By Shaikh Mohammad Saleh Rabbi
People living in the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh are subjected to a lot of barriers because of their climate vulnerability. To address their plight, Practical Action has introduced some climate-smart agricultural practices 18 months ago. These interventions are geared to build resilience among the people living in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
Currently, more than 23,000 climate vulnerable poor farmers are involved in agro-ecological farming and 70% of them are women. From April 2017 to March 2018, they have collectively produced more than 430,000 kg vegetables worth Tk. 129 million, more than 2,250 kg fishes worth Tk. 0.3 million and more than 570 kg crab worth Tk. 0.2 million.
A total of 100,000 people was made resilient leveraging on climate adaptive agriculture, aquaculture and ICT based agro-met services. This feat was achieved by promoting saline and flood-resistant agricultural practices, such as vertical gardening, aqua-geoponics, and enhanced shrimp, crab and fish farming. Access to meteorological information and early warning systems for local farmers was also improved as part of the undertaking. 36,000 people, of which 53% are women, now have increased access to localized integrated information and services. 1,800 women farmers have gained better access to information services and skills on information usage and reached business scale.
Through improved flood resilient agricultural methods, improved market access and better climate information, the economic resilience of farmers were improved, out of which, 63% were women. This led to improved community resilience to flooding and reduced out-migration. More stable communities with a higher chance of rapid recovery after flooding were developed as a result. An enabling environment has been created by establishing linkages and relationship between different line departments of Government and the private sector.
All these climate-smart agricultural initiatives have enhanced economic resilience of poor farmers through commercial production and strengthened marketability of flood-saline resilient crop varieties. Farmers now have gained better access to inputs and linkages with buyers thus resulting in better product marketing.