Ex-Ante Technology Assessment for Inclusive Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Productivity Growth in Agriculture (TIGA)

The agricultural sector in Bangladesh has been largely excluded from the modern technological advancement. Consequently, productivity growth has remained low and those involved in the sector have remained poor. In this study, following a marginality approach developed by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, we identified the potentials of the marginalized regions in Bangladesh for agricultural growth.

Researchers: Mohammad Abdul Malek

Partners: BRAC; Monash University

Timeline: 2017-2020

Status: Completed


In a developing country like Bangladesh, technology advances at a slow pace. For those living in rural areas and involved in agriculture, the speed is even slower. Due to poverty and lack of digital literacy, these marginal people remain strangers to modern technologies. Yet these very technologies can enhance their productivity growth and reduce poverty. Based on the development of an interdisciplinary research framework on marginality, ZEF at the University of Bonn undertook a project titled “Ex-ante Technology Assessment and Farm Household Segmentation for Inclusive Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Productivity Growth in Agriculture (TIGA).” The project intends to enhance the inclusion of poor, small farming communities in agricultural technology innovations. Specifically, it seeks to gain a thorough understanding of the interactions among technology needs, farming systems, ecological resources, and poverty and use the drawn insights to overcome current barriers to technology access and adoption. The project was implemented in South-Asia (Bangladesh and Odisha and Bihar regions from India) and Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia and Ghana) in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and BRAC.


The objective of the study was to identify the potentials of marginalized regions in Bangladesh for agricultural growth.


Following the marginality approach developed at ZEF, Bonn, we identified five marginal sub-districts in Bangladesh in which the prevalence of poverty and other socio-economic dimensions of marginality and agricultural potentials are high. Then we conducted a household census of 5,855 households across 16 marginal villages from the selected five sub-districts and drew a sample of 357 poor smallholders for an in-depth quantitative sample survey. Some qualitative tools such as focus group discussions (FGDs), in-depth interviews (IDIs), etc. were also used.

Findings and Recommendations

Findings suggest that the five selected marginal sub-districts with agricultural potentials are very different from one another. The potential of each of the sub-districts provides plausible scope for ensuring farm intensification and livelihood diversification.