Because much of Bangladesh is very close to sea level, it is susceptible to flooding which can ruin crops. Flash floods can leave farmland impossible to grow on.
That, along with an increase in number and severity of cyclones in recent years, puts Bangladesh on the frontlines of climate change impacts. This is because with the temperature of the oceans warming, there is more energy stored which is where storms and cyclones get their power from. Also, climate change results in the melting of major ice sheets in both the Arctic and Antarctic resulting in increased ocean levels.
Because of this increasing threat to farming, Innovative ways to combat flooding while still yielding crops is an important concept for farmers.
One of these innovative ways to produce crops through flooding is called floating gardens. Floating gardens are made out of water hyacinth and straw which are collected to form a raft. The raft is then covered in soil and dung in which seeds are planted. The garden is good for use beyond the rainy season and expands farmland into river deltas and lakes. The rafts, eight meters long and one meter wide, are available for free locally. Summer and winter vegetables such as gourd, okra and leafy vegetables are grown.
The floating gardens are just one of many techniques that World Renew’s partner PARI Development Trust provides to cope with the conditions in Bangladesh. Some other techniques include: organic pesticides, composting, and producing seed-beds.
One farmer was Mohashin Alam, who was trained and subsequently built his own floating garden with his family and has grown a number of crops including data, gourd, and leafy vegetable. "This has made a great difference in my life. Now I have enough food in the floods and we can give some to help my relatives as well.”
With your support, Pari livelihood program can help even more farmers build floating gardens and cope with a changing environment. Please prayerfully consider supporting World Renew’s response in Bangladesh with your prayers and financial gifts.