The burning of crop residue contributes to the creation of severe air pollution in the Indo-Gangetic plain area of South Asia. It affects people's health, impacts agricultural production and food security by deteriorating soil health and contributes to climate change with the emission of greenhouse gases. Crop straw yield has kept growing and maintained a high level with increases in agriculture production in South Asia. The lack of suitable agricultural technology and machinery to sustainably utilize the straw or promote its recycled usage has led to their burning and caused a high level of air pollution, including through transboundary sources.
This paper provides an overview of the status of crop straw management in Bangladesh. Rice, wheat and maize are the main sources of straw in Bangladesh and estimations on the amount of straw produced from these crops are provided with the use of the crop harvest index. The study delineates the existing practices for managing and using straw, highlights alternative straw management practices that can be considered and the challenges that exist to promote their adoption in Bangladesh. Different policies and support provided by the government to promote agricultural mechanization and straw management are reviewed. The various gaps and challenges that exist for the integrated management of straw are analyzed and recommendations are made for actions that can be taken to address these issues.
JEL Codes(s): O13, Q16, Q53, Q55