Bangladesh, ranked 83rd, is the lowest among South Asian countries in the Global Food Security Index-2019.
The Economist Intelligence Unit's study, supported by Corteva Agriscience, was released on Monday.
The study calculated 113 countries' data on the core issues of affordability, availability, and quality of nutritious food to all.
This year's report highlights the potential threat of the environmental crisis on food security, and how proper investment and advances in food innovation can help to mitigate this risk.
The global survey of the food system shows Bangladesh's overall performance is good, with a score of 53.2 out of 100. In the two core pillars of the index – food affordability and availability – Bangladesh did well with scores of 60.4 and 54.8 respectively.
In the last pillars of the index – quality and safety of food, Bangladesh's performance is moderate (30.6) but needs to improve.
Singapore has retained top position in food security for the second consecutive year.
Singapore is the only country in Asia ranked in the top 10 of the index. With a score of 87.4, the city-state was ahead of second-ranked Ireland, the USA (third), Switzerland (fourth), and Finland and Norway in joint fifth.
Sri Lanka with a score of 60.8 ranked 66th worldwide and first in South Asia, followed by India at 72nd with a score of 58.9, Pakistan 78th (56.8) and Nepal 79th (56.4).
The index is a dynamic quantitative benchmarking model constructed from 28 unique indicators that measure the drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries.
It also includes a category that assesses countries' exposure to the impacts of a changing climate, their susceptibility to natural resource risks, and how countries are adapting to these risks.
Infrastructure and supply chains for the food security
For the first time, the 2019 Index measured global irrigation infrastructure and showed that the percentage of cultivated land equipped for irrigation is inadequate to meet global needs.
Less than 10% of agricultural land is equipped for irrigation in 79 of the 113 countries included in the study (70%).
However, overall agricultural infrastructure has improved markedly in a number of countries, including Qatar, Belarus, Slovakia, Australia and Kuwait.
On the other hand, the quality of road and air infrastructure has declined in Nicaragua, while port infrastructure quality has declined in Bangladesh and Madagascar, said the report.
Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar have recorded expansion in the proportion of the population with electricity access exceeding 10 percentage points in the past year.
Global climate crisis – the impact of natural resources and resilience
Recognising the growing impact of the global climate crisis and depletion of natural resources, the index includes "Natural Resources and Resilience" as a separate category of data sets to the other three established dimensions of food security.
When factors such as drought, flood and rising sea levels were accounted for, all countries suffered a drop in their overall scores.
Countries who are heavily dependent on food imports for their food supplies, such as Singapore, the United Emirates and the Philippines, saw their ranking drop significantly, by eleven, nine and eight places respectively, when the fourth pillar natural resources and resiliency was considered.
Limited availability of nutrition over high food price
The index revealed that more than 30% of countries have insufficient amounts of Vitamin A, which is needed for normal vision, a healthy immune system and organ functionality.
Around a quarter (25%) were deficient in zinc, vital for a functioning metabolism and immune system.
It also showed that over the past five years, the relative cost of food has increased worldwide, with Venezuela and Syria seeing the sharpest increases.
Twenty-six countries in the index reported food price inflation of 5% or higher in the past year.
Why is the Global Food Security Index important?
The 2019 index reveals that nearly all countries within the index (88%) have a sufficient food supply for their population.
However, according to a report on the 'State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World' by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), more than 820 million people in the world are hungry.
Undernourishment is a problem not just in a select few countries, but worldwide.
Despite an abundance of food availability, the index indicates that 10 percent or more of the population of more than a third of the countries is undernourished.
Challenges in ensuring food security
Food security is a complex, multi-dimensional issue. In order to guarantee food security now and in the future, countries need to ensure that food is affordable, sufficiently available for their population, and meets their dietary needs.
In nearly one-quarter of countries, more than 20% of people fall below the global poverty line for lower-middle income countries.
In its eighth year, the index assesses 113 countries in providing for the dietary needs of their populations. It takes into account not only a country's ability to supply enough calories to its population, but also how its food system is affected by factors ranging from political stability to climate threats.