pp 1–13 | Cite as

Food security and dietary diversity of tea workers of two tea gardens in greater Sylhet district of Bangladesh

  • Jasim Uddin AhmedEmail author
  • Md. Nur Mozahid
  • Aurup Ratan Dhar
  • Md. Shah Alamgir
  • Arifa Jannat
  • Md. Monirul Islam


The study analyzed the food security and dietary diversity of tea workers in Lakkatura Tea Garden and Ootterbhag Tea garden in greater Sylhet district of Bangladesh. A total of 200 respondents (100 from each tea estate) were interviewed to evaluate the food security and dietary diversity. The study found that average daily per capita calorie intake by tea workers was 2095.96 kcal. In addition, around 85.30% of the total calorie intake was received from the rice consumption. Average per capita daily intake of rice was estimated at 538.51 gm which is higher than the national average. It was also observed that 71.7 and 65.0% households were food secure in Lakkatura and Ootterbhag Tea garden, respectively. In Lakkatura Tea Garden, 61.67% tea workers have medium dietary diversity and in Ootterbhag Tea Estate 49.47% tea workers have low dietary diversity. Using the logit model analysis, this study provides food consumption patterns of tea workers and determine the factors responsible for food security. Household size, farm income and daily calorie intake were found having significant influence on households’ food security. For improving socioeconomic conditions of tea workers, educational institution should be set up to improve their educational status and government should give loans for them at a low interest rate and create alternative job opportunity in off season.


Food security Dietary diversity Logit model Tea workers Sylhet district 



The research project was funded by University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh through Sylhet Agricultural University Research System (SAURES), Sylhet, Bangladesh. The researchers are thankful to the Managers of Lakkatura Tea Garden, Sylhet and Ootterbhag Tea Estate, Maulvibazar as well as to all tea workers of the tea gardens who supported for collecting data for the project.


  1. Ahmmed, F., & Hossain, M. I. (2016). Study report on working conditions of tea plantation workers in Bangladesh. International Labor Organization.—asia/—ro-bangkok/—ilodhaka/documents/publication/wcms_563692.pdf. Accessed 29 Oct 2019.
  2. Alcock, P. (2012). Poverty and social exclusion. In P. Alcock, T. Haux, M. May, & S. Wright (Eds.), The student’s companion to social policy. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Arimond, M., & Ruel, M. (2002). Summery indicators for infants and child feeding practices: An example from Ethiopia demographic and Health Survey 2000. In Food consumption and nutrition division discussion paper. Washington DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
  4. Babatunde, R. O., Omotesho, O. A., & Sholotan, O. S. (2007). Factors influencing food security status of rural farming households in North Central Nigeria. Agricultural Journal,2(3), 351–357.Google Scholar
  5. Banglapedia. (2003). National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (Vol. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7).Google Scholar
  6. Bartlett, J. E., Kotrlik, J. W., & Higgins, C. C. (2001). Organizational research: Determining appropriate sample size in survey research. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal, 19, 43–50.Google Scholar
  7. BBS. (2015). Bangladesh bureau of statistics. Statistics and informatics division: Ministry of planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
  8. BBS. (2016). Bangladesh bureau of statistics. Statistics and informatics division: Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
  9. BER. (2015). Bangladesh economic review. Ministry of Finance, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
  10. BTRI. (2003). Biennial report. Bangladesh Tea Research Institute, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh (pp. 94–98). Srimangal, Moulvibazar, Bangladesh.Google Scholar
  11. Chowdhury, M. A. I., Hasan, G. M. J., & Karim, M. A. (2011). A study on existing WATSON conditions of two tea gardens in Maulvibazar. Journal of Environ Science & Natural Resources,4(2), 13–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Das, T. K., & Islam, S. M. H. (2006). Human rights of the tea gardeners: Case study of selected gardens in Sylhet. Asian Affairs,28(3), 25–39.Google Scholar
  13. FAO. (2011). Guidelines for measuring household and individual dietary diversity. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  14. Ferguson, E., Gibson, R., Opare-Obisaw, C., Osei-Opare, C., Lamba, C., & Ounpuu, S. (1993). Seasonal food consumption patterns and dietary diversity of rural preschool Ghanaian and Malawian children. Ecology of Food and Nutrition,29, 219–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gain, P. (2009). The story of tea workers. The Daily Star: Forum, June 2009 (Vol 3: Issue 6).
  16. GED. (2015). 7th five year plan FY2016FY2020: Accelerating growth, empowering citizens. General Economics Division, Planning Commission, Government of the people’s republic of Bangladesh.Google Scholar
  17. Hamilton, W. L., John T. C., William, W. T., Lawrence F. B., Edward, A. F., & Christine, M. O., et al. (1997). Household food security in the United States in 1995: Summary report of the food security measurement project. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture.Google Scholar
  18. Harris-Fry, H., Azad, K., Kuddus, A., Shaha, S., Nahar, B., Hossen, M., et al. (2015). Socio-economic determinants of household food security and women’s dietary diversity in rural Bangladesh: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition.. Scholar
  19. Hatloy, A., Hallund, J., Diara, M. M., & Oshaugh, A. (2000). Food variety, socioeconomic status and nutritional status in rural urban and rural areas in Koutiala (Mali). Public Health Nutrition, 3(1): 57–65.
  20. HIES. (2010). Household income and expenditure survey-2010. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, Governments of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka.Google Scholar
  21. Hoddinot, J., & Yohannes, Y. (2002). Dietary diversity as food security indicator. Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance, Academy for Educational Development. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  22. Hossain, S. M. S. (2015). Wage pattern and livelihood of tea garden laborer: A study on Loobacherra Tea Estate, Kanaighat, Sylhet, Bangladesh. An unpublished thesis, Submitted to BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, BRAC University, Dhaka.Google Scholar
  23. Hossain, M. M., Azad, F., Rifat, M. A., Siddique, M. A. B., Hasan, M. G., & Bhuiyan, M. N. H. (2017). Socio-economic status, dietary pattern and nutritional status of the female workers of Fulchara Tea Garden in Moulvibazar District, Bangladesh. Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences,7(6), 1000644.Google Scholar
  24. Islam, G. M. R., Iqbal, M., Quddus, K. G., & Ali, M. Y. (2005). Present Status and Future Needs of Tea Industry in Bangladesh. Proceedings of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences,42(4), 305–314.Google Scholar
  25. Islam, M. S., Khatun, M., & Dey, K. C. (2017). An evaluation on household dietary diversity, food security & nutritional status among the tribal households at Modhupur Upazilla in Tangail District, Bangladesh. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 8(9), 1364–1384, ISSN 2229-5518.Google Scholar
  26. ITC. (2001). International Tea Committee Report 2001.Google Scholar
  27. ITC. (2011). International Tea Committee Report 2001.Google Scholar
  28. Langat, B. K., Sulo, T. K., Nyangweso, P. M., Ngéno, V. K., Korir, M. K., & Kipsat, M. J. (2010). Household food security in commercialized subsistence economies: Factors influencing dietary diversity of smallholder tea farmers in Nandi South, Kenya. Poster presented at the Joint 3 rdAfrican Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) and 48th Agricultural Economists Association of South Africa (AEASA) Conference, 1923 September, Cape Town, South Africa.Google Scholar
  29. M’Kaibi, F. K., Steyn, N. P., Ochola, S. A., & Plessis, L. D. (2017). The relationship between agricultural biodiversity, dietary diversity, household food security, and stunting of children in rural Kenya. Food Science & Nutrition,5(2), 243–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Masum, M. R. A. (2016). Rights of tea garden workers in Sylhet, Bangladesh. Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB).
  31. Nabuuma, D., Ekesa, B., & Kennedy, G. (2018). Dietary diversity among smallholder households in Bukoba district, Tanzania and Kiboga district, Uganda. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development,18(1), 13110–13128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ochieng, J., Afari-Sefa, V., Lukumay, P. J., & Dubois, T. (2017). Determinants of dietary diversity and the potential role of men in improving household nutrition in Tanzania. PLoS ONE,12(12), e0189022.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ogle, B. M., Hung, P. H., & Tuyet, H. T. (2001). Significance of wild vegetables in micronutrient intakes of women in Vietnam: An analysis of food variety. Asia Pacific of Clinical Nutrition,10(1), 21–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Onyango, A., Koski, K. G., & Tucker, K. L. (1998). Food diversity versus breastfeeding choice in determining anthropometrics status in rural Kenyan toddlers. International Journal of Epidemiology,27, 484–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pervin, A., Das, T. K., & Alam, M. F. (2011). Situation of primary education in tea garden: A study conducted in Malnicherra and Lakkatura, Tea Estate of Bangladesh. London: VDM Publications.Google Scholar
  36. Rabbani, A. (2014). Household food security in Bangladesh: Going beyond poverty measures. Bangladesh Development Studies,37(1&2), 103–125.Google Scholar
  37. Radimer, K. L., Olson, C. M., Greene, J. C., Campbell, C. C., & Habicht, J. P. (1992). Understanding hunger and developing indicators to assess it in women and children. Journal of Nutrition Education,24(1), S36–S44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Redmond, G. (2014). Poverty and social exclusion. In A. Ben-Arieh (Ed.), Handbook of child wellbeing: Theories, methods and policies in global perspectives. Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  39. Ruel, M. T. (2003). Operationalizing dietary diversity: A review of measurement issues and research priorities. Journal of Nutrition,133, 3911S–3926S.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. SEHD. (2014). Agenda of the tea workers and little-known ethnic communities in Bangladesh. Society for Environment and Human Development (SEHD).
  41. TAF. (2016). Promoting labour rights in Bangladesh. The Asia Foundation.
  42. Tarini, A., Bakari, S., & Delisle, H. (1999). The overall nutritional quality of the diet is reflected in the growth of Nigerian children. Saute,9, 23–31.Google Scholar
  43. Taruvinga, A., Muchenje, V., & Mushunje, A. (2013). Determinants of rural household dietary diversity: The case of Amatole and Nyandeni districts. South African international Journal of Development and Sustainability, 2(4), in press, Article ID: IJDS13060305.Google Scholar
  44. Wehler, C., Scott, R., & Anderson, J. (1992). The community childhood hunger identification project: A model of domestic hunger demonstration project in Seattle, Washington. Journal of Nutrition Education,24, 295–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. WFP. (2009). Comprehensive food security and vulnerability analysis guidelines. Rome: United Nations World Food Programme.Google Scholar
  46. WHO/FAO. (2003). Diet, nutrition, and the prevention of chronic diseases. Report of a joint WHO/FAO consultation. WHO Technical Report Series No. 916.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jasim Uddin Ahmed
    • 1
    Email author
  • Md. Nur Mozahid
    • 1
  • Aurup Ratan Dhar
    • 2
  • Md. Shah Alamgir
    • 3
  • Arifa Jannat
    • 4
  • Md. Monirul Islam
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics and PolicySylhet Agricultural UniversitySylhetBangladesh
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural EconomicsBangladesh Agricultural UniversityMymensinghBangladesh
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Finance and BankingSylhet Agricultural UniversitySylhetBangladesh
  4. 4.Institute of Agribusiness and Development StudiesBangladesh Agricultural UniversityMymensinghBangladesh

Personalised recommendations