Despite being among less responsible for global carbon emission, one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change is Bangladesh whose economy is largely dependent on agriculture with 62 per cent of its people engaged in farming to manage their subsistence from agro production. In recent years, while the country has made sharp progress on other economic fronts claiming the recognition of the tiger economy in Asia, its agriculture is facing huge challenges putting the country into a threat to food production, thus ensuring food security. Though the coastal areas were always considered the worst suffering region, other parts of the country are now witnessing the impact of rising temperature and climate change.
Changes in temperature, rainfall patterns, and rise in floods and droughts have been a regular factor affecting the country’s agriculture to a great extent. For example, before full recovery from the agony of record-breaking floods in the north-eastern and northern parts of the country, the farmers almost across the country are now experiencing an extreme drought with the country facing the lowest rainfall and hottest temperatures in four decades. In July last, the pick month of the monsoon, the country witnessed 57.6 per cent lower rainfall forcing the farmers to depend totally on irrigation for Aman paddy, purely a tropical monsoon rain-dependent crop. The farmers traditionally choose this season to cultivate paddy as they get good production and lucrative price with less or no irrigation cost at all. However, the scenario has changed totally this year. Along with irrigation, farmers are also struggling due to the high costs of agricultural inputs, including ploughs, transportation, labour, seeds and fertilisers.