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Farm-level Adaptation to Climate Change in Western Bangladesh: An Analysis of Adaptation Dynamics, Profitability and Risks

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Abstract

Using long-term district-level climate data and a case study from a drought-prone village in western Bangladesh, this research explores trends in climate change, and analyses farmers’ adaptation dynamics, profitability and risks. This is the first study of its kind for drought-prone areas in Bangladesh. District-level temperature trended upwards across all seasons except in winter, while rainfall patterns were more episodic with persistent dry periods. Farmers’ adaptation measures included changes in cropping systems, cropping calendar, crop varieties, agronomic practices, crop diversification and improved animal husbandry. Reducing environmental stress, ensuring self-sufficiency in staple crops (mainly rice) and other crop production practices, and enhancing economic viability of farm enterprises underpinned these adaptations. Off-farm and non-farm wage employment, temporary migration, self-employment and educating children, constituted core non-farm adaptation strategies. Emerging cropping systems like maize/cucumber and maize/stem amaranth/rice were economically more viable than the traditional rice/rice and rice/maize systems. Despite some uncertainties, farming was preferred to off-farm work, generating higher returns to labour for all cropping systems. Limited access to stress-tolerant varieties, extension services and affordable agricultural credit, combined with high production costs, variability in crop yields and output prices constituted man barriers to adaptation. Stronger agricultural research and support services, affordable credit, community-focussed farming education and training are critically important for effective adaptation to climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Md. Jahangir Kabir & Mohammad Alauddin & Steven Crimp, 2016. "Farm-level Adaptation to Climate Change in Western Bangladesh: An Analysis of Adaptation Dynamics, Profitability and Risks," Discussion Papers Series 576, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:576
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    File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/abstract/576.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alauddin, Mohammad & Sharma, Bharat R., 2013. "Inter-district rice water productivity differences in Bangladesh: An empirical exploration and implications," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 210-218.
    2. Alam, Khorshed, 2015. "Farmers’ adaptation to water scarcity in drought-prone environments: A case study of Rajshahi District, Bangladesh," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 196-206.
    3. Md. Jahangir Kabir & Rob Cramb & Mohammad Alauddin & Christian Roth, 2016. "Farming adaptation to environmental change in coastal Bangladesh: shrimp culture versus crop diversification," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1195-1216, August.
    4. Jean-Paul Chavas & Robert G. Chambers & Rulon D. Pope, 2010. "Production Economics and Farm Management: a Century of Contributions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(2), pages 356-375.
    5. Ali, Jabir & Kapoor, Sanjeev, 2008. "Farmers' perception on risks in fruits and vegetables production: an empirical study of Uttar Pradesh," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 21(Conferenc).
    6. Lien, Gudbrand, 2003. "Assisting whole-farm decision-making through stochastic budgeting," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 399-413, May.
    7. Shamsuddin Shahid & Houshang Behrawan, 2008. "Drought risk assessment in the western part of Bangladesh," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 46(3), pages 391-413, September.
    8. Alauddin, Mohammad & Sarker, Md Abdur Rashid, 2014. "Climate change and farm-level adaptation decisions and strategies in drought-prone and groundwater-depleted areas of Bangladesh: an empirical investigation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 204-213.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Drought severity; Farm budgeting; Risk analysis; Adaptation dynamics; Sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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