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Impact of Irrigation on Food Security in Bangladesh for the Past Three Decades

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DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2009.13027    6,288 Downloads   12,581 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Bangladesh has made impressive progress in agriculture sector in the last three decades and has almost be-come self-sufficient in food grain production. This is a tremendous achievement owing to its small territory and huge population and this was achieved through agricultural mechanization and modernization. Irrigation is one of the leading inputs has direct influence to increase yield, food grains production and plays vital role for ensuring food security in Bangladesh. The present study examined the growth of irrigated area and its impact on food grain production during last three decades. Time series data were used for the study. Differ-ent statistical methods such as mean, percentage, linear and exponential growth model were applied for get-ting meaningful findings. Various technologies have been used for irrigating crops which have contributed to rapid expansion of irrigated area. The conventional irrigation methods (Low Lift Pump, Dhone, Swing Bas-ket, Treadle Pump etc.) were replaced by modern methods (i.e Deep Tube Well and Shallow Tube Well). In addition, surface water irrigation also sharply declined, losing its importance due to lack of new surface irri-gation project and the ineffectiveness of earlier project. Groundwater covered 77 percent of total irrigated area and major (62%) extractions occurred through Shallow Tube Wells (STWs). The rapid expansion of ground water irrigation in respect to STWs irrigation was due to government’s withdrawal on restrictions on tube well setting rule, encouraging private sector and the cost effectiveness of Chinese engine which have been affordable to the small and medium farmers. Irrigated area thus, increased by about three times and cropping intensity also increased from 154 to 176 percent. Boro rice, an irrigated crop, consumed 73 percent of the total crop irrigation and contributed to a greater extent in total rice production in Bangladesh. Boro rice alone contributed to 55 percent of total food grain and was also highest (3.44 MT per hectare) compared to aus rice (1.66 MT per hectare) and aman rice (1.99 MT per hectare) per unit production. Consequently, the cultivated area of boro rice increased by 1168 to 4068 thousand hectares. The higher productivity of boro rice has almost helped the nation to meet her food requirements (about 24 Million MT). Boro rice production was highly correlated (r = .978) with irrigated area. Expansion of one hectare of irrigated area added 3.22 MT of boro rice in Bangladesh. Finally, the study suggested for expansion of irrigated areas (ground water and surface water), adoption of modern technologies and formulation of farmers’ friendly policy.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. RAHMAN and L. PARVIN, "Impact of Irrigation on Food Security in Bangladesh for the Past Three Decades," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 1 No. 3, 2009, pp. 216-225. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2009.13027.

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