Farming Systems Options to Adapt with Climate Change in South Western Bangladesh


  Abstract     The major constraints of agricultural production in the south western coastal areas of Bangladesh are soil and water salinity of varying degrees, lack of fresh water for irrigation, slow soil drying pattern which are being augmented further due to climate change, requires suitable options of farming systems and component technologies. The major constraints and potentials of agricultural production systems in medium and high saline soils, farmers’ needs and preferences were identified using participatory rural appraisal tools and based on that a number of integrated and component agricultural technologies were listed, validated and identified for scaling out to adapt with the changing climatic situation. The validated technologies were ­– integrated rice-fish for gher and vegetables on the levee, salt tolerant rice, pulse and oilseed crops and seasonal fruits and vegetables.The integration of salt tolerant high yielding rice varieties and tilapia in ghers with vegetables on the levee increased the gross return (93%) and gross margin (121%) remarkably compared to existing system of cultivating local varieties of rice and mixed species of fishes. The salt tolerant rice varieties, BRRI dhan47 and BRRI dhan53 produced grain yield of 4.00 and 4.65 t ha-1, respectively, in medium saline soils where the popular variety BRRI dhan28 was damaged. Watermelon yielded 3.3 to 5.4 t ha-1 in the fields where soil salinity was recorded 13.8 to 17.3 dS m-1 at maturity in April. Community-based approaches are needed for larger scale dissemination of the validated and identified technologies.