Sustainability of rice production systems: an empirical evaluation to improve policy

Ranjan Roy, Ngai Weng Chan, Stefanos Xenarios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An evaluation is needed to monitor the progress of sustainable development
(SD) in rice production systems. The purpose of this study is to provide policy inputs, examine the sustainability of rice production, and determine major policy areas. A requisite set of 12 indicators of three dimensions of SD, namely economic, was generated by employing an assemblage of top–down and bottom–up approaches. The data were gathered from farm households’ survey as well as in-depth discussion with stakeholders from the regions that represent irrigated, rain-fed lowland, rain-fed upland, flood-prone, and salineprone
rice-growing ecosystems in Bangladesh. By constructing composite indicators, the results revealed that 44 % of rice growers were economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially developed. The irrigated rice production system was found to be the most sustainable. The path analysis measured the contribution of the indicators to the index, and results highlighted that rice growers’ knowledge, skills, and social networks development, improving land productivity, and integrated nutrient management were essential for promoting sustainable rice production. However, the study findings suggest that pluralistic (i.e., government and non-government) agricultural advisory services can
serve as an engine of transition to rice production sustainability in which a multi-year planning and strategy formulation are crucial besides investing in the modernization of extension services. Overall and ecosystem-specific policy implications that emerged from the findings of this study are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Rice Production
  • Bangladesh
  • Sustainability
  • Composite Indicator
  • Policy
  • Evaluation

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