Agriculture and Food Security Status in BIMSTEC Region

Impacts of Climate Change 

BIMSTEC Agriculture and Food Security sector underscored the importance of regional food security in every sectoral meeting. BIMSTEC member countries established bilateral, multilateral, and regional cooperation to ensure food stability and sustainable food systems across the Bay of Bengal region. BIMSTEC is organizing workshops, training sessions, and seminars on various issues relating to agriculture, food security, and sustainable development. 

The BIMSTEC member countries are confronted with a range of challenges as they strive to develop sustainable and secure food systems in the region, both through individual efforts and collective cooperation. These countries face significant but diversified challenges due to their varied geographical, political, and socio-culture. While the specific challenges may vary, there are several common issues that all member states face is  the impacts of extreme climate change and natural disasters, high cost of production, lack of preservation and other technological innovation, and high cost of transportation. 

Climate change significantly impacts agriculture and creates major challenges to global food security. Climate change affects agricultural systems, affecting crop output, livestock health, and total food production. Changing weather patterns, shifts in growing seasons and agricultural zones, water availability and irrigation, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, food supply chain, and trade disruptions are some of the key impacts on agriculture. 

To address these impacts, BIMSTEC collectively initiates and organizes workshops, research, and training programs. Climate Smart Farming is one of the crucial parts of the BIMSTEC Plan of Action on Strengthening BIMSTEC Agricultural Cooperation. By sharing their experiences, expertise, and best practices, the BIMSTEC members want to collectively address these difficulties and work toward the region's sustainable and secure food systems.

Agricultural Trade in BIMSTEC Region

Though BIMSTEC’s intra-regional trade (IRT) may not have been developed as much as the other regions, it is showing much-improved trade trends in recent years.  However, an interesting point to note is that the agricultural intra-regional trade ratio was higher than the overall IRT of the region.


The intra-regional trade of the BIMSTEC region in the agriculture sector constituted 17.9 percent of intra-regional imports and 18.6 percent of its exports in 2020.The agricultural IRT is a major source for the region’s revival of the overall IRT during the COVID-19 period.


BIMSTEC member countries have been working towards enhancing trade cooperation and implementing various trade policies to promote regional economic integration


  Source: Developments in Agriculture Trade in the BIMSTEC Region, Mohanty and Gaur, RIS 2022


The BIMSTEC Agriculture is crucial to the regional economy since it employs a large section of the people and contributes to national GDPs. The region has a diverse agricultural sector, with each country providing various agricultural goods such as rice, fruits & vegetables, spices, fisheries, and animals. To maintain the existing development, economic integration and cooperation among the member states ,intra-regional trade is essential.


To enhance intra-regional trade in agricultural, fishery, and animal goods, the member states have been trying to improve trade cooperation, execute trade agreements, and improve trade facilitation. This trade cooperation enables better access to markets, fosters economic growth, and strengthens regional food security.