Tag Archives: climate change

International Conference on Research and Extension for Sustainable Rural Development held in Rural Development Academy, Bogra,Bangladesh:Syeda Tasnim Jannat

Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society and Rural Development Academy (RDA) jointly organized an International Conference on Research and Extension for Sustainable Rural Development during 15-16 February, 2018 with the participation of a large number of extensionists, researchers and other stakeholders. The event was organized at the green and clean premises of Rural Development Academy (RDA) located at Sherpur, Bogra.
The inaugural ceremony of the conference was graced by Professor Dr. Manash Mohan Adhikary, former Vice-chancellor, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Bishwabiddyaloy, West Bengal, India as the chief guest. Mr. M. A. Matin, Director General of Rural Development Academy was the Chief Patron while Professor Dr. M. Zulfikar Rahman, President of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society presided over the session.
Dr. A. K. M. Zakaria, Director, Training Division, RDA presented the welcome address. Then Mr. M. A. Matin, Director General of Rural Development Academy presented the keynote speech highlighting the collaboration of RDA with Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society. He informed the audience that Mr. Md. Mashiur Rahman Ranga, MP, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of LGRD and Co-operatives, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh could not attend as the Chief Guest due to important meeting in Dhaka. Crests and certificates were awarded to some progressive farmers for their achievements in their respective fields. Professor Dr. Manash Mohan Adhikary, former Vice-chancellor, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Bishwabiddyaloy, West Bengal, India expressed satisfaction for the dynamic activities of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society and assured continued cooperation to this organization. Professor Dr. M. Jiaul Hoque, General Secretary, Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society offered the vote of thanks to the participants, organizers, patrons and all concerned for their support, cooperation and contribution. The inaugural session was concluded by the closing remarks by Dr. M. Zulfikar Rahman, President of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society who highly appreciated Mr. M. A. Matin and his team of RDA for their support and cooperation in organizing the two days international conference.
Technical sessions were organized at four venues where eight sessions took place on 15 and 16 February, 2018. Following technical sessions were held covering relevant aspects of research and extension for sustainable rural development:
1. Models for Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
2. Research on Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
3. Climate Change, Disaster, Environment and Food Security
4. Applied and On-farm Research in Agriculture (Part-1)
5. Socio-economic Issues of Rural Development
6. Sustainable and Innovative Technologies towards Rural Development
7. Cross-cutting Areas of Agriculture and Rural Development
8. Applied and On-farm Research in Agriculture (Part-2)
Felicitation and Cultural Evening was held on 15 February at night at RDA Auditorium. The cultural function was very attractive. Many young artists and participants rendered their contributions in the cultural function which included songs, recitations, jokes and dancing events. A visit to RDA facilities and farm was organized by RDA management on 16 February morning. The participants were amazed by the innovative activities and action research of RDA. They acquired knowledge of the special activities of RDA during this visit. The concluding session was held on 16 February at RDA Auditorium. The outstanding presenters were awarded in the concluding session. Dr. Akram H. Chowdhury, Chairman, Barendra Multipurpose Development Authority was present in the concluding session as chief guest. Professor Dr. Lutful Hasan, Coordinator, Committee for Advanced Studies and Research (CASR), Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh addressed the audience as guest of honour. Mr. M. A. Matin, Director General of Rural Development Academy and Dr. M. Zulfikar Rahman, President of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society also spoke in the session.
Business session for BAES members was held on 16 February. An executive committee for 2018-19 term was formed in the business session. A visit to Mahasthangar, a famous historical place of Bogra was arranged after the business session. This visit was a lifetime experience for the most of the participants.
Professor Dr. Mohammad Jiaul Hoque, General Secretary, BAES informed this correspondent that 200 participants from home and abroad registered for the international conference. A good number of participants joined from China,India,Indonesia,Malaysia,Nigeria, Philippines and Somalia. Presentations of Technical sessions and Poster display focused on research and extension activities for sustainable rural development in Bangladesh and in the countries of the foreign participants. A comprehensive Abstract Proceedings was published and distributed among all participants. The proceedings incorporated all information related to the conference. The proceedings was enriched by the valuable messages from Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Md. Mashiur Rahman Ranga, MP, Hon’ble State Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Besides, precious messages from Ms Mafruha Sultana, Secretary, Rural Development and Cooperative Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Professor Dr.Md. Ali Akbar, Vice-Chancellor, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Professor, Dr. M. Abul Kashem, Vice-Chancellor, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Professor Dr. Md. Jasimuddin Khan, Pro- Vice-Chancellor, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mohammad Mohsin, Director General, Department of Agricultural Extension, Dr. Md. Kabir Ikramul Haque, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Director General, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Dr. Md. Shahjahan Kabir, Director General, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, Syed Arif Azad, Director General, Department of Fisheries, Dr. Md. Ainul Haque, Director General,Department of Livestock Services,
Engineer M. A. Matin, Director General of Rural Development Academy, Professor Dr. M. Zulfikar Rahman, President of Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society and Professor Dr. M. Jiaul Hoque, General Secretary, Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society highlighted the importance of this international conference for sustainable rural development.
The International Conference on Research and Extension for Sustainable Rural Development was an important milestone of the Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Society. The findings and recommendations of this conference will greatly help in the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas of Bangladesh and participating countries.

Seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security, Hunger and Malnutrition”: Syeda Tasnim Jannat

A seminar on “Zero Hunger Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals: Harmonization with On-going Initiatives to Address Food Security, Hunger and Malnutrition” was held on 01 July 2015 at the BARC Auditorium, Farmgate, Dhaka. The seminar was jointly organized by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The key speaker of the seminar was Dr. Kostas G. Stamoulis, Director, Agricultural Development Economics Division, FAO Headquarter, Rome, Italy. Before joining FAO, Kostas was teaching Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is a Greek national, he has a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California Berkley. Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Executive Chairman, BARC presented the welcome address. The seminar was introduced by Dr. Mike Robson, FAO Representative in Bangladesh. The designated discussants of the seminar were Dr. Mustafa K. Mujeri, Former Director General, BIDS and Dr. Sazzad Zahir, Executive Director, Economic Research Group (ERG). The eminent economists Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam, Former Adviser to the Government; Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Former Adviser to the Government and Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF also discussed on the topic in the seminar as guests of honour. Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Member, General Economics Division (GED), Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh chaired the seminar. Dr. Kostas G. Stamoulis presented a seminar presentation on “Meeting International Hunger Targets: From Commitment to Action”. Dr. Kostas mentioned in his presentation that the number of undernourished people in the world in 2014-16 is 795 million and the number of undernourished people in developing countries is 780 million. He also mentioned that a decline by 167 million in the number of undernourished people was observed in the last 10 years. It was also revealed from his presentation that the highest number (281 million) of undernourished people live in South Asia followed by Sub Saharan Africa (220 million) and East Asia (145 million). He pointed out that MDG1 hunger target to halve the proportion of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015 was almost reached but the WFS goal to halve the number of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015 was missed. He also mentioned that 72 countries including Bangladesh achieved MDG1 hunger targets. Dr. Kostas mentioned in the summary of MDG1 hunger target that MDG 1c hunger target is within reach with additional efforts and MDG 1c target had already been reached in 63 countries. He also pointed out in that summary that the WFS goal will not be achieved and the WFS goal was achieved by only 25 countries. He also identified some key factors for success in reducing hunger which are rural markets, economic growth, family farming and social protection. In his presentation, it was also revealed that the poverty headcount ratio in Bangladesh was 24.5 in 2014. It was also found that in Bangladesh the number of undernourished people is 26.3 millions and the prevalence of undernourishment is 16.4% in 2014-16 and thus Bangladesh achieved the MDG1 target. Dr. Kostas observed some environmental components which enabled this success. The enabling environment for this great success comprises of high level commitments, policies, investments (financial and in capacity), governance and evidence-based decision making. Dr. Kostas listed the following points as way forward:
 Strengthen food production diversification
 Invest in public goods and services such as infrastructure
 Adapt to climate change is essential to sustain food production in a sustainable way
 Boost market-driven initiatives and community participation in Social Safety Net programmes
 Improve nutritional outcomes by strengthening the focus on program targeting
 Diversify diets while supporting local productions systems
 Enhance food safety practices; Formulate food safety regulations/standards
 Integrate FSN (Food Security and Nutrition) in all relevant policies and programmes including the new NFSNP-POA and CIP
 Strategic coordination of FSN related policies across sectors (MUCH)
 Integrate FSN, especially Nutrition in Sectoral policies and programmes (MUCH)

The beneficial effects of climate change on rice in Madagascar(Taken from website of CIRAD)

In the highlands of Madagascar, upland rice growing has developed in recent years thanks to the availability of varieties suited to the prevailing low temperatures in this mountainous region. However, what repercussions is climate change likely to have on this crop, on which a large proportion of the island’s inhabitants depend? By simulating rice production over a century, depending on the extent of climate change and the cropping practices adopted, a team from CIRAD and FOFIFA came up with a surprising result: it was the most pessimistic climate scenario that enabled the best yields.

Global warming could have serious consequences for rice production, and as a result for food security. Precise data on the effects of global warming are few and far between, and primarily concern irrigated rice. Upland rice, on the other hand, has never been studied before.

A team of researchers from CIRAD and the Malagasy National Institute of Agricultural Research (FOFIFA) looked into the impact of global warming on upland rice productivity in the highlands of Madagascar, where the crop has developed recently. Their study covered a ninety-year period, from 2010 to 2099, depending on the cropping system adopted.

Two climate change scenarios

Rice yields were simulated using the CERES-Rice model, which was calibrated and then validated using the FOFIFA 161 rice cultivar, for which a set of experimental data was compiled over a six-year period. The cropping systems comprised two soil tillage systems – hand ploughing and no-tillage – and two nitrogen fertilizer rates – high and low.

In relation to the control, without climate change, two scenarios were tested. In the first, carbon dioxide emissions increased gradually up to 750 ppm and the temperature rose by 0.15 °C per decade. This was the optimistic scenario, in which the increase in carbon dioxide levels and the relatively moderate increase in temperature were supposed to foster rice growth.

In the second scenario, carbon dioxide emissions also rose gradually, but the temperature rose by 0.5 °C per decade and rainfall fell by 0.2 mm a day between December and February. This was the pessimistic scenario, in which the combination of a marked rise in temperature and a reduction in rainfall could have led to severe water stress in rice.

Surprising results

The analysis did not reveal any differences in yields between the soil tillage systems, irrespective of the degree of climate change and fertilizer rate. No-tillage did not improve yields compared to tillage, or the efficacy of water use or nitrogen uptake by the plant. It is likely that in order to significantly improve soil properties, no-tillage requires substantial dry matter production, which is impossible to achieve at the prevailing low temperatures in the region.

However, fertilization did have a significant effect on yields, with a gain of 1500 kg/ha of grain for nitrogen applications of 45 kg/ha. Nitrogen is a major constraint in this type of soil, in which its availability is reduced due to the soil’s poor anion exchange capacity and to leaching.

Rice yields, which were 5478 kg/ha on average, were markedly higher in the pessimistic scenario, with a gain of 576 kg/ha compared to the control. In that scenario, the increase in temperature speeded up flowering and grain maturity, in such a way that the demand for water and nutrients from the plant tallied better with their availability in the soil. Yield variability was lower, and the gap between this scenario and the others continued to grow over the years.

A positive effect on rice productivity

Although the initial hypotheses – crops without biotic constraints or marked weather events – limit the import of the results, global warming could have a positive effect on rice productivity in this cold region, where rice is grown at the lower limit of its temperature tolerance.

Unlike what it likely to happen in southern Asia, where rice is grown at the upper limit of its temperature tolerance and yields are likely to fall overall, the most “pessimistic” forecasts in terms of temperature could lead to a marked increase in yields in the highlands of Madagascar.

I acknowledge that the source of the important article ,’The beneficial effects of climate change on rice in Madagascar’ is the website of CIRAD which may be accessed at the following link:

http://www.cirad.fr/en/research-operations/research-results/2012/the-beneficial-effects-of-climate-change-on-rice-in-madagascar

The article has been published in this website to share and disseminate the research findings.All readers are invited to read and share their feelings about this article.