Floating gardening in coastal Bangladesh: Evidence of sustainable farming for food security under climate change
Abstract, Journal of Agriculture, Food and Environment (JAFE), 2020
Around a quarter part of Bangladesh is flooded for several months a year, affecting agriculture in particular -this has far-reaching consequences for the lives of the rural population. Especially during the monsoon season, many people in water-rich areas suffer from food shortages and nutrient deficiencies, mainly due to crop failures and lower incomes. Through the use of floating gardens, smallholder farmers can use flooded areas that would otherwise be unmanageable for months. Due to the growing population pressure and the potential impact of climate change in Bangladesh, available agricultural land may decrease, making such innovative cultivation methods more important. Coastal people of Bangladesh have practiced this farming method to grow vegetables and seedlings on floating beds and thereby secure food production and farmers' income with adverse climatic shocks. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the overall methods of floating gardening, and how it contributes to food security at the households’ level. The findings of the study are based on nine qualitative interviews with the local farmers and key informant interviews (KII). The study shows floating gardening is a sustainable farming method and income strategy for rural households in coastal flood-prone regions of Bangladesh. Floating gardens contribute to food security by nutrient intake growing vegetables. Areas that cannot be cultivated are made usable, and the achievable income ensures the security and variety of food in the season ofthe floating gardens.
Keywords : Bangladesh, Sustainable farming, Floating gardening