Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Climate change threatens to slash Bangladesh rice crop, report warns

Syful Islam in AlertNet: Without adequate intervention, rice production in Bangladesh could see a dramatic decline by 2050 due to the impacts of climate change, even as population is projected to continue rising, researchers say. "Bangladesh faces formidable challenges to feed its population in the future," note the authors of a new report on adapting Bangladesh's agriculture to climate change.

And the problems may extend well beyond the densely populated, low-lying South Asian nation. "The present climatic variability is taking its toll in a lot in countries where temperatures are high," said M. Asaduzzaman, research director of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and one of the authors of the study, titled, "Investment in Agriculture for Higher Growth, Productivity and Adaptation to Climate Change".

Rising temperatures, salt intrusion into agricultural fields, drought and other climate-related issues are threatening rice production, he said, and the problems may lead to falling rice harvests in other Asian nations as well, including India and Indonesia, and in some African countries.

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