Climate change and food production

1 October, 2016 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh is uniquely vulnerable to rising temperature. With changes in climatic condition, there is a need for developing new food grain varieties compatible with changed climate.
Addressing at the 5th National Convention and International Agricultural Conference 2016 of Krishibid Institution Bangladesh, President Abdul Hamid duly lent his weight to developing high-yielding and stress tolerant crop verities. He said that achieving food security in the face of dire impacts from climate change is a major challenge before the nation.
However, thanks to the farmers’ relentless efforts and scientific advancement in the agricultural sector, Bangladesh has significantly boosted crop production and almost attained food autarky. Development of high-yielding and stress tolerant varieties of rice, wheat and other crops helped formers to increase their crop production. Now research is underway for sequencing genomes of various crops. Cultivation of genetically modified crops can help further increasing the yield.
But drastic loss of arable land, both because of the impact of climate change and unplanned urbanisation is a major cause for concern. In order to address the existing conditions, we have to ensure optimum use of existing farm lands. There is no alternative to enhancing food production in ever shrinking arable lands to feed ever growing population.
Aside from introducing high-yielding crops and stress tolerant rice varieties, there are some other techniques of boosting food production, such as practicing multiple cropping and using integrated pest management systems. This requires enhancing skills and capacity of farming community for efficient use of farming techniques, technologies and improved varieties.
Lack of knowledge among the farmers about various innovative ways of farming is the main reason for their low adoption. So, encouraging farmers to adopt efficient methods and techniques for farming may help overcome the impact of climate change on agriculture. To that end, policymakers, agricultural experts and the department of agriculture extension should make concerted efforts.