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4:00 am | July 13, 2024
The Green Page
 due to the impact of climate change, salt has invaded the agricultural land
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Environmental Economics

 Due to the impact of climate change, salt has invaded the agricultural land

 Due to the impact of climate change, salt has invaded the agricultural land

Char Nanglia village, also known as the storehouse of paddy, locates in the Purbacharbata union of Subarnachar and is 45 km from Noakhali city, Bangladesh. Abdur Rahman, a village resident, has been farming on three acres of land for 30 years.

The yield was also good. However, this time, he saw the paddy in the middle of the field suddenly catch fire during the Amon season. And a white coating appeared on the ground. Abdur Rahman understands that salt has attacked the agricultural land.

At least ten other farmers in the vicinity have the same share of land. They said that there is salinity in some remote areas of Subarnachar. But now, slowly, the salt is consuming the new land.

Due to the increase in salinity in the land, the farmer families are in dire straits as they cannot grow rabi crops. They are worried about surviving in such hostile nature.

Due to climate change and natural disasters, salt invasion is now not only in the southern region but is spreading rapidly to new areas. Due to the intensity of salinity, arable land is becoming barren.

Economic wounds in coastal areas are deepening as yields decline. The government is trying to deal with salt encroachment by developing new rice varieties to save agriculture,

However, the expansion of salt-tolerant crop varieties still needs to be improved. Agricultural experts say that crop varieties should develop keeping in mind the issue of climate change. Food security will threaten if we cannot adapt to this situation.

According to a study by the Soil Resources Development Institute (SRDI) last year, foodgrain production in coastal districts has decreased by 3.27 million tons yearly due to salinity alone. The amount of damaged land is 8 lakh 70 thousand hectares.

According to the report titled ‘National Adaptation Plan of Bangladesh (2023-2050)’ of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, almost half of the arable land in the southern 19 districts of the country is submerged in salinity. From 2000 to 2009, 35 thousand 440 hectares of land exposes to salinity.

In such a situation, scientists are researching the importance of developing location-based and climate-tolerant varieties. These include drought, flood, salt-tolerant, zinc-rich, high-yielding varieties, including golden rice.

In the last 13 years, 690 improved and high-yielding crop varieties have been developed, including those tolerant to hostile environments. Varieties with special characteristics include – 14 salinity tolerant, six waterlogging tolerant, two both waterlogging and salinity tolerant, ten droughts tolerant, three tidal tolerant, four cold tolerant, seven premier quality, and six hybrid rice.

To ensure the nutritional security of the people, seven zinc-rich varieties, including the world’s first zinc-rich Bri rice-62 and 13 exportable premium quality, antioxidant-rich rice, diabetic rice, and pro-vitamin-rich golden rice varieties, have been developed.

However, producing these types of rice needs to meet the farmers’ demand. Even 10 percent of the total innovations have yet to reach the farmers in the field.

Dr. Jeevan Krishna Biswas, Former Director General of Rice Research Institute, said, “It will be difficult to achieve self-sufficiency in food if we do not give importance to the innovation of new varieties and collection of climate funds. New varieties need to be developed and rapidly expanded to cope with the effects of climate change. The yield of the varieties in the field is 20 percent less.”

Niaz Md. Farhat Rahman, Senior Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, said, “Earlier farmers used to grow crops depending on experience. Still, now they are facing losses due to adverse weather conditions.

Implementation of smart weather technologies requires coordinated initiatives. The name of this initiative will be Weather Forecast Based Rice Production Management, Which Integrates Rice Advisory System (IRAS). Through this, production costs will decrease by 15 percent; income will increase by 30 percent.”

Dr. Md. Abdur Razzak, Minister of Agriculture, said, “The government is giving importance to developing and researching climate-tolerant new varieties of crops. Although wide varieties have been invented, the rest are only in the field for a few. We are working to spread the developed variety.”

Courtesy:  গ্রীন পেইজ Green Page (Bengali)

Translated by:


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