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Perceived farm-level climatic impacts on coastal agricultural productivity in Bangladesh


Coastal farmers are the first group of people who feel climate-related calamities most severely, such as sea-level rise, salinity intrusion, coastal flooding, tidal surges and tropical cyclones. They are operating agricultural activities under these climatic conditions that affect farm productivity. This study explores farmer perceptions of changes in farm productivity and perceptions of causes of decreased farm productivity (if any) over the past 10 years compared with more than 10 years back. We partitioned the causes of decreased farm productivity into climatic and non-climatic based on the primary data collected through household survey in ten coastal subdistricts along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. We visited 381 households during September–October 2018 using a pre-tested structured interview schedule. Average monetary farm productivity in the study area was 1.98. A small proportion (11%) of the sampled farmers mentioned that farm productivity had decreased over the past years. A majority (64%) of them believed that climate change was responsible for such decreases in farm productivity. The farmers who thought that climate change was causing the decreased farm productivity were characterized by greater education, more awareness of climate change, less communication with extension agents, stronger belief in decreased cyclone and salinity, and weaker belief in decreased flood. The farmers perceived that dry period salinity, flood and coastal inundations were the major products of climate change to adversely affect crop productivity. Since agricultural adaptation to climate change requires clear understanding of the climatic impacts on farm productivity, and more than one-third of the farmers failed to identify climatic impacts on decreased farm productivity, their improvement of climate change awareness is essential. Extension organizations and other agents should promote updated climate knowledge among farmers to make them more aware of climate change issues, so that they can adapt to climate change through their agricultural activities.

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This study is funded by the Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

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Correspondence to Md Kamrul Hasan.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Hasan, M.K., Kumar, L. Perceived farm-level climatic impacts on coastal agricultural productivity in Bangladesh. Climatic Change 161, 617–636 (2020).

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