Bangladesh Priorities
Home Menu

Helping farmers in the lean season

In northern rural Bangladesh, the autumn lean season is the most difficult time of year, especially in Rangpur, where close to half of the 15.8 million residents live below the poverty line.

Read More

Seasonal Migration to Increase Incomes of Poor Households in Bangladesh

Benefits and costs of addressing Bangladesh’s seasonal hunger challenges

Down Full Academic Paper

Seasonal Migration

In northern rural Bangladesh, the autumn lean season is the most difficult time of year, especially in Rangpur, where close to half of the 15.8 million residents live below the poverty line. The landless poor primarily work as day laborers on neighboring farms, but while waiting for crops to mature in the fields, there is no farm work to be done. Wages fall, and at the same time, food becomes scarce because harvest is still months away, so the price of rice goes up.

Proposed Strategy 

Strategy Takas of benefits per taka spent
Seasonal migration stipends 4
Seasonal Migration to Increase Incomes of Poor Households in Bangladesh image

Seasonal Migration to Increase Incomes of Poor Households in Bangladesh

New research by Mushfiq Mobarak, a Yale University economist, and Agha Ali Akram, a postdoctoral fellow with Evidence Action, suggests that helping people from rural areas migrate to work seasonally in urban centers can help families overcome the lean season. Spending on these programs can provide social benefits of four takas for each taka spent.

During the preharvest lean season between September and November when farmers wait for the crop to grow, job opportunities in the village are scarce, wages fall, prices rise and this combination leads to widespread vulnerability amongst the landless poor."

- Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak & Agha Ali Akram

Read the full analysis
Helping farmers in the lean season image

Helping farmers in the lean season

In a series of op-eds published in The Daily Star and Prothom Alo, Bjorn Lomborg outlined the key findings of the path-breaking research produced by the Bangladesh Priorities project.

Helping people from rural areas migrate to work seasonally in urban centers can help families overcome the lean season."

- Bjorn Lomborg

Read more in the Daily Star

What do you think?

A stipend for a bus ticket and a few meals can do 4 takas of benefits for each taka spent. What would you choose for Bangladesh if you could decide future spending? We want you to continue the conversation about how to do the most good for every taka spent by participating in our Facebook poll. 

Take the poll