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Abstract

Agriculture has performed very poorly in the past. Among others, changes in relative prices of agricultural and non-agricultural commodities exchanged between sectors are thought to be responsible for this poor performance. The study, therefore, endeavours to analyse the nature of price movement and the terms of trade between agriculture and non-agricultural sectors for the period 1901-81. The study reveals that during the study period agricultural prices were more fluctuating than non-agricultural prices and that instability in all prices increased in Bangladesh since 1971, but again the degree was higher for agricultural than for non-agricultural prices. The long term trend analysis shows that during 1947-81 terms of trade gradually moved against agriculture and the situation was more adverse for cash crops and non-cereals. In conclusion, it has been suggested that price stabilization should be an important objective of agricultural price policy and that agricultural price parity should be given due emphasis in determining prices of inputs and output.

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