Climate Change and Livelihood Adaptation Strategies of Farmers in Northern Bangladesh
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The increasing vulnerability to climate change and possibilities of livelihood adaptation in Bangladesh is a great concern for its inhabitants. The most vulnerable groups within Bangladesh are the poor and marginalized farmers living in climate change-prone areas. Northern Bangladesh is a plain and farmers face severe flood in rainy season and drought in summer. They depend on underground water for irrigation as all giant rivers become dried up due to unilateral withdrawal of dry season water through upstream barrages on the Ganges and Teesta rivers built by India. Marginal farmers along with all other people face tremendous water crisis for this man-made intervention on natural climate. Farmers have changed their traditional cropping pattern with artificial and underground water, which makes the fertile land unfertile. It is creating another severe and uncertain environmental disaster for the country. Moreover, they are also drastically changing their cropping pattern, e.g., transforming cultivable lands (used for paddy cultivation) into fruit orchards (mango, banana, lychee, guava, plum, etc.). In such situations, farmers with small amounts of land (who had converted total amount of land they possessed into fruit orchards) suffer the most. This is the key finding of this paper, based on a primary survey that focuses on the problems of socio-environmental vulnerability due to climate change and livelihood adaptation strategies of farmers in Northern Bangladesh.
KeywordsClimate change Livelihood pattern Adaptation strategy Shifting crops Mango orchard
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