PHOTOS: Bangladesh farmers revive unique floating farms

Farmers in southwestern Bangladesh have revived a 200-year-old agricultural practice to battle the challenges emanating from floods, hurricanes and rising

Published on Nov 28, 2022 07:07 PM IST 9 Photos

The rafts, where farmers grow radish, cucumber, papaya, bitter gourd and tomato are woven from stems of invasive hyacinths. Amid increasingly extreme monsoon spells, they are proving to be a lifeline for most agricultural families, especially due to the scarcity of dry land.(Mohammad Ponir Hossain / REUTERS )

Earlier, the flooding season lasted for about five months every year. But now, the swampy area remains underwater for about eight to 10 months, and more land is now being flooded. "These days, the land is underwater for a longer time. This ancient technique has helped us to earn a living," a 42-year-old Mohammad Mostafa told Reuters.(Mohammad Ponir Hossain / REUTERS )

Like Mostafa, nearly 6,000 farmers in the Pirojpur area now follow this approach. An agriculture official in the area, Digbijoy Hazra, said the number had risen from 4,500 five years ago. "My father and forefathers all used to do this. But the work is not that easy….I tried my luck at floating farming five years ago and that made a great difference to my life," Mostafa told Reuters(Mohammad Ponir Hossain / REUTERS )


Floating farms now cover about 157 hectares (388 acres) in Pirojpur district, with 120 hectares in Nazirpur that expanded from 80 hectares five years ago. As per Hazra, "It requires less space than conventional farming and does not need pesticides…When we're fighting the impact of global warming, floating farming could be the future."(Mohammad Ponir Hossain / REUTERS)

Low-lying Bangladesh has witnessed a brutal impat of climate change in the last two decades. It is considered to be among the most climate-vulnerable countries, and has witnessed rising water levels due to storms, floods, and erosion.(Mohammad Ponir Hossain / REUTERS)