Farm-level adaptation to climate change in Western Bangladesh: An analysis of adaptation dynamics, profitability and risks

Md Jahangir Kabir*, Mohammad Alauddin, Steven Crimp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Using long-term district-level climate data and a case study from a drought-prone village in western Bangladesh, this research explored trends in climate change, and analysed farmers’ adaptation dynamics, profitability and risks. This is the first study of its kind for drought-prone areas in Bangladesh. Farmers perceived climate changes included increases in temperature and decreases in rainfall which were as consistent with the trends of Chuadanga climate records. Farmers’ adaptation measures included changes in cropping systems, cropping calendars, crop varieties, agronomic practices, crop diversification and improved animal husbandry. Reducing environmental stress, ensuring self-sufficiency in staple crops (mainly rice) and other crop production practices, and enhancing economic viability of farm enterprises have underpinned these adaptations. Off-farm and non-farm wage employment, temporary migration, self-employment and educating children, constituted the core non-farm adaptation strategies. Emerging cropping systems like maize/cucumber and maize/stem amaranth/rice were economically more viable than the traditional rice/rice and rice/maize systems. Despite some uncertainties, farming was preferred to off-farm work, generating higher returns to labour for all cropping systems. Limited access to stress-tolerant varieties, extension services and affordable agricultural credit, combined with high production costs, variability in crop yields and output prices, are the main barriers to adaptation. Stronger agricultural research and support services, affordable credit, community-focussed farming education and training are critically important for effective adaptation to climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-224
Number of pages13
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


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