Options and Determinants of Rice Residue Management Practices in the South-West Region of Bangladesh
AbstractFarmers in Bangladesh burnt an estimated 3.14 million metric tons of rice residue in 2010. Rice residue burning contributes to climate change and pollution through the release of gaseous and particulate matter. Thus, this study examines options for managing rice residue and the factors that determine its management in the south-west region of Bangladesh. Study results indicate that while straw length, low-elevation land and distance of the plot from the homestead positively and significantly influence the decision to burn rice residue, residue price has a negative effect. Farmers who burn residue enjoy a net annual benefit of USD 43-45/acre on average relative to farmers who don't burn. This benefit accrues because productivity is higher by about 9 percent in fields where burning occurs and the costs of rice harvesting, including residue burning, are lower by about 10 percent. Aggregating from our sample survey and assuming similar trends in the rest of Bangladesh, our study estimates that farmers would need to be subsidized approximately USD 2.10 million per year in order to avoid rice residue burning in Bangladesh. This amounts to approximately 4% of the subsidies currently available to farmers for fertilizer use and other purposes. Our study also proposes alternate strategies such as support for purchasing new varieties of seeds and investment in information and education to persuade farmers to move to short-straw varieties on high and medium-elevation lands. Another option might be to switch from residue burning to incorporation. Research and development efforts into shortening straw length, shortening the time-period required between harvesting and planting and new rice varieties may also help to mitigate residue burning.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics in its series Working papers with number 10.
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Postal: South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics PO Box: 8975, EPC: 1056 Kathmandu, Nepal
Rice residue; field burning; residue removal; bio-mass burning; Bangladesh.;
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