The extent of virtual water trade and its significance for the food security of Bangladesh have been examined in the light of political and socio-economic considerations that govern the food grain trade between Bangladesh and India. It has been shown that while there are no physical constraints preventing such a trade, prevailing political relations, market conditions, agricultural and food policies, the state of the economies and climatic conditions may play important roles in determining the extent of trade. In the context of rapid population growth and potential future shortage of cultivable land and irrigation water in the dry season, the paper suggests that food security may be redefined as “food self-reliance” instead of “food self-sufficiency”.

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