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Water and Climate

Cropping system intensification in the salt-affected coastal zones of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India

Project Code: LWR/2014/073
Budget:
A$2,199,999
Research Program Manager: Dr. Robyn Johnston
Project Leader: Mohammed Mainuddin - CSIRO Land and Water
Duration:
NOV 2015
2019
OCT 2020
Project Status: Legally Committed/Active
Key partners
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute
Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya University
Central Soil Salinity Research Institute
CSIRO Agriculture Flagship
Gajah Mada University
Institute of Water Modelling
KHULNA UNIVERSITY
Krishni Gobeshona Foundation
Murdoch University
Tagore Society for Rural Development

Overview

The coastal zones of Bangladesh and West Bengal in India are home to millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, about 65% of whom live below the poverty line. The people of the coastal zone depend mainly on agriculture, the productivity of which is low. Productivity constraints include prolonged water logging during the wet season, increasing soil salinity and the scarcity of low salinity irrigation water in the dry season. Thus, farmers primarily grow low-yielding late-maturing traditional varieties of rice during the wet season and much of the land lies fallow during the dry season.

There are however opportunities for intensification of cropping through efficient use and optimal management of fresh surface water and groundwater resources during the dry season, through improved polder water management, careful planning of the crop calendar, and improved agronomic practices that maximise water productivity.

The project aimed to sustainably increase cropping intensity and productivity in the region, particularly in the dry season, through integrated soil, water and crop management.

The project was a collaboration between CSIRO and Murdoch University in Australia, and several Bangladeshi and Indian research organisations and universities, local non-government organisations, officials and farmers.