Shajaat Ali, in his study of the agricultural village of Shyampur, describes the local economy as a "near-saturated agroecosystem." Continued population pressure has led in many areas to increases in output- per-unit area, but at very high rates of diminishing returns to inputs.

Shyampur exemplified the transformation going on in parts of the rural countryside affected by a modern market economy. The income of farmers in Shyampur, because of its proximity to Dhaka's high-demand urban markets, was greater than in more typical villages of Bangladesh. According to Ali, 31 percent of Shyampur's families in 1980 had a farm income greater than US$278 (Tk7,500) per year; 40 percent earned between US$93 and US$278; and the remaining 29 percent earned less than US$93. Eighty-four percent of farmers were also engaged for at least 100 days per year in off- farm work in small businesses or industrial occupations, with 70 percent of them earning between US$75 and US$295 and 23 percent receiving more than that. Virtually all of this employment was for males. As of 1980, it was rare for village females to be employed outside the household. The work they did in raising poultry, cultivating kitchen gardens, husking paddy, collecting fuel, and assisting neighboring families was not figured into calculations of income.

The ownership of agricultural land remained one of the most difficult problems in the Bangladesh countryside. During British rule, elite large landowners (zamindars--see Glossary), many of them absentee landowners, owned most of the land in East Bengal. After 1947 new laws abolished large estates and set limits on the amount of land one person could own. Many big Hindu landlords moved to India, but the wealthy Muslims who bought up their holdings became a new landlord elite. Legal ceilings on landownership resulted in little extra land for distribution to the poor because landlords arranged ways to vest ownership in the names of relatives. As a result, in most villages a few families controlled enough land to live comfortably and market a surplus for cash, while a large percentage of families had either no land or not enough to support themselves. Studies have suggested that in the mid-1980s the richest 10 percent of the village population controlled between 25 and 50 percent of the land, while the bottom 60 percent of the population controlled less than 25 percent. The disparities between the richest and poorest villagers appeared to be widening over time. The large number of landless or nearly landless peasants reduced the average landholding to only less than one hectare, down more than a third since 1971. Because Islamic inheritance law as practiced in Bangladesh calls for equal division of assets among all the sons, the large population increases led to increased fragmentation of landholdings and further impoverishment. Inheritance, purchase, and sale left the land of many families subdivided into a number of separate plots located in different areas of the village.

The ready availability of large numbers of poor laborers and the fragmented character of many landholdings has perpetuated a labor- intensive style of agriculture and unequal tenancy relations. At least a third of the households in most villages rent land. The renting households range from those without any land of their own to those middle-level peasants who try to supplement the produce grown on their own land with income from produce grown on additional land. Sharecropping is the most common form of tenancy agreement. Traditional sharecropping arrangements heavily favored the landlord over the sharecropper, with a fifty-fifty split of the produce and the tenant providing all inputs of labor and fertilizer. After decades of rural agitation, the 1984 Land Reforms Ordinance finally established the rule of three shares--one-third of the produce for the owner, one-third for the sharecropper, and one-third split according to the costs of cultivation. Poor peasants who could not obtain land as tenants had to work as agricultural laborers or find nonagricultural jobs. The 1984 Agricultural Labour Ordinance set the minimum daily wage for agricultural labor at 3.28 kilograms of rice or its cash equivalent. Employers who broke this rule could be brought to village courts and forced to pay compensation twice the amount of back wages. However, because village courts were dominated by landowners, there was still little official redress for the grievances of agricultural laborers. In fact, the structure of rural land control kept a great deal of power in the hands of relatively small groups of landlords (see Local Elites , ch. 4).

The Comilla Model, which began in 1959, has been the most successful and influential example of cooperative agricultural development in Bangladesh. Projects in Comilla District provided more modern technologies to farmers: low-lift water pumps; low-cost hand-dug six-inch tube wells; pilot research on adapting thirty- five-horsepower tractors for rice cultivation; new crop and animal varieties; testing and introduction of such inputs as chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and high-yield varieties of seeds; and new storage and processing technology. These innovations attracted resources to local rural institutions, against the prevailing urban orientation of the leadership elite. They provided some counterweight to the trend of ambitious village people seeking to leave the countryside in favor of the cities or foreign countries. Comilla, which received substantial assistance from Michigan State University and the Ford Foundation, remains a widely admired accomplishment, and the Bangladesh Academy of Rural Development, which gave broad dissemination to published reports on Comilla's progress, is world-renowned because of it.

Data as of September 1988



BackgroundEuropeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful and Sheikh HASINA Wajed was reelected prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development.
LocationSouthern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India
Area(sq km)total: 143,998 sq km
land: 130,168 sq km
water: 13,830 sq km
Geographic coordinates24 00 N, 90 00 E
Land boundaries(km)total: 4,246 km
border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km

Coastline(km)580 km

Climatetropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October)

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m
Natural resourcesnatural gas, arable land, timber, coal
Land use(%)arable land: 55.39%
permanent crops: 3.08%
other: 41.53% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)47,250 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)1,210.6 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 79.4 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)
per capita: 560 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsdroughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season
Environment - current issuesmany people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notemost of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal
Population156,050,883 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 34.6% (male 27,065,625/female 26,913,961)
15-64 years: 61.4% (male 45,222,182/female 50,537,052)
65 years and over: 4% (male 3,057,255/female 3,254,808) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 23.3 years
male: 22.9 years
female: 23.5 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)1.292% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)24.68 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)9.23 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-2.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 27% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 59.02 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 66.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 60.25 years
male: 57.57 years
female: 63.03 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)2.74 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Bangladeshi(s)
adjective: Bangladeshi
Ethnic groups(%)Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998)

Religions(%)Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998)
Languages(%)Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English

Country nameconventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh
conventional short form: Bangladesh
local long form: Gana Prajatantri Banladesh
local short form: Banladesh
former: East Bengal, East Pakistan
Government typeparliamentary democracy
Capitalname: Dhaka
geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions6 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet
Constitution4 November 1972; effective 16 December 1972; suspended following coup of 24 March 1982; restored 10 November 1986; amended many times

Legal systembased on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Zillur RAHMAN (since 12 February 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed (since 6 January 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president
elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last election held on 11 February 2009 (next scheduled election to be held in 2014)
election results: Zillur RAHMAN declared president-elect by the Election Commission on 11 February 2009 (sworn in on 12 February); he ran unopposed as president; percent of National Parliament vote - NA

Legislative branchunicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies; members serve five-year terms
elections: last held 29 December 2008 (next to be held in 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - AL 49%, BNP 33.2%, JP 7%, JIB 4.6%, other 6.2%; seats by party - AL 230, BNP 30, JP 27, JIB 2, other 11

Judicial branchSupreme Court (the chief justices and other judges are appointed by the president)

Political pressure groups and leadersAdvocacy to End Gender-based Violence through the MoWCA (Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs)
other: environmentalists; Islamist groups; religious leaders; teachers; union leaders
International organization participationADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag descriptiongreen field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh

Economy - overviewThe economy has grown 5-6% per year since 1996 despite inefficient state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural gas resources, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, fuel economic growth. In 2008 Bangladesh pursued a monetary policy aimed at maintaining high employment, but created higher inflation in the process.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$226.4 billion (2008 est.)
$214 billion (2007 est.)
$201.5 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$84.2 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)5.8% (2008 est.)
6.2% (2007 est.)
6.4% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,500 (2008 est.)
$1,400 (2007 est.)
$1,300 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 19.1%
industry: 28.6%
services: 52.3% (2008 est.)
Labor force70.86 million
note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances estimated at $4.8 billion in 2005-06. (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 63%
industry: 11%
services: 26% (FY95/96)
Unemployment rate(%)2.5% (2008 est.)
2.5% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line(%)45% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 4.3%
highest 10%: 26.6% (2005)
Distribution of family income - Gini index33.2 (2005)
33.6 (1996)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)24.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $8.825 billion
expenditures: $12.54 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)8.9% (2008 est.)
9.1% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$9.294 billion (31 December 2008)
$8.444 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$37.98 billion (31 December 2008)
$32.35 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$47.03 billion (31 December 2008)
$40.1 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$6.671 billion (31 December 2008)
$6.793 billion (31 December 2007)
$3.61 billion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipient$1.321 billion (2005)

Public debt(% of GDP)39.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
43% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry
Industriescotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar

Industrial production growth rate(%)6.9% (2008 est.)

Current account balance$1.032 billion (2008 est.)
$856.8 million (2007 est.)
Exports$15.44 billion (2008 est.)
$12.47 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood
Exports - partners(%)US 21%, Germany 13.2%, UK 8.6%, France 6.3%, Netherlands 4.7% (2008)
Imports$21.51 billion (2008 est.)
$16.67 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement
Imports - partners(%)China 14.7%, India 14.7%, Kuwait 7.5%, Singapore 7.1%, Japan 4.1% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$5.789 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$5.278 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$22.83 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$21.23 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$5.971 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$5.261 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$97 million (31 December 2008 est.)
Exchange ratestaka (BDT) per US dollar - 68.554 (2008 est.), 69.893 (2007), 69.031 (2006), 64.328 (2005), 59.513 (2004)

Currency (code)taka (BDT)

Telephones - main lines in use1.39 million (2009)
Telephones - mobile cellular45.75 million (2009)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: inadequate for a modern country; fixed-line telephone density remains less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly and has reached 30 per 100 persons
domestic: modernizing; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fiber-optic cable in cities
international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6; international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries (2008)
Internet country code.bd
Internet users556,000 (2008)
Airports17 (2009)
Pipelines(km)gas 2,597 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 239,226 km
paved: 22,726 km
unpaved: 216,500 km (2003)

Ports and terminalsChittagong, Mongla Port
Military branchesBangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army (Sena Bahini), Bangladesh Navy (Noh Bahini, BN), Bangladesh Air Force (Biman Bahini, BAF) (2009)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)16 years of age for voluntary military service; 17 years of age for officers (both with parental consent); conscription legally possible in emergency, but has never been implemented (2008)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 41,199,340 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 24,946,041
females age 16-49: 31,409,069 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 1,538,865
female: 1,666,670 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)1.5% of GDP (2006)
Disputes - internationaldiscussions with India remain stalled to delimit a small section of river boundary, exchange territory for 51 small Bangladeshi exclaves in India and 111 small Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, allocate divided villages, and stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border; Bangladesh protests India's fencing and walling off high-traffic sections of the porous boundary; a joint Bangladesh-India boundary commission resurveyed and reconstructed 92 missing pillars in 2007; dispute with India over New Moore/South Talpatty/Purbasha Island in the Bay of Bengal deters maritime boundary delimitation; after 21 years, Bangladesh resumes talks with Burma on delimiting a maritime boundary

Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 26,268 (Burma)
IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2007)
Electricity - production(kWh)22.99 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 93.7%
hydro: 6.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)21.38 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)6,426 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)95,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)2,612 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)87,660 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)28 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)17.9 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)17.9 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)141.6 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS12,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 500 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: leptospirosis
animal contact disease: rabies
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.9%
male: 54%
female: 41.4% (2001 Census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 8 years (2004)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)2.7% of GDP (2005)








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