Thursday, 29 September, 2022

Ensure smooth power supply for irrigation

Ensure smooth power supply for irrigation

Popular News

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.

As the scorching heat wave prevailed throughout August with little to no rain affecting the cultivation of the country’s second-largest staple food, the country runs a risk of a drop in food production if irrigation is interrupted for any reason, including load-shedding. So, as a short-term measure, the authorities concerned should ensure smooth irrigation for Aman paddy in order to avoid any unwanted disruption to food production that will put the country’s overall progress at high risk. In addition, as there would be no immediate solution to this natural problem, the most important thing the country can do aiming at mitigating the effect of climate change, in the long run, is to encourage agro-scientists to invent more and more climate-resilient variants of corps and inspire farmers to the adaption method.