Bangladesh farmers revived a century-old technique of soil-free cultivation
Key Details on Bangladesh farmers revived a century-old technique of soil-free cultivation
- Global warming has led to extreme change in climate in countries like Bangladesh.
- As a result, the region faces frequent floods that hinder agriculture and the annual cycle of harvesting crops.
- To cope with this, farms have adopted an innovative method of cultivation known as ‘Dhap’ or ‘Baira’. Here, floating beds are created with bamboo, water hyacinth, coir and wood chippings. Atop these, crops like Spinach and Bitter gourd are grown.
- These raft like farms range between two and four feet long and can weather volatile waters or inundation.
- Used rafts are composted.
- The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization declared Bangladesh’s floating farms method as a globally important agricultural heritage system in December 2015.
- Bangladesh ranks seventh for countries most affected by extreme weather in the past two decades, according to the Global Climate Risk Index.
- And yet agriculture is one of the most important contributors to the country’s GDP. Bangladesh is also one of the world’s poorest countries, where 48% of the 160-million-strong population is landless.
- The number of people displaced from their homes in Bangladesh because of climate change is predicted to rise to one in seven of the population by 2050.
- Some farmers are giving up agriculture and looking for alternative ways to make a living, while others find work at clothing factories or moving to farm shrimp.
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