ISSN: (Online) 2321 -4155
ISSN: (Print) 2320 -7000

JOURNAL OF INDIAN RESEARCH
VOLUME : 2, ISSUE : 1, January-March, 2014 (ISSN No. : 2321-4155)
 
RICE, SMALLHOLDER FARMS, AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN BANGLADESH: THALA OF POLICY OPTIONS
M. Mizanur Rahman, Bradley Klees, Tasfi Sal-sabil & Niaz Ahmed Khan
 
ABSTRACT
Smallholder farmers in Bangladesh face some of the most unpredictable agricultural conditions on the planet. Annual flooding, cyclones and other natural hazards cause huge fluctuation in rice yields, the country’s most important crop, are subject to huge fluctuations. Climate change is already happening in Bangladesh and the associated adversities are expected to increase the unpredictability of smallholder farming. This is pushing Bangladesh’s smallholder farmers away from cereal cultivation or out of agriculture altogether. Eighty percent of Bangladesh’s food is produced by smallholders, and this shift threatens the food security of the country. Increases in net production of rice as well as resilience of rice crops to the effects of climate change have thus become urgent and pivotal issues and challenging for the continued progress towards Bangladesh’s goal of food self-sufficiency.

In the above backdrop, this article aims, firstly, to proffer a critical overview of rice production, small holder farms and agriculture in Bangladesh in the context of climate change; and secondly, to furnish selected policy suggestions towards greater climatic and social resilience of agriculture and rice production. The study makes several suggestions to policy makers for improving and expanding agricultural extension services, including (a) the provision of saltresistant rice varieties to coastal areas, and (b) improvement of extension services with a focus on smallholder and women farmers - which may be relevant not only for Bangladesh, but also for similar territories in South Asia.

 
KEYWORD
Agriculture, climate change, farmers, rice, smallholders.
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