Bangladesh is the 6th most vulnerable country to floods in the South Asian region. In Bangladesh, agriculture is very important because it is the main livelihood of 70% people. However, Saleemul Huq, A Atiq Rahman, Gordon R Conway had been published a book on “Environmental Aspects of Agricultural Development in Bangladesh” in 2000 from UPL. In these book experts from different disciplines address these issues and an update of the state of knowledge on all agricultural aspects.
This book presents agriculture and environment, farming system development, crop livestock interaction, multiple use of ponds, women in homestead agriculture, agricultural land use in Bangladesh, soil quality, impacts of pesticides using, water control and productivity, groundwater abstraction, irrigation technology, environmental perception of agriculture.
Researchers explain agriculture in Bangladesh is faced with a number of environmental problems some of which are recurrent—floods, droughts and cyclones while others are more long term and incremental—deforestation, decrease in water availability and increasing salinity. There are environmental hazards of the new technologies such as depletion of groundwater from too many tube wells, pollution of water systems from chemical fertilizers and pesticides, deforestation from jhoom cultivation and genetic erosion of traditional crops by the new genetically engineered high yielding varieties.
Writers clarify Bangladesh has a humid, warm, tropical climate which is fairly uniform throughout the country. The rainfall, soil, temperature and water availability of Bangladesh make it ideal for agricultural production which has been practiced for thousands of years and it has supported major civilizations. Bangladesh lies across the delta of three major rivers—the Ganges-Padma, the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Meghna. Cropping patterns in Bangladesh are multifarious and varied according to the crops being grown, the regions, the soils and other factors. A large proportion (50%) of the rural population owns no land at all or only the land on which their homestead is located and is classified as landless.
Livestock and poultry are economically important agricultural resources in rural Bangladesh. Cattle provide the main power source for ploughing, threshing, transport and other rural energy requirements. They also provide milk cow-dung which is used as both fertilizer and fuel.
The role of women in agriculture is a prime importance. Women in economic activities have led to greater freedom for women-particularly in urban sector employment market. Apart from that, authors deal crop production strategies in Bangladesh, impacts of inimical chemicals using etc.
Irrigation has been a major factor in increasing crop production. Agriculture energy is provided from human and animal sources. Some diesel and electrical power is used for irrigation. Home-cooking and lighting are taken care of by cow-dung, firewood and kerosene.
Agricultural development and particularly increased cereal production has been one of the most important planning purpose for Bangladesh. New technologies and inputs have been incorporated, land use and cropping patterns are changing and environmental issues are becoming increasingly more significant. The interaction between agriculture and environment needed to be looked into in a country where the economy and people's lives are dominated by agriculture. Agriculture environment issues are bound to have significant impact on the future planning of Bangladesh.
This reader friendly knowledge based book represents inclusive thoughts' to ameliorate the fortune of our farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs.
Edited By: Saleemul Huq, A Atiq Rahman, Gordon R Conway
Publisher: University Press Limited
Shishir Reza, Environmental Analyst & Associate Member, Bangladesh Economic Association.