Assessing the regional food insecurity in Bangladesh due to irrigation water shortage in the Teesta catchment area

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Bangladesh is losing huge food production from the Teesta catchment area due to a lack of availability of irrigation water in the dry and lean period because of unilateral water withdrawal in the upstream country, India. The area, which is directly dependent on the irrigation water of the Teesta river, is the study area for this paper. The study reveals that rice production in Dalia, Nilphamari, Sayedpur and Rangpur regions is badly affected by the irrigation water scarcity. It appears that production is particularly severely affected in Rangpur, making it a relatively more food insecure area in the Teesta basin. The major finding of this study is that more than 4.45 million metric tons of rice production have been missed from the Teesta catchment area since 2006–07, triggered by the massive irrigation failure of the Teesta Barrage Irrigation Project (TBIP) due to reduced water flow in the Teesta river. The total rice production missed in the north-western region since 2006–07 is more than the country's total rice import during 2008/09–2013/14 fiscal years and nearly one quarter of the total boro production in the 2012/13 fiscal year. This reduced food production renders the north-western part of the country a food insecure region from its own production.

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