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Reducing climate vulnerability to improve food security in Bangladesh

Women gather and dry seeds to preserve in the community seed banks.

August 4, 2021

By Christine Hills

During 2020 farmers in Bangladesh faced five floods, unseasonable rain and drought that affected standing crops. Many are Nayakrishi farmers who practise biodiversity-based farming and use community knowledge and technology to address climate vulnerabilities. Waterlogging impeded receding floodwater which in turn caused severe problems for crop cultivation. On top of this, COVID-19 pandemic restrictions made matters worse for food insecure households.

UBINIG (Policy Research for Development Alternative)

PWRDF is supporting long-term partner UBINIG to decrease climate vulnerabilities that are affecting high-risk farming areas, while increasing food security support.

Nine villages in four agro-ecological zones – Tangail, Pabna, Sirajganj and Cox’s Bazar – are being managed at the community level with special attention given to small-scale farming families. Women will take the lead in planning and implementing major activities. Crop loss has caused widespread suffering in spite of persistent efforts to cultivate crops. Communities affected by river erosion and unprotected people in the coastal area comprising 17,460 farming families will benefit from the project.

Four strategic interventions will be made in the villages:

  • Three new bamboo-binding or chatkhas projects will take place in two villages to protect the land, prevent soil erosion and flooding, and redirect the river.
  • Mangrove regeneration will be implemented in a 3-km area, adding to a 2.5-km long mangrove plantation supported by PWRDF that has helped mitigate the impact of cyclones and soil erosion.
  • Farmers in four flood plain and drought-affected villages will conduct farmers field schools with training on crop planning based on the experiences of crop losses during floods and unseasonal rains. Farming families, mainly women, will be involved in seed collection, distribution and crop planning.
  • Discussions with local government will take place to address problems of water logging that are caused by new infrasructure in the villages. Local government institutions such as the Union Parishad are familiar to the villagers and will be lobbied to help them solve the water logging problem by constructing culverts or drains, an innovative action on both sides.

The program will run through March 31, 2022.

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