Rice Output May Drop 7% A Year
Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Rice productivity could decline by 7.4 percent every year until 2050 due to changing weather.

A study report projects that lost agricultural productivity could amount to a total loss of $3 billion every year (Tk 210 billion) totalling $121 billion in lost GDP during a 45-year period between 2005 and 2050.

The report on investment in agriculture for higher growth, productivity and adaptation to climate change projects a likely scenario under the current weather patterns and finds that the total economy-wide impact in terms of lost GDP during the period could go up to a staggering $121 billion.

Authored by M Asaduzzaman, research director of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies along with Claudia Ringler and James Turlow from the International Food Policy Research Institute, and Shafiqul Alam from the agriculture ministry, the report states that climate change also has broader economy-wide implications.

The study estimates that this would cost Bangladesh $26 billion in terms of lost agricultural GDP over the 45-year period, equivalent to $570 million per year, "an average annual 1.15 percent reduction in total GDP."

But given Bangladesh's dependence on agriculture, especially in terms of employment and contribution to GDP, with over 50 percent of the labour force engaged as farm labourers and accounting for a fifth of the national GDP, the economy-wide impact of lost agricultural productivity is quite staggering.

The paper was presented at the first technical session of the two-day Bangladesh Food Security Investment Forum that began on Wednesday in Dhaka.

Devoting much space and emphasis on climate change the report states that existing climate variability can have pronounced detrimental economy-wide impacts. "Future climate change will exacerbate these negative effects."

Earlier in the morning, prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the forum, organised by the Bangladesh government.

Source: bdnews24.com

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