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13 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 December, 2019 12:59:09 AM
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Sea level rise threatens agriculture

IT’S BELIEVED THAT HIGH WATER STRESS CAN LEAD TO RICE YIELD LOSSES AS HIGH AS 70 PER CENT
Sea level rise threatens agriculture

Though Bangladesh faced acute shortage of food in the initial decades, today the country has shed the ignominious image of a hungry nation to that of a well-fed one. In the last 25 years, Bangladesh’s agricultural productivity growth has been among the highest in the world and supported around 87 per cent of the rural households.

But reportedly, rising temperatures will affect the yield of Aman and Boro rice, the country’s two major staple crops. The World Bank’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Investment Plan (CSAIP), launched recently, will address the impact of climate change on agriculture and prioritise investments to improve productivity, resilience, and mitigation in the agriculture sector.  Rising water level due to climate change remains a perennial concern and it’s believed that high water stress can lead to rice yield losses as high as 70 per cent. In addition, soil salinity has affected 62 per cent of coastal land. Sea-level rise may reduce the available cropland by about one-fourth in coastal divisions. But since Bangladesh is already at the sharp end of climate change, the country needs to live with the adverse changes in nature and strive to minimize the harms.

One such way is to develop climate-smart agriculture which will focus on rice self-sufficiency, development of non-rice crops, livestock and fish production. The government of Bangladesh has taken some laudable steps to mitigate climate change impact, including steps to reduce vulnerability of small farmers and improve livestock.  The USD 500-million ‘Livestock and Dairy Development’ project will help improve livestock and dairy production. It will also ensure better market access of two million household farmers and small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs. Last year, 200 nations signed a rule book under which respective nations will reportedly make efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change and ensure that temperature rise in the future is well below two Celsius.

For climate change mitigation to work effectively, the first examples need to be set by industrialised nations which rely a lot on fossil fuels. The strategy of polluting ecology and handing out generous grants is hardly a solution. The rule book mentions the need to help island states and other countries that face sea level rise, drought and irregular weather patterns.

That support has to come with a comprehensive drive to make people living at the forefront of climate disasters aware of the threat and ways to minimise it. Climate change can only be tackled when big nations start to follow up their financial assistance by some exemplary action of their own.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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