Sustainable Agriculture

Practicing agriculture provides foods, feeds and fibers. Increasing the world’s population, however, has been putting enormous pressure on agriculture to supply food for them, resulting in an insecure environment. For example, huge exploration, selected cultivars cultivation, excess use of fertilizers and pesticides cause significant biodiversity loss. On top of that, excessive farming produces greenhouse gases. So, there are questions of food security on one hand and also environmental health on the other. Sustainable agricultural (SA) practices could draw the line between these two questions. The very fundamental basis of SA practices is to understand ecosystem services and maximum utilization of resources for current needs without compromising the ability for current or future generations to meet their needs. The general goals of SA practices are to increase the net profit of farms; to maintain environmental health; to ensure living qualities of farmers; to increase food, feed and fiber production for human needs.

The FAO identified basic principles of SA are efficient utilization of resources; protecting natural resources; improving ecosystem resilience; improving social welfare and rural life; and responsible and effective governance. The general methods to achieve SA are application of organic and natural bio-stimulants as growth promoters; implementation of scientific field management and reasonable rotation; early detection and prevention of plant diseases and removal of infection sources; less use of pesticides especially highly toxic chemicals; improving the soil environment, ensuring a good water vapor cycle and balance the soil microbial flora; efficient fertilization utilization for achieving the recycling of various elements.

An integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of climate change (Agrawala et al., 2003; Hossain,.et al. 2019). The country is located at the confluence of three mighty Asian rivers, the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and the Meghna along with their numerous tributaries and majority of country’s area is characterized as low-lying
floodplains land (World Bank, 2010). Therefore, the country faces severe floods on a regular basis which results serious damages to agricultural production (Agrawala et al., 2003). It has been projected that country will experience more frequent and natural disasters in near future due to climate change (IPCC, 2007). A sharp rise in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns are already evident in Bangladesh (Shahid, 2010; Shahid et al., 2012).

Bangladesh would face increase of temperature by 1°C by 2030, 1.4°C by 2050 and 2.4°C by 2100 due to global warming (IPCC, 2007). Moreover, the country also experiences changes in spatial variability and seasonal pattern in rainfall (Shahid and Khairulmaini, 2009). Such changes in climate can have severe impacts in an agro-based country like Bangladesh, where more than 55 per cent of the total population directly depends on agriculture, and 17.22% of the gross domestic product (GDP) comes from this sector (BBS, 2015). Crop farming is the primary source of food for 149.77 million people and accountable for food security both in urban and rural populations (BBS, 2015). Thus, it is mentioned that changing climate condition and extreme weather events could potentially hamper agricultural production, food security, people’s livelihood and the economy as well. Therefore, it is crucial to give higher attention in sustainable agriculture to address above issues which not only promote sustainable agricultural production but also contribute to maintain healthy ecosystem and environmental protection in Bangladesh.
We focus on developing, inspiring and facilitating the innovative approach of farmers and scientists in taking initiatives, moving toward a farming system that is more sustainable—environmentally, economically, and socially. This system has room for farms of all sizes, producing a diverse range of foods, fibers, and fuels adapted to local conditions and regional markets. It uses state-of-the-art, science-based practices that maximize productivity and profit while minimizing environmental damage.

Research Group Members -

Publications -