Skip to main content

Early harvest of monsoon rice to address seasonal hunger in northwest Bangladesh

Abstract

Bangladesh has a high global hunger index with grave impacts of seasonal hunger. Short duration varieties (SDV) and direct seeding of rice (DSR) were introduced to farmers in NW Bangladesh during the monsoon season or kharif-2 to overcome seasonal hunger or monga. These technology options allow early harvest, which increased household food security and livelihood opportunities during and beyond the hunger season. The farmers who used short duration varieties and/or direct seeding were able to harvest three weeks earlier than those who used the traditional practice of long duration varieties and transplanting. More than 70 % of the SDV_DSR farmers completed harvest by mid-October, and all had done so by the end of October, whereas fewer than 5 % of farmers who grew long duration rice varieties that were transplanted, had harvested within the monga period, with most of them (80 %) harvesting during the last week of November. Early harvesting of rice generated significant, multifaceted impacts on the lives of rice farming communities in northwest Bangladesh by increasing rice production, and providing and/or increasing income along with creating additional jobs for the landless or agriculture day laborers in the lean or monga period. We estimated that during the monsoon season, the average hired labor demand was 40 person days/ha, with around 67 % of this labor generated by SDV_DSR. Further, there were improvements in access and availability of food during deficit times of the year. These technology options for rice production could be scaled out in similar agro-environments to reduce seasonal hunger and produce positive benefits on a range of factors.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. The landless farm households are defined as those who own less than 0.02 ha or none at all (Department of Agricultural Extension 1999).

  2. Marginal farm households are defined as those who own farm lands between 0.02 and 0.2 ha (Department of Agricultural Extension 1999). They also work as agricultural laborers because their rice harvest is not enough for the needs of their households.

References

  • Ali, D., Saha, K. K., Nguyen, P. H., Diressie, M. T., Ruel, M. T., Menon, P., & Rawat, R. (2013). Household food insecurity is associated with higher child undernutrition in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Vietnam, but the effect is not mediated by child dietary diversity. Journal of Nutrition, 143(12), 2015–2021.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Apu, N. A. (2014). Farmed fish value chain development in Bangladesh: Situation analysis and trends. WorldFish/ILRI Project Report. Nairobi: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

    Google Scholar 

  • Arimond, M., & Ruel, M. T. (2004). Dietary diversity is associated with child nutritional status from 11 demographic and health Surveys. Journal of Nutrition, 134, 2579–2585.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Behrman, J. R., Alderman H., & Hoddinott, J. (2004). The challenge of hunger and malnutrition. http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files. Accessed 25 September 2013.

  • Coates, J., Wilde, P. E., Webb, P., Rogers, B. L., & Houser, R. (2006). Comparison of a qualitative and a quantitative approach to developing a household food insecurity scale for Bangladesh. Journal of Nutrition, 136(S1), 420–30.

    Google Scholar 

  • DfID. (2004). Agriculture, hunger and food security. London: Discussion paper produced by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Team of the UK Department for International Development in collaboration with Steve Wiggins of the Overseas Development Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • FAO. (1983). World food security: A reappraisal of the concepts and approaches. Director General’s Report. Rome: FAO.

    Google Scholar 

  • FAO. (2013). The state of food insecurity in the world 2013: The multiple dimensions of food security. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization. http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3458e/i3458e.pdf . Accessed 20 January 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  • Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). (2009). Bangladesh: Two million children suffer from malnutrition. http://www.refworld/docid/49ddfa681c.html. Accessed 10 October 2015.

  • International Food Policy Research Institute, Concern Worldwide, & Welthungerhilfe. (2010). Global hunger index: The challenge of hunger; Focus on the crisis of child undernutrition. Bonn, Washington, DC and Dublin: International Food Policy Research Institute, Concern Worldwide, and Welthungerhilfe. http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ghi10.pdf. Accessed 10 November 2012.

  • Kabir, M. (2005). Conceptualization and Measurement of Food Insecurity: the Context of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies Journal, 26, 55–90.

    Google Scholar 

  • Khandker, S. R., & Wahiduddin, M. (2012). Seasonal hunger and public policies: A case study of Bangladesh. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Lal, H. O. R., Rahman, S. M., Islam, M. S., Khair, S. A., & Mazid, M. A. (2010). Solidarity’s approach to rural development in northern Bangladesh: A case of monga mitigation. In F. G. Palis, G. R. Singleton, M. C. Casimero, & B. Hardy (Eds.), Research to impact: Case studies for natural resource management for irrigated rice in Asia (pp. 275–285). Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Malabayabas, A. J. B., Kajisa, K., Mazid, M. A., Palis, F. G., & Johnson, D. E. (2014). Impacts of direct-seeded and early-maturing varieties of rice on mitigating seasonal hunger for farming communities in northwest Bangladesh. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 12, 459–470.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mazid, M. A., & Johnson, D. (2010). Tackling hunger through early rice harvests in northwest Bangladesh: Making a difference with direct seeding and varietal choice. In F. G. Palis, G. R. Singleton, M. C. Casimero, & B. Hardy (Eds.), Research to impact: Case studies for natural resource management for irrigated rice in Asia (pp. 83–100). Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mazid, M. A., Riches, C. R., Mortimer, A. M., Wade, L. J., & Johnson, D. E. (2006). Improving rice based cropping systems in north-west Bangladesh. In P. Preston, J. H. Watts, & N. D. Crossman (Eds), Managing Weeds in a Changing Climate. Proceedings of the 15th Australian Weeds Conference, 24–28 September 2006, Adelaide, South Australia. pp 331–334.

  • Messer, E. (1989). Seasonality in food systems: An anthropological perspective on household food security. In D. Sahn (Ed.), Seasonal variability in Third World agriculture: The consequences for food security. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    Google Scholar 

  • Nguyen, D. C., & Vo-Tong, X. (2002). Environmental conditions as determinants of direct seeding techniques in different ecosystems in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. In S. Pandey, M. Mortimer, L. Wade, T. P. Tuong, K. Lopez, & B. Hardy (Eds.), Direct-seeding: research issues and opportunities. Proceedings of the international workshop on direct-seeding in Asian rice systems: strategic research issues and opportunities, 25–28 January 2000, Bangkok, Thailand (pp. 75–86). International Rice Research Institute: Los Baños (Philippines).

    Google Scholar 

  • Palis, F. G., Morin, S., & Hossain, M. (2005). Social capital and geography of learning: roles in accelerating the spread of integrated pest management. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 11, 27–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Palis, F. G., Singleton, G. R., & Casimero, M. C. (2010). Strengthening research and extension partnership for impact: Lessons from case studies. In F. G. Palis, G. R. Singleton, M. C. Casimero, & B. Hardy (Eds.), Research to impact: Case studies for natural resource management for irrigated rice in Asia (pp. 1–13). Los Baños (Philippines): International Rice Research Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pandey, S., & Velasco, L. (2002). Economics of direct-seeding in Asia: Patterns of adoption and research opportunities. In S. Pandey, M. Mortimer, L. Wade, T. P. Tuong, K. Lopez, & B. Hardy (Eds.), Direct-seeding: research issues and opportunities. Proceedings of the international workshop on direct-seeding in Asian rice systems: strategic research issues and opportunities, 25–28 January 2000, Bangkok, Thailand (pp. 3–14). International Rice Research Institute: Los Baños (Philippines).

    Google Scholar 

  • Peng, S. (1998). Early-variety rice in China and its historic implications. Huanan is the centre of origin of Chinese rice cultivation. Agricultural Archaeology, 288–291.

  • Polycarpou, L. (2010). Direct seeding of rice—a simple solution to India’s water crisis? http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2010/11/18/direct-seeding-of-rice-%E2%80%93-a-simple-solution-to-India%E2%80%99s-water-crisis/. Accessed 16 December 2015.

  • Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service. (2007). Monga mitigation in northern Bangladesh: Contextual analysis initiative and experience of RDRS Bangladesh. RDRS Bangladesh, Jail Road, Dhap, Rangpur, 31. Bangladesh.

  • Saha, K. K., Frongillo, E. A., Alam, D. S., Arifeen, S. E., Persson, L. A., & Rasmussen, K. M. (2009). Household food security is associated with growth of infants and young children in rural Bangladesh. Public Health Nutrition, 12, 1556–62.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Saunders, B. D., & Trapp, R. G. (1990). Basic and clinical biostatistics. Appleton and Lange: Prentice-Hall International Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sen, A. (1991). Public action to remedy hunger. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 16, 324–336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Somado, R.G. & Keya, S.O. (2008). Module 2 – NERICA: origin, nomenclature and identification characteristics. NERICA: the new rice for Africa—a Compendium. http://www.africarice.org/publications/nerica-comp/module%202_Low.pdf. Accessed 26 November 2015.

  • Swaminathan, M. S. (1994). Uncommon opportunities: An agenda for peace and equitable development. London: Report of the International Commission on Peace and Food.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tukey, J. (1949). Comparing individual means in the analysis of variance. Biometrics, 5, 99–114.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • USAID (2014). Agriculture and Food Security. http://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/agriculture-and-food-security. Accessed 16 February 2013.

  • Vaitla, B., Devereux, S., & Swan, S. H. (2009). Seasonal hunger: A neglected problem with proven solutions. PLoSMed, 6, e1000101. http://www.plosmedicine.org/article . Accessed 30 December 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zug, S. (2006). Monga – seasonal food insecurity in Bangladesh—bringing the Information Together. The Journal of Social Studies, 111, 1–14.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful for the contributions of Ms. Catalina Diaz, Mr. Christian Umali and Ms. Abigail Cosico of IRRI; Dr. Mahabub Hossain of BRAC; MG Neogi of RDRS, Mr. Rahman Motiur of RIB; Mr. Babu of BRRI, Rangpur; Mr. Anurul Hoque, formerly with BRRI, Rangpur; and are thankful of the cooperation of the men and women farmers and agricultural laborers in Rangpur and Nilphamari districts in NW Bangladesh. The research was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Florencia G. Palis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Palis, F.G., Malabayabas, A.J.B., Singleton, G.R. et al. Early harvest of monsoon rice to address seasonal hunger in northwest Bangladesh. Food Sec. 8, 443–457 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-016-0560-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-016-0560-3

Keywords

  • Monga
  • Short duration rice varieties
  • Direct seeding
  • Hunger
  • South Asia
  • Bangladesh