Community adjustment of crop-water-fishery management to drought and salinity in Barguna

(Danida RFLDC-B, 2 years 2010 onwards).

This adaptive research project aims to test an approach for enhancing productivity in drought and salinity prone areas in southwest Bangladesh. In these areas most agricultural land remains fallow in the dry season because groundwater aquifers are too deep to be viable and are brackish, while surface water is very limited and brackish.

By working with community based organisations, and with Banchte Shekha as a partner, the project is testing and assessing how re-excavation of silted up canals to hold freshwater for both irrigation and fish can enhance productivity. This is linked with group irrigation to maximise returns from scarce water, and testing the viability of alternative (non-rice) crops with relatively low water demand and high returns. To this will be added the potential incremental gains from restoring native fish in these same canals and floodplains, through small sanctuaries and reintroduction.

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