Innovative and Adaptive Agricultural Technologies in Bangladesh, Editor: M Zulfikar Rahman, Publisher: Sondeepath, ISBN: 978-984-34-7701-9
Climate change has emerged as a global concern in the past 20 years. Bangladesh is an agricultural country. One particular agonize is the potential disastrous consequence for agriculture and food security in many parts of the world, especially in developing countries. Crop production is extremely vulnerable to climate change and it has been predicted that climate change will impact negatively on agricultural yield in the 21st century through higher temperatures, more variable rainfall and extreme climate events such as floods, cyclones, droughts and rising sea levels. In this context, through the joint effort of Bangladesh Agricultural University and Practical Action, a manuscript has been published by sondeepath in November (2019). This book is entitled “Innovative and Adaptive Agricultural Technologies in Bangladesh”.
This manuscript presents sandbar cropping, floating gardening, nutrition sensitive crop production, cattle rearing in the disaster prone area, cage farming, mud crab farming, and benefits of jute fiber extraction machine(ASHKOL).
It is estimated that by 2050 the country’s population will grow up to 200 million and 35% of the arable lands will be have disappeared. Sandbar cropping has given displaced peoples a way to transform barren landscapes into productive lands while transforming their lives and providing a chance of survival through economic efficiency. In this cultivation 60% women can participate and no pesticide is used.
Researcher’s mention floating gardening is an ingenious solution that employs the use of water hyacinth –fishermen can cultivate crops and fish at the same time. It conserves nature. It provides vital food for people even during annual monga (period of food shortages).
Crops to cultivate should be selected based on the situation of dyke, availability of sunlight, market price, soil type, farmer’s financial condition, seed availability and consumers demand. Dyke cropping along with rice-fish culture is a highly standard integrated culture. It can take care of fish and vegetable together, increase participation of women in agriculture, prevent unhealthy environment.
Agricultural experts clarify organic sack gardening is a simple, low-cost, technology for those who have limited or no space for safe vegetable production. It allows the underprivileged and people living in adverse ecosystems—char, coastal zone, water logged or basin area.
Agricultural scientists shows that, in Bangladesh zinc deficiency is highly prevalent affecting 45% preschool children and 57% of non-pregnant, non-lactating women. Bio-fortified zinc-rice production and organic sweet potato production may be considered as good option to address nutritional sensitive development program in Bangladesh.
Writers explain cattle are living asset and source of continuous livelihood of farmer keepers in Bangladesh. Disasters can damage land through erosion, landslides, loss of nutrients etc. Rearing livestock in disaster prone areas needs considerable caution, hazard identification, prioritizing hazard risk reduction actions, preparedness and partnership among community.
Integrated floating cage aqua-geoponics system is a potential technology to minimize land use conflict between crop and fish production to produce nutrient rich foods. This climate-smart technology is to enhance fish and vegetable production in an integrated way to remove malnutrition in the rural households.
Authors analyze that, Bangladesh has a 710km long coastline supporting the livelihood of the millions of people through capture fisheries and coastal aquaculture. Over the years, mud crab emerged as a potential exportable aquaculture product and its farming as the main accumulation of the coastal communities in Bangladesh. In 2013-14, the total mud crab production was 899 MT while in 2016-17 it reached to 14,421 MT in the coastal districts of Bangladesh.
In general, jute is least expensive and most versatile textile fibers presenting a great contribution in the economy of Bangladesh. The conventional methods of jute extraction are labor intensive and requires large amount of water. ASHKOL, is an important technology, requires less amount of water, less time, improves fiber quality. It is user friendly, eco-friendly and creates entrepreneurship opportunities for marginal farmers.
This reader friendly book is a treasure of knowledge and represents inclusive thoughts' to ameliorate the fortune of our farmers and marginal people. This manuscript is a valuable one for agricultural scientist’s, agronomist, economist, environmentalist, entrepreneurs and students of environmental science.
Shishir Reza Environmental Analyst & Associate Member, Bangladesh Economic Association.