Food Security and Livelihood in Coastal Area under Increased Salinity and Frequent Tidal Surge

Shahriar Shams, Muhammad Shohel

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Abstract

Food availability is a crucial dimension of food security in an agrarian society. It is largely realized through own food production of a specific society. Seasonality plays an important role in food security. This article analyzes the existing threat to food security and livelihood in coastal areas of developing countries, particularly in Bangladesh, with a focus on climate change and seasonality. There is persistent food shortage during the sowing season and the pre-harvest period. Food deficit remains high during mid-August to end of October (68–95 per cent) while it is the lowest in December (21 per cent). During the pre-harvest period, farmers have to invest a lot of money at a time though they cannot afford it. Evidence suggests that food loans are common among the poor or small farmers during the food deficit period or in the event of flood. Over 78 per cent of the respondents had taken loans from microfinance institutions and local individual moneylenders. Problem remains as salinity and overfishing has drastically depleted open-water fisheries. Reviving livelihoods still remain a challenge for the vulnerable households especially in areas where agricultural diversity is very limited. Therefore, alternative livelihoods initiatives such as homestead or community-based cage fishing, cash grant and training on non-farm activities of women and men, generating employment through public work programmes need to be in place to ensure food security and livelihood of vulnerable people living in coastal areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
JournalEnvironment and Urbanization ASIA
Volume7
Issue number1
Early online date26 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • coastal area
  • climate change
  • food security
  • livelihood
  • salinity

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