Salt tolerant agriculture in Bangladesh

Together with ICCO cooperation South and Central Asia we started working on a project of introducing salt tolerant agriculture in Bangladesh. We're going to help local farmers to start growing salt tolerant crops on their saline farm land. Thereby giving healthy food and income opportunities to these families.

Bangladesh is widely recognized to be one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Are you aware of the impact of soil salinity in coastal districts of the country, as a result of climate change?

The coastal areas of Bangladesh cover more than 30% of the cultivable lands of the country. About 53% of these areas are affected by soil salinity, a major risk from climate change. Salinity causes unfavorable conditions, restricting normal crop production throughout the year. A study conducted by the World Bank in 2015 projects a median increase of 26% in salinity by 2050, with increases over 55% in the most affected areas.

Together with ICCO we're introducing saline tolerant agriculture in these communities. In preparation to this we tested 8 vegetable crops on our open air lab in the Netherlands, where the crops were evaluated for salt tolerance. Further tests need to be carried out to identify suitable vegetables and develop appropriate production technique for a pilot demonstration through lead farmers. This initiative will lead to productive utilization of the most salinized and depleted lands in the areas - thereby giving food and income opportunities to the most vulnerable farming households.

Photo Credit: PROOFS