Impact of Stress-Tolerant Rice Variety Adoption in Bangladesh: A Remote Sensing and Econometric Approach

In Bangladesh, climate change poses a serious threat to agricultural production, with an increasing number of catastrophic floods in recent years that have led to extensive crop damage and food insecurity among households. In response, Bangladesh has introduced stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) that can withstand flooding, allowing farmers to continue cultivating crops even in submerged fields. This study uses three years of panel data from rural Bangladesh to assess the impact of STRV adoption on household wellbeing. The findings reveal a significant upward trend in the adoption of STRVs, rising from approximately 8% in 2014 to a substantial 22% in 2022. This increase in adoption has resulted in a significant increase in average rice yields. Notably, STRV adopters have significantly higher yields compared to non-adopters. We demonstrates that all flood measures, including maximum flooding, mean flooding, the area under the curve (AUC) and neighborhood flooding, cause a reduction in rice yields. However, from TWFE analysis we find adopting STRV can mitigate this loss and positively influences rice yield. But from the TWFE-IV model we could not find any strong evidence to prove the insights of TWFE model. Also, we do not observe any yield benefit from STRVs in a flood-free conditions. These findings remain consistent regardless of the data set (household panel
data or plot data). Acknowledging certain limitations, including sample size and study duration, is crucial. This research emphasizes the importance of adopting STRVs as a strategy to address the detrimental consequences of climate change on agricultural productivity in Bangladesh. By embracing STRVs, developing countries like Bangladesh can enhance resilience against recurrent floods, and ultimately improve the well-being of rural households.


Dewan Abdullah Al Rafi

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