The southwest coastal area of Bangladesh is one of the saline deserts of the country. The area is most vulnerable due to sea level rise, salinity increase and saline water in under ground. People could cultivate paddy in only Amon season use rainwater. Most of the time the total land was remains fellow land. Due to lack of working scope, people go outside in dry season. And being one crop area people are migrating from this area for better livelihoods. LEDARS implementing a project entitled “Strengthening Livelihood Security of Climate Change Vulnerable People” to increase resilient agriculture in the coastal area. One of the target of this project is to introduce second crop in dry season by resilient practice. In 2015 LEDARS installed a tube well in north Kadamtala village. But the tube well brings merely saline water. Only one farmer takes risk to produce rice in boro season (dry season rice crop) by that merely saline water.
Then LEDARS help to test soil of their land and underground water salinity and mobilize farmers to cultivate paddy using that tubewell water using saline tolerant rice variety like BINA 8, 10 & BRRI 47. This year, 2017 farmers cultivated 5.94 acre of land and get 3 ton production per acre (75 mond./acre). It is bumper rice production what they did not imagine. A lot of farmers get interested to see the result and huge land will be use for next year boro cultivation using this saline water.
The farmers express their concern about boro cultivation in Farmer’s field day which was organized by local Climate Resilient Groups at 12 April 2017 in Kadamtala village of Munshigonj union. More than hundred farmers, Upazila Agriculture Officer of Department of Agriculture Extension, Shyamnagar, teacher, students, journalist participated in the filed day celebration. At the beginning of the program, all the participants visited the rice field, talk to farmers and at the end, they organized a short discussion session. In the discussion meeting, farmer Debdulal Mondal of Kodomtola village has shared his saline tolerant rice cultivation experience. He said, once upon a time this land was fellow land. Due to salinity increased and saline ground water, we could produce rice only one season in a year. But new we are confident that we could cultivate rice in Boro season using merely saline water if we take some precautions. In the arena of climate change we have to take preparation for resilient agriculture. Another farmer Bobita Rani Mondal said through LEDARS support and motivation we are succeed to produce rice in saline environment. Now we have no tension for purchase of food rest of the month of this year and now we have plenty of straw as food of our livestock. If it is possible to cultivate rice in two seasons in same land in every year, we will survive here within the climate change situation. By following us, others farmer’s will take initiative to make their one crop land into two crops, Bobita Rani Mondal specially mentioned that if we can continue our joint efforts to cultivate our fellow land by saline tolerant rice variety using this water, then seasonal migration from the area stop. Chief guest of the farmers field day program Md. Abul Hossain, Agriculture Officer of Shyamnagar sub district thanked to all farmers those who cultivate huge rice production within saline field by saline water irrigation. He also thanks to LEDARS for provides technical support with tube well. He suggests farmers to harvest crops as early as possible because anytime disaster might come. Upzila DAE will continue their support if the farmers need.