Enhancing Climate Resilient Farming

By Mohon Kumar Mondal

The South West coastal region of Bangladesh is most vulnerable to both sudden and slow onset impacts of climate change. It is one of the main hotspot in country even in the world, in terms of climate vulnerability. Impacts include salinity increase due to sea level rise, frequent disasters, shrimp farms, drinking water scarcity, livelihood crisis and degradation of agriculture that forces marginal farmers to migrate in search of better livelihoods.

Understanding the agricultural crisis at stake, LEDARS has taken two initiatives to address the problem the “Strengthening Livelihood Security of Climate Change of Vulnerable People”, funded by Bread for the World and “Community Initiatives for the Climate Resilience”, funded by IUCN. LEDARS is guided by the principles of contributing towards the quality of life of vulnerable farmers and increasing the adaptability to the adverse impacts of climate change. The organisation currently works with 687 farmers’ families.

LEDARS has formed 31 Climate Resilient Groups, three farmer field schools and four self-help groups with women-headed families. Based on the community demand LEDARS is providing training to farmers on adaptive paddy and vegetable cultivation, support seed, organic fertiliser, demonstration of adaptive technologies, distributing rain water, improved cooking stoves, PSF, Bio-sand Filters to remove hardship of community people since August 2012.

LEDARS distributed 4640 kg of saline, flood and drought tolerant seed among 282 farmers on June 28, 2014. On the eve of the occasion, a distribution ceremony was held at the LEDARS head Office in Shyamnagar, Satkhira. The chief guest was Honourable District Commissioner of Satkhira Nazmul Ahsan, Tabibur Rahman from UNO Shyamnagar, Agriculture Officer Shyamnagar Ali Hossain, Senior Fisheries Officer Raj Kumar Biswas, Chairman Md. Abul Kashem Morol and Munshigonj UP participated as Chief Guests of the distribution ceremony. The programme was presided over by Dalim Kumar Gorami, Acting Executive Director of LEDARS.

A total of 282 numbers have benefitted from this paddy. The seed is produced by Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) and tested by the Seed Agency of Bangladesh. The seed varieties are BRRI 40, 41, 49, 53, 54, BINA 7. Besides this LEDARS distributed fertiliser tokes to farmers for future use.

The Chief Guest praised work done by NGOs to help vulnerable people and the Government to cope with climate change impacts. He also appreciated the initiatives and extended his co-operation for further efforts.

LEDARS is a member organisation of CANSA. Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society (LEDARS) is a non-profit and non-political organization that has been working for social, economical and environmental development of the poor and marginal people of the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh since 1996. LEDARS supports and equips people with appropriate methods to raise their voice for establishing basic and human rights, in order to ensure livelihood security of the most vulnerable and socially excluded segments of the population. More information can be found on their website at www.ledars.org

[The author is the Executive Director of LEDARS.]