Bangladesh has now replaced India as the most publicized large scale recipient of food aid importing 1.67 million tons of food grains, four fifths of which were on concessional terms, in 1977/78 ( July to June ). Some analysts, extrapolating from the poor performance of the agricultural sector upto the mid 1970s, also project that Bangladesh will be one of the largest importers of foodgrains in a decade's time merely in order to maintain current pitifully inadequate levels of nutrition. Yet so far there has been no open debate or systematic attempt to analyse the impact of food aid on the Bangladesh economy compared with the controversy and intensive analysis of food aid to India. This article is intended to demonstrate the seriousness of this gap in the literature. It includes a review of provisional evidence on the role of food aid in the Bangladesh economy during the first quinquennium of planned development, 1972/3-1977/8.