Bangladesh will face the highest loss in the agricultural sector due to the adverse effects of climate change
Agricultural production in South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, may decrease by 15-30 percent due to climate change.
Unless effective measures are taken, the economic loss of Bangladesh’s agricultural sector will equal 9.4 percent of the country’s total economy by 2050, which will be the second highest in South Asia.
The South Asian Policy Leadership for Improve Nutrition and Growth (SAPLING) presented these findings at a day-long regional session on sustainable food management in South Asia.
BRAC organized the event at a Hotel, Dhaka. SAPLING is working to strengthen regional cooperation and build consensus on food systems and nutrition development among the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. This is the first session of SAPLING since its launch in 2019.
According to SAPLING data, if we fail to tackle the climate change crisis, Nepal will suffer the most significant loss among the SAPLING countries in the agricultural sector, which is about 10 percent of the country’s total economy.
After that, Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka will suffer more damage. The poor people involved in agriculture, forestry, and fishing in these countries will suffer the most damage. Moreover, by 2050, one in seven people in Bangladesh will displace due to climate change.
Not only climate change, Bangladesh, like other countries in South Asia, has a significant waste of food grains after crop production.
SAPLING data suggest that 10–11 percent of cereal crops waste from producer to consumer. Moreover, about 30 percent of fruits and vegetables get wasted. This wastage occurs after crops’ production for various reasons, including the lack of freezing vans for storage and transportation.
Matia Chowdhury, President of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, expressed optimism that SAPLING will play an important role in establishing a sustainable food system along with regional cooperation throughout South Asia.
She said, “Unfortunately, Bangladesh repeatedly suffers from climate change. Climate change disrupts the livelihoods of the country’s marginalized communities. It also disrupts food production and productivity. It creates discrimination.”
Shamsul Alam, State Minister for Planning, said, “The current government is constitutionally responsible for ensuring food safety. SAPLING countries can play a role in ensuring food security through mutual cooperation.”
According to Amadu Ba, Senior World Bank’s agricultural economist, the regional capacity must be increased to ensure food security. We have to create awareness about food safety. An institutional basis is also important for this.”