Early harvest of monsoon rice to address seasonal hunger in northwest Bangladesh uri icon

abstract

  • Bangladesh has a high global hunger index with grave impacts of seasonal hunger. Short duration varieties (SDV) and direct seeding of rice (DSR) were introduced to farmers in NW Bangladesh during the monsoon season or kharif-2 to overcome seasonal hunger or monga. These technology options allow early harvest, which increased household food security and livelihood opportunities during and beyond the hunger season. The farmers who used short duration varieties and/or direct seeding were able to harvest three weeks earlier than those who used the traditional practice of long duration varieties and transplanting. More than 70 % of the SDV_DSR farmers completed harvest by mid-October, and all had done so by the end of October, whereas fewer than 5 % of farmers who grew long duration rice varieties that were transplanted, had harvested within the monga period, with most of them (80 %) harvesting during the last week of November. Early harvesting of rice generated significant, multifaceted impacts on the lives of rice farming communities in northwest Bangladesh by increasing rice production, and providing and/or increasing income along with creating additional jobs for the landless or agriculture day laborers in the lean or monga period. We estimated that during the monsoon season, the average hired labor demand was 40 person days/ha, with around 67 % of this labor generated by SDV_DSR. Further, there were improvements in access and availability of food during deficit times of the year. These technology options for rice production could be scaled out in similar agro-environments to reduce seasonal hunger and produce positive benefits on a range of factors.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016