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Agricultural innovation can reduce food insecurity - ‍speakers said at RDRS Seminar

Sabrina Sharmin/RDRS-Dhaka/7 October 2023: Climate change impacts are already adding significant stress to our physical and environmental resources, human ability, and economic activities. The climate change in Bangladesh currently creates insecurities for food, water, life, property, settlement, livelihoods, and others. Climatic impacts reduce securities directly and indirectly. Environmental degradation of land resources reduces food security, increases conflicts over resources and livelihood persuasions, and increases different diseases and health hazards.

RDRS Bangladesh is taking steps to bring people from different flocks together to address this crucial issue. In this context, RDRS organized a seminar on ‘Climate Change Adaptation, Agricultural Innovation, and Resilience’ on 7 October 2023 at Hotel Radisson Blu in Dhaka. The purpose of organizing this seminar was to focus on the challenges caused by climate change and the alarming situation of our country and share RDRS experiences addressing the issue. The representatives from different government organizations, NGOs, international donor agencies, and educational institutions participated in the seminar.

Dr. Atiur Rahman, Emeritus Professor, University of Dhaka; Former Governor, Bangladesh Bank; and Founder Chairman, National Char Alliance was present as the Chief Guest, while Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, Dhaka School of Economics; Eminent Economist and Environmental Activist chaired the event. Dr. Md. Abdul Muyeed, Member, Governing Body, PKSF, and former Director General, Department of Agricultural Extension; Shykh Seraj, Director & Head of News, Channel i; were present as panelists. Dr. Mrinmoy Guha Neogi, Deputy Project Leader, University of Western Australia, and Independence Award Winner presented the keynote paper at the seminar.

RDRS undertook various initiatives to enhance the capacity of vulnerable communities in northwest Bangladesh to address the impacts of climate change such as low and uneven rainfall, floods, cold spells, drought, and other natural calamities. Major activities taken under the climate change adaptation program are: developing community coping mechanisms, innovation and extending short-duration rice-based cropping patterns, promoting rice-fish culture at the household level, flood-tolerant and drought-tolerant rice in a changed climate, promoting rice-bank for community food security during emergency, homestead raising in the flood-prone areas, alternate wetting and drying technology, bio-gas plant, conservation agriculture for improving farm productivity, tree plantation and many more.

The speakers said that learning is always a good opportunity to feed our mind. Sharing experiences and learning from each other help us to map our future actions. Through such events, we get a chance to boost our knowledge with a unique opportunity to accelerate our targets and interventions for climate change adaptation and resilience. Dr. Atiur Rahman said that partnership is the best strategy to work on climate change issues. Such events give us an opportunity to come under one umbrella and work together. Dr. Neogi said that more researches for agricultural innovation, introducing of high-yielding crops will help the country to ensure food security for all. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman emphasizes on justified economic