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Water and Climate

Promoting socially inclusive and sustainable agricultural intensification in West Bengal and Bangladesh

Project Code: LWR/2014/072
Research Program Manager: Dr. Robyn Johnston
Project Leader: Christian Roth - CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship
MAR 2016
FEB 2020
Project Status: Legally Committed/Active
Key partners
Australian National University
Bangladesh Agricultural University
Centre for the Development of Human Initiatives
Edith Cowan University
Indian Institute of Technology
Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute
Professional Assistance for Development Action


This project aimed to promote more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable agricultural intensification in West Bengal and Bangladesh, with an emphasis on water.

Food production in India and Bangladesh has increased and intensified over the last 50 years. This is due largely to high-yielding crop varieties, better animal breeds and animal husbandry, aquaculture, fertilisation, mechanisation, irrigation, and pesticides. Agricultural intensification is increasing food production and meeting demand for food.

This has come at the cost of an increasing social disparity between more affluent land holders and socially disadvantaged groups such as landless or marginal smallholders, women-headed households, and tribal minorities. Affluent land holders are in a stronger position to capture the benefits and can better absorb the risks of agricultural intensification. Marginal groups are more exposed to unintended consequences of agricultural intensification.