Impact of salinity on rice production in the south-west region of Bangladesh

Author(s): Md.Firoz Ahmed, Mohammed Ziaul Haider

This study tries to quantify the impact of salinity on rice production in the south-west region of Bangladesh. Khorip is the dominant crop season in the region. The average production of rice during khorip season is 4,232 kg ha-1 in low saline areas, whereas, it is 3,760 kg ha-1 and 2,663 kg ha-1 for moderate and high saline areas, respectively. The Cobb-Douglas production function estimation results find that salinity has a negative and statistically significant influence on rice yield. This study also finds that salinity intrusion negatively influences farm profitability as well as farm performance. If the salinity of high saline area can be reduced to the threshold level, farmers will gain about 685US$ ha-1 fromincreased rice yield. Salinity level needs to be controlled for realizing the benefits from an increase in production. Drainage, fresh water management for irrigation in time of dry season and spreading salt tolerant rice varieties in saline prone area are the controlling measures against salinity intrusion. Land zoning, property rights, tax for external costs associated with shrimp farming in the coastal areas of the country may be some command and control approaches to address the salinity problem. Thesewill ultimately increase farmprofitability in the saline affected areas.

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